Friday, July 25, 2008

idiots on parade, err, vacation

We left Ogunquit at 10 AM and didn't arrive at our hotel in Martha's Vineyard until 8 PM. Granted, we stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to show the children Strawberry Banke, which I remembered from my own childhood as a marvelous wonderland of crabby people dressed in authentic colonial costumes demonstrating the colonial way of life in some old buildings, but which turned out to be lots of restored and semi-restored buildings with bored teenagers in maroon t-shirts acting as hosts. The children were nowhere near as enchanted as I had been at their age. Afterward we got some lunch and resumed our driving. (The entire theme of this vacation is Long Drives In Hot Rental Car With Feuding Children, with a subtheme of Idiotic Decisions Made By Morons -- and mind you, I included myself as one of the Morons).

While we were driving, we received some very bad financial news by celphone, which caused the Sober Husband to sigh repeatedly at odd intervals and to drive me further into a quiet doom.

The ferry to Martha's Vineyard required parking a 45 minute drive away by shuttle bus and then a payment of $46. Having just received a harsh financial blow, this $46 charge drove me to rage. "Your mother is so selfish! So selfish!" I hissed.

We got off the ferry and were met by the Sober Husband's mother. It took a solid hour to negotiate the packed-solid Martha's Vineyard traffic to deliver us to our hellhole of a hotel. Our room, which costs $265 per night, is a small, ugly room with low ceilings directly off the communal breakfast area. From 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM, all hell will be breaking loose right behind our thin wall. During other times, we can attempt to amuse ourselves by listening to the hideous noise and dripping of the small window air conditioner, gazing at the view of a nearby parking lot through the one small window, or trying to watch the minuscule television set.

In this poky little hellhole, the reality of the bad news sunk in on me in a bad, bad wave. This was the first time in 5 years I'd left the state of California, and we were going into debt to stay in this ugly little room in a place I never wanted to visit, and we weren't going to be able to afford to go anywhere I wanted to go. I sank down on one of the beds and burst into tears. "I can't even go anywhere good! This is all I get!" I cried for a short while, during which everyone avoided looking at me and felt bad.

The Sober Husband promised that we'd go on a real vacation, somewhere exotic, somewhere I want to go, but I couldn't believe it. He was angry at me one whole weekend for buying Lucy a $17 Spongebob DVD; we are going into debt to pay for this stupid expedition; there's no way there is a proper vacation occurring anytime.

I swallowed two Lorazepam given to me by my understanding physician to ease over the difficulties of spending time with the inlaws and rocked back in forth in a chair, staring blankly into space. It's unfair to the children when their mother is a high-maintenance and high-strung bitch. On the other hand, it's unfair to me to have to go into debt upon my mother-in-law's command to go to Martha's Frigging Vineyard.

Eventually we left the hotel to walk to the mother-in-law's rented house (the purpose of our getting a hotel room was to provide a private oasis of rest, which the Sober Husband emphatically failed. There is NOTHING relaxing or restful about this ugly, nasty hellhole of a room. May the owners of the Pequot Hotel be forced to spend the afterlife in this ugly room!!!!). The Sober Husband had neglected to bring the address, so we walked up and down, up and down, up and down trying to find the mother-in-law's black Volvo in the dark on the correct unmarked street while the children whined about needing to use the potty.

We did finally arrive, to be fed some of the worst food on the surface of the earth, bland, flavorless, and cold. (On the other hand, it was free). Iris had a fever and was uncomfortable, and Lucy was tired and fell asleep on a couch, so we had to drag them home. There we discovered the Lucy had lost Moosie, her back-up stuffed animal (Bearie, the primary stuffed animal, was mistakenly left in San Francisco, and Moosie was left in either our car in a far away parking lot on the mainland or Ogunquit). Tears ensued. I sent the Sober Husband out to procure a consolation stuffed animal.

I really, really, really would delight in overdosing on something tonight save for the trauma to the children. This is my only trip out of state in five long years (and I am a woman who has traveled around the world): sitting in an ugly, noisy, hot, overpriced room with crappy beds...and just having absorbed the news that there's no more money. We aren't going to be able to buy the new double oven, five burner stove I craved. We won't be able to fix the two little floors which have only ugly, stained, unhygienic carpet with no subflooring. We won't be able to go on vacations. And I probably won't be able to work on an MFA.

I thought about fleeing to Boston and throwing myself on the mercy of old college friends, but just the taxi to the ferry costs NINETY DOLLARS. A person who is still absorbing terrible financial news is not ready to pay $90 to escape.


Anonymous said...

Oof. Sending you good vibes and a martini.
Just spent time in Ogunquit and Portsmouth last week - thankfully before the serious weather but not without a little hail.
Hope things pick up, or that you at least get some decent food and a good night's sleep soon.

Anonymous said...

Oof. Can you get yourself to the ocean? All problems seem small at the ocean, and after all, you are on an island.

Esther said...

You poor thing. That sounds totally awful Come and escape to NZ - for that mcuh money I'll find you a five star hotel! Sorry, that's probably not helping. How about a drink? A big one?

Missy said...


Hugs. Thinking of you...

Amy said...

I think you need your e-friends to teleconference with you and do drunken woody allen.

Drunken Wood Allen = this sucks, lets make fun of it until we choke. With lubrication.

hokgardner said...

Oh I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. Bad news is always worse on vacation, especially a bad vacation. Hang in there.

Silliyak said...

Is this how agoraphobia starts?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. What a fucking nightmare. They say every cloud has a silver lining but the only thing I can think of right now is "It can't get much worse." Not much consolation, I'm afraid.

A suggestion for feeling better - Use the overwhelming amount of stress and disappointment as an excuse to go absolutely nuts on your MIL (and whoever else deserves it) at every opportunity. Just let 'er rip and then suddenly burst into tears and say "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Things are just so BAD right now. I don't know what's wrong with me." and make everyone feel sorry for you. Do this as often as you can until they begin to notice that the crying seems forced and there's the slightest hint of a smile while you're ranting.

hughman said...

i, too, am sorry this is such a drag for you. my only suggestion is to drink more and blame it on the stress.

Carol Ann said...

Sending you all the good vibes I can. I am so sorry things aren't going well.