I sense this will be a recurring theme for me. Thus, this is Part I. We all have those phrases people say that we just know aren’t true or raise warning hackles on our neck. Is there a woman anywhere who hasn’t held up a hideous lime green taffeta ruffled Scarlett O’Hara gown and heard a bride mutter, “Oh for God’s sake, it’s only two hundred dollars. You can wear the dress again”? Your Honor, I rest my case.

Basically it’s a gripefest. Bear with me. And then feel free to share your own gripe.

The first phrase I’d like stricken is “stay-at-home vacation.” Whoever originally came up with this idea should be banished to the netherworld in a station wagon with no working a/c along with an angry teen, a bored pre-teen, a resentful spouse, and a radio that only plays stock reports all day.

This insidious phrase has infiltrated my life this week. Thanks to Tropical Storm Fay, our vacation plans were scuttled and dh decided, since our little corner of NY appeared to be spared any repercussions of Fay’s wrath, this was the ideal week to stay home and do day trips with the family. Reluctantly, I agreed (my first big mistake.)

DAY ONE: On Monday, we went to the Bronx Zoo. Unfortunately, at 2 pm, dh realized we still had half the zoo left to see and we had to leave by 3:00 to “beat the traffic home.” This, of course, spurned a viewing much like that scene in National Lampoon’s European Vacation where they only have fifteen minutes to go through the Louvre. Needless to say, we did not make it through the entire zoo until 4:30 and I got a lecture all the way home about how “screwed” we’d be with the traffic. No matter that we didn’t really get hammered all that hard (we made the trip in about an hour and fifteen minutes), the dh had worked himself into a frenzy.

DAY TWO: Tuesday we spent at the beach. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know the joy this routine outing inspires in me. Those who are newer readers, you can check out some of the details here. (Sorry…but the contest is over!) I came home with a migraine, a slight sunburn, and rings of bug bites on my ankles and feet from the green fly population which decided to feast upon me. I also did not get a chance to write one word. Normally I make the most of the beach by bringing my AlphaSmart and typing up a chapter or so while the family enjoys the sun and sand. Alphie, however, made other plans. Plans that required his immediate departure to that giant bin of obsolescence in the sky. In other words, Alphie crapped out and needs to be replaced ASAP.

DAY THREE: Wednesday was a trip to Six Flags in New Jersey. Out of the house by nine a.m., home by two a.m. today. Yes, the rides were fun. Yes, it was a lovely day. Yes, the kids enjoyed themselves and left with big smiles. But the work of packing enough food before we left, fighting traffic in both directions (because dh still doesn’t believe the GPS can pick up satellite feeds about upcoming snarls and reroute us accordingly) and subsisting on sips of tepid water from drinking fountains found inside the park (because dh refuses to spend four dollars on cold drinks when he’s got them packed in the cooler in the parking lot only two miles away) drains me.

In between all this fun, I still get to do laundry, prepare meals, wash dishes, take care of the pets, make sure the trash gets to the curb before the truck appears, etc., etc., etc. And the glamour! Cold cut sandwiches and fast food, stocking and restocking the cooler, slathering myself in sunscreen… I tell ya, how much excitement can one gal take?

I still have five more fun-filled days of this “stay-at-home vacation” event and honestly, I can’t wait ’til it’s over. My vacation will truly begin when the kids go back to school and hubby goes back to work.

And that, my friends, is today’s Phrase I’d Love Stricken From the English Language.

Stay tuned for Part II coming soon (too soon, I bet!)