Unvacations

Published on April 25th, 2015 | by Richard Black

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Going Disney: Day Three, A Day of Rest and How I Stayed in Bed to Save My Marriage

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A slightly more chaotic environment than what it feels like to wake up, at Disney World, with a small child.

On the third day of Disney I rested. I know better men than myself usually rise on the third day but I was tired and, perhaps, just a bit hungover. In all honesty I did it to save my marriage. After four full hours of uninterrupted sleep I came to consciousness with the serenity one usually finds when staying with a small child in Disney World which is slightly less jarring than waking up in the middle of a class five tornado.

Darcy was bouncing around the room like a top that had just developed an enthusiasm for hard core amphetamines and I found myself stumbling around like the shambling undead rooting to find a pair of clean underwear, a set of contact lenses and the bathroom. In the midst of all this Laura had finally wrangled Darcy into a pair of shorts, a top and started to slather SPF 180 sun block over every square inch of my daughter when she asked me what wanted to do that day. I have many good qualities ( stoic good looks, I’m somewhat house trained) but suffering in silence is not one of them.

“I want to go back to bed,” I bitched and then proceeded to let loose with a bitch fest of epic proportions for the next five minutes about how exhausted I was, that the room was too cold, how it was going to be too hot outside (it is Florida after all), the florescent lighting in the bathroom that made me look like a geriatric chemo patient, how my jeans must have shrunk in the dryer (they hadn’t I’m putting on a preemptive layer of fat for winter) and really just about anything and everything that I found remotely irksome. And then I bitched some more. I was three minutes into a rant about the use of the non-word “irrregardless” when Laura suggested that I stay in bed for a few more hours.

In the spirit of honesty I should mention that her exact words were “I think everyone will have a better time if you just stay here”. I bristled in my typical passive aggressive manner (I want to go. Don’t you want me to go? It’s the happiest place on earth why wouldn’t you want me to go?) and then stood in the same place for two minutes attempting to remember if I’d put on a pair of boxers or not with my head through one of the arm holes in my shirt before understanding that my wife was right.

I don’t travel particularly well or, to put it differently, I travel about as well as a carton of milk in the back of a car that’s driving through Texas in August. I’m OCD, not wash my hands every fifteen minutes OCD or organize my clothes according to the colors of the visible spectrum of light OCD or really any marginally useful part of the condition but I’m OCD enough to not enjoy any break in my schedule. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with my routines they generally keep me productive and afford me the opportunity to sleep at night for at least three hours when I’m not obsessing over the perfect placement of each bowl and glass in the dishwasher. On vacations my routines are thrown out the window and I become an unbearable pain in the ass for until I reorient myself in a new set of routines or console myself with dreams of finding a better dishwasher.

It’s really a wonder that Laura has stayed with me for this long. Over the past eleven years I’ve gotten better at adapting to our vacations but I still have my moments and one of them occurred in room 3508 of the Wilderness Lodge at Disney World (a fact a feel comfortable publishing because the vacation is over and we are no longer in that room. I’m currently at our home with a newly installed security system. I also have a lot of guns. In fact I’m cleaning one right now. Please feel free to swing by.).

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The entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Please note the security guard who appears to be hanging on to the umbrella for dear life in anticipation of the flood of humanity that will soon pass by him.

Darcy and Laura left for the Magic Kingdom and I nestled back into bed with the intention of meeting both of them for the 10:30 brunch we had scheduled for Cinderellas Royal Table. Unfortunately fate or karma or God or whatever you might want to put a name to it had other ideas and for the next two hours I received a phone call each and every moment I found myself on the precipice of a fitful slumber.

The first call was from Darcy’s pediatrician to congratulate us on the fact that the level of lead in her blood was less than 1 microgram per deciliter. The news was welcome but the timing could have been better at least from my perspective as i was somewhat comatose at the time. For all I know I simply dreamed that I received a call from Darcy’s pediatrician and gave some nice young Arabian Prince my banking information or endorsed Ted Cruz for president.

The next call came from the security company for our newly installed security system to notify me that the control panel they had sent overnight was going to arrive within 24 hours. The second call was also from the security company to notify me that the control panel that was supposed to show up in 24 hours was really going to arrive in 48 hours. I asked the agent on the other end of the line if their company was owned by MapQuest (if confused please see my earlier posts regarding Disney World specifically Day Two) to which there was no response and I hung up the phone.

The fourth and final call came from my wife to notify me that her phone was dying and that we (I) had left all of our chargers in a place that was not our room and that they were, most likely, somewhere in Georgia. Unless I was able to rendezvous with my wife and daughter at the Princess Brunch we would be, for all intents and purposes, incommunicado until they returned to the room. It was a pickle.

“Are you coming to brunch?” Laura asked.

“That thing with the princesses,” I asked, “Is Jasmine going to be there?”

“At the brunch?” Laura asked somewhat confused, “I don’t think so.”

“You have a good time,” I said, “I’m going to try to get some sleep.

I still didn’t get any sleep, that ship had sailed off into the sunset and been set on fire by flaming Viking arrows, but I still felt I had to try to get some rest for my marriage.  Princess Jasmine’s absence at the brunch simply sealed the deal. Don’t judge. Jasmine is the hottest Disney princess and really the only one I wanted to meet. She wears a halter top and low cut silk pants for Pete’s sake. If I wasn’t going to get out of bed for my daughter I certainly wasn’t going to do it for Snow White or Cinderella and it turns out that was for the best. By embracing my inner sloth I was able to avoid a potentially unpleasant encounter with Sleeping Beauty and the park security after I would have asked her precisely what she had found in her keyster just before taking this picture.

Princess Aurora after ingesting an entire pound of Bolivian cocaine.

.For the next three hours I lay in bed awaiting sleep and then hoping that I could somehow catch up on rest through osmosis by simply lying in bed. Darcy and Laura came back to the room around three in the afternoon after I’d spent a good two hours tossing the place for phone chargers, the key to the safe in which we had placed the keys to our car. In short order Laura discovered that the key to the room safe was still in the lock of the room safe, a fact my wife had the aplomb not to bring to my attention, and we ventured off property into the clusterfuck that is the labyrinthian road system surrounding Disney to find a store and procure a phone charger.

I’m not sure how we got there but it involved a lot of left hand turns over medians. Call me a traditionalist but when Siri says “turn left” I turn left. In hindsight the trip was really like another ride at the park albeit with a lot more cursing and one that entailed a bit more danger when it comes to keeping one’s life, limbs, and car intact. I tried not to take the way in which Laura and Darcy dove out of the car when we arrived at the Wilderness Lodge as a commentary on the drive but I’m a sensitive guy. Then again they may have both been starving having eating nothing but a piece of dry toast since brunch.

Our evening meal was quite lovely and seasoned with the tears of our four year old daughter who refused to eat macaroni and cheese because it didn’t look like the macaroni and cheese to which she was accustomed. Laura and I wolfed down an entire plate of barbecued chicken, sausage, brisket and a few adult beverages while Darcy was herded into a group of other children to  race around the restaurant on stick ponies. It should have been a special moment and it was, it was, but halfway through I started talking to another father and ended up betting on the outcome of the race. To make a long story short Darcy took third but I’d bet her to win and may have forfeited my daughter’s college fund as a result of my faith in her capabilities. Again don’t judge. The joke is really on the poor sap who took my bet. The only money we’ve been able to invest in my daughter’s higher education consists of a savings account with an I.O.U from my father and a set of antique “silverware” I’m pretty sure is just plate.

We retired to our room shortly after our meal. I fell soundly asleep for precisely two and a half hours before spending the rest of the night dodging my daughter’s unintended but hourly attacks on my kidneys and testicles ensuring that I would be as well rested the next morning as I had been for the previous day. Our fourth day at Disney World was most certainly going to be nothing short of magical.

Thoughts:

Sleepiness is next to Godliness

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