Friday, October 9, 2009

I just finished my last homework assignment for the week and am officially on fall break from my university studies. During my regular school hours next week, I have nothing to do and nowhere to be, and I have no idea what to do with all that time.

My inner child is stomping her foot and shouting that I know exactly what I want to do with it. I want to take a vacation. The older, responsible me is reasoning with her about the fact that I have neither the money nor the time to take a vacation so none is forthcoming. My inner child just pulled out fistfuls of her hair, threw herself on the floor, and is now holding her breath in protest. The older, responsible me is ignoring her but secretly wants to join her down there, purple face and all.

I want a vacation. I need a vacation. I deserve a vacation. I can’t afford a vacation.

Popular culture to the rescue! According to news reports, if time and money aren’t on my side, I don’t have to completely scrap my plans for leisure. I can take a “staycation!”

What’s that, you say? You don’t know what a staycation is? It’s only the most exciting development to come out of the recession. People all over the country who used to travel to exotic locations for their leisure time are now too strapped for cash to be tourists, so they’re hanging out at home instead and calling it a staycation. What? You do that every day? You just call it life? Your life is a staycation?? How cool is that?

I’ve done some browsing on the internet to learn more about the staycation phenomenon. Apparently, there are tips from staycation savvy writers for making my staycation relaxing and fun. On my staycation, I can…wait for it…rent movies! I can…oh, you’re going to love this one…read a book. I can even…be still my beating heart…play board games with my husband! Who knew all these fabulous activities were available to me right here at home? How is it I’m not CHARGING for this stuff?

One travel writer (if you’re writing about a staycation, does that make you an anti-travel writer?) recommends taking pictures of your staycation the same way you would a vacation. I can see myself showing off my staycation scrapbook pages. “This is me cleaning the bathroom. Oh! Here I am emptying the litter box. That was so fun. I love this picture of Richard and me sitting in the front room. Our house had great amenities. If you turn the page, you can see our day trip to Wal Mart and our hike to Mt. Library!”

If it still sounds like everyday life with a fancy label, there’s a suggestion for that too. One writer urged people considering a staycation to be sure and set a start date and an end date so your staycation doesn’t feel like just any old week at home. Aha! That’s the secret. You have to designate. It's not any old week! It's STAYCATION WEEK!

“ Yes, dear, I’m washing the dishes, and that’s a completely mundane daily chore; BUT I’m washing the dishes during staycation week, so it’s different. Now grab the staycation vacuum and help me with the family room. We have a staycation dentist appointment at 2.”

It’s interesting to note that my word processing document is littered with red squigglies because my word processor doesn’t consider staycation a real word. I refused to add it to my dictionary, because I agree. I did, however, just add “squigglies.”

I also added blahcation, mehcation, nocation, and fakecation, which are on the whole, less marketable than staycation, but probably more accurate.


nermalgal said...

Jerry and I do "staycations" all the time. And we also do the $5 date with subway at our camper :)