Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Perfect Weekend and the Tyranny of Fun

The perfect irony, really. I was preparing to post on my primary journal about my wonderful weekend, a perfect weekend, really, when I read my best friend's post entitled, strangely enough, "A Perfect Weekend". I was thrilled to see this — she deserves a perfect weekend, and it's a joy to read that she's happy and things are going well. Her post did underscore the vast differences between what she and I believe constitutes perfection.

My perfect weekend involved spending some quality snuggle-time with the husband, taking care of each other after dual dentist appointments on Saturday morning. Saturday evening I went to a friend's house to enjoy a buffet of Thai food, followed by Girls' Night Out, featuring dancing and delicious martinis at a gay bar in the city. After the club, the boyfriends met us at a nearby diner for coffee and snacks, packed 7 of us in one Chevy Impala, and drove home. The morning paper sat on my doorstep as I walked in sometime around 4:30am. Today, Sunday, was spent sharing chores and making real progress on the house and laundry, ending with some yummy pizza and a 24 Marathon before I went to work on some freelancing projects. It wasn't without its flaws (the dentist, for instance), but after the last few weeks, this weekend was a real breath of fresh air.

My best friend's weekend involved family time with the extended family at a scouting fundraiser, where she and her boys toured a farm and learned how maple syrup is made. Later, more extended family came to her house to prune her lilac bushes and install a family firepit in the backyard. Then the family took a trip to Door County, Wisconsin (where she was disappointed that the shops she loves to much aren't kid-friendly, so she had to pass on them), and they picked out a new puppy. I am not dissing her weekend — it sounds perfect for her. It's just so not what I consider the perfect weekend.

I think it's fantastic she gets along with her extended family so well, and I'm envious of that in a way, though I know we'll never be doing the thing that will forever endear us to the judgmental ones on my husband's side.

As a Christmas gift, my in-laws bought everyone tickets to a waterpark lodge in Wisconsin Dells, and I can't think of a worse place to spend an entire weekend. "We can all go swimming!" my father-in-law squealed. No, the kids can go swimming. We can babysit. These places aren't designed with grown-ups in mind AT ALL. I'm sure the kids will have a blast, but after chaperoning a birthday party for my niece at a place like this, I can say with near certainty that it will be loud, annoying, and most important, No Fun At All.

Our saving grace was going to be the ability to retreat to one of the posh hotel rooms at the lodge. Recently, however, I found out that sanctuary will not exist.

My husband's step-mother (the control freak), in a step to encourage togetherness, has booked a cabin. That's right folk, all 15 of us, including a handful of poorly behaved nephews and one baby, crammed into a single cabin. KILL ME NOW.

That's not all of it, of course. We're celebrating one of the nephew's birthdays, which means we have to bring gifts for all the boys so the others don't feel left out (a stupid, STUPID tradition — teach the boys that when it's not their birthday they don't get presents… but we don't say no to these boys). There's also the family photo, for which we've been assigned particular colors to wear, and a whole host of meticulously planned activities.

I really wish I was looking forward to this. I'm fine playing with the boys, but not in a waterpark setting surrounded by no fewer than a couple hundred screaming kids. The fact that they're not used to hearing "no" or being scolded for anything makes me reluctant to be around them because I constantly feel the need to discipline them and teach them some manners. We're going into the Midwest's Disneyland for the weekend, in a resort filled with little centers of the universe. I have no desire for this, and it does not sound like a good time.

Our distaste for the situation will surely bring our childfreeness to the forefront. It sounds like a miserable time all 'round. But it was our Christmas present. It would be rude not to go. *sigh*


Ashley said...

I say screw it...I sure as hell wouldn't go on that particular family outing. I'd be arranging to "tragically" (read: conveniently) get food poisoning that weekend.

Tiara Lynn said...

That's pretty much the plan, although we have to at least show up, and then get sick. We've called in sick to family outings far too often.

I can just see everyone wondering if I'm pregnant if I get sick. I can't decide if that would be funny or awful... maybe the hubby will have to be the one to get sick…

Ashley said...

They're really big-time breeders, aren't they? Man, I'm glad my in-laws aren't like that...