Yes, I understand I am 25 years old (ouch, it’s starting to hurt to admit to the age thing), yes I understand I graduated with my M.B.A and should be kicking-butt and taking-names out in the business world, but it still stings a bit when your mom announces that she’s going on a “Family Vacation!” Who is to be included in this vacation? Not ME, not her ONLY CHILD! Instead she, along with my Uncle Rocky, opts to take my two youngest cousins. Kicker is that these kids are neither of their children. Somehow my Uncle Rocky’s children (also striving to find their place in life), and myself are forced to try and eek out our living* while our elementary school cousins get a free ride to Maine (and their dad gets free childcare for 3 weeks, obviously I have some things to learn from this subset of our family about how to work the system).
To understand the full injustice of this story you have to know a little family background. In my extended family there are 10 grandchildren. The first 5 of us are pretty much spaced a year apart or less and have deemed ourselves, “The Original Five” which basically means we’re awesome and we can (used to) be able to force the little kids to do whatever we wanted. The next five haven’t really banded together to become creative enough to name their little group. Furthermore, Maine is our “ancestral homeland,” where my grandmother was born and where we’ve made periodic family trips for years. “The Original Five” have the most memories of these Maine trips simply because we were older than the rest (some of which weren’t even alive at the time).
Our memories include:
- Staying in our great-grandparents’ cabin with no inside plumbing.
- Building rafts out of driftwood.
- Having 20+ people live in a 2 bedroom cabin (1 bath) for three weeks.
- My mother convincing us it was ok to go “river-rafting” down a closed river with a damn.
- Hiking Mount Katahdin in Converse sneakers (there is NO traction on those suckers which is why I maintain I have never made it to the top).
- Getting stuck on a lake in a random neighbor’s boat in the middle of a lightning storm (yes, this was pre-approved by the adults in our family).
- Have our grandmother SWEAR that Skin So Soft was a fantastic bug repellent – only to find out when we reached civilization again that it was only glorified bubble bath.
Now, listen to what these two little interlopers get to do:
- First night stay is at the Hilton.
- When they reach “camp” it’s only with 4 people and they have 3 rooms – totally acceptable and normal.
- Each girl got to order whatever they wanted, whether it was blue clams or a whole “lobstah”. We were forced to share a stick of gum and eat of the kids menu.
- They were allowed to keep their cell phones (which of course we didn’t even have), claiming it was for “safety.” Worse thing is the adults bought that story hook, line, and sinker.
- BOTH of the two girls brought hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons.
- They were bought special Reebok RealFlex fit shoes to ensure they could make it up the mountain.
- There was an indoor toilet, given it was an incinerator toilet so it may not be that much better.
- The next door neighbors had basically EVERYTHING they could possibly want or need, from a motorboat to plates of cookies.
Well, now that I have vented a bit we can see that it’s obvious “The Original Five” will have the background to overcome anything (I mean by writing all these things down I’m pretty sure our parents were trying to kill us). If we can get through that as a “vacation” we can pretty much make it in any sector in the blue-collar or professional field with ease!
*In the interest of full-journalistic digression I will ruin a family rule that we hold dear, “never ruin a good story with the truth.” No, none of us are fully supporting ourselves at this time and actually have wonderful parents that help us with pretty much anything and everything we need….but see, now it’s pretty much pointless to read the rest of this post. You know I’m just being whiney and complaining for really no reason. Also, this should ensure I don’t receive a call from my mother asking if I thought my childhood was really “that bad.” <;3 you Mommy!