December 10, 2010

vacation angst [why I'm thrilled I'm not 15 anymore]

My family is going on vacation for Christmas, and as a result, a certain tale has resurfaced and I have been taking a lot of heat as a result. I figured it best to address it here, publicly, and then perhaps said story will lose its luster and everyone can move on with their lives. And stop making fun of me. Doubtful, but worth a shot.

We've all done things that we regret. 
Things that, if we could go back, we might do differently. 
Things that, in retrospect, are embarrassing. 

That thing for me is the Disney trip. Ten years ago.

First of all, in my defense, I was fifteen. Let's be fair. Characteristically and by very definition, fifteen-year-old girls are on the brink of hysteria at all times. I can't help it if this cycle of teen angst was set in motion just in time for the plane to leave Wichita, KS on the fateful first morning of Spring Break 2000, can I? No. I cannot. Hormones are to blame.

So it is the morning of our departure, and per usual I am jolted awake by my parents' voice on the intercom. I learned early on that with this intercom system, all I had to do each morning was SOUND awake. I didn't actually have to BE awake, but as long as I could muster one or two alert sentences, I was good to sleep for another 15 minutes or so. And what's more, in the morning, I am not smart. Nothing productive happens in my brain until about 34 minutes after the initial alarm goes off. This particular morning was no exception. On either count. 

As the story goes, when everyone else was hopping in the car for the airport, I was still slumbering soundly in my bed. I was discovered, in bed, unprepared for departure - the fury and panic in my mother's eyes will be forever burned in my memory. After attempting unsuccessfully to feel satisfied with my atypically unkempt appearance, I was ready. Tearfully utilizing my best theatrics, I headed out the door to a car full of sleepy, probably angry family members.

I vividly recall being pissed the entire week. Honestly, I have no explanation for it. I spent a lot of the time avoiding rides that scared me (which was, as it were, most of them) and being generally ridiculous. My niece who was 5 at the time commented that she remembered me being upset about a hair-braid situation somewhere along the line. Thanks for throwing me under the bus, there, Em. I'm pretty sure (and I only tell this because if I don't someone else will) that I insisted on getting the aforementioned braids and then pitched a fit because I didn't like them. My sweet little niece is now 16, and mark my words, when she has her inevitable meltdown on our upcoming vacation, I'm going to listen and nod my head sympathetically. I will tell her I understand, been there, felt that. 

And then, when she least expects it, at the ripe old age of 25, I WILL BRING IT BACK. 
I'm kidding, relax, I am a very nice aunt actually. I will probably be the only one who stands up for her. I will probably laugh a little bit... until they start talking about me again. I can hear my hypothetical children now: "Mommy, is Nena right? Were you crazy?"

Here are some personal rules I came up with to ensure that our trip will not be a repeat disaster:

1. No braids. I don't care how cute they looked on that girl in Teen Vogue that one time.
2. No skipping rides/activities for fear's sake. Even if it terrifies me and I am basically catatonic for an hour following, at least no one will mock me for skipping things that they've deemed "fun." 
3. No oversleeping. I'm setting 5 alarms and telling all 3 roommates to make sure I'm awake.
a. And not just that I sound awake, but actually am awake. 
b. Maybe shower the night before, just in case of mishaps.
4. Laugh at above story, which will inevitably be brought up at least twice daily on upcoming trip.
a. Cry in the shower if you have to. Don't let them see you break down.
b. Obtain a solid number of embarrassing tales about everyone just in case.
5. Wine. (This is the key option that was missing when I was 15!)

It may also help that I am sort of a grownup now. But in case it doesn't, and upon entering vacation mode I revert to my true inner teenager, I will have those rules in my back pocket. 

Puerto Vallarta, here we come!

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