Bitter Anticipation

Look out! Vacation is coming!

Look out! Vacation is coming!

It is days like this, the day after a vacation, holiday or break when I don’t feel like working, moving or even breathing, or days like this that feel like a combination of the listlessness of Monday, the overwhelmingness of Tuesday, and the desperation of Thursday, that I realize why I am such a bitter time off anticipator.  Call me crazy, but when it comes to vacations, holidays or any time off, I have the bitter curse.  Whenever I get closer to a vacation, I start looking with bitter apprehension to its end.

When you think of Hawaii, you see this.  I see, "So why are you so pale after a week in Hawaii?"

When you think of Hawaii, you see this. I see, “So why are you so pale after a week in Hawaii?”

For instance, we had been planning a vacation to Hawaii for a year and a half (and my planning, I mean my wife was setting up hotels, getting airline tickets and getting rental cars. I did my part by requesting time off at work).  For a year and a half, I could have miserable, bitter days. I could get kicked and punchied in the metaphorical face, over and over and again.  I would just stand up, over and over again, against the metaphorical bully and because I knew, no matter how far away it was, somewhere on the horizon, there was a Hawaiian island that was calling my name.  It would say, “Get punched and kicked metaphorically over and over again, because you will visit me.”  So for that year and half I took it.  Then, my bitter self sabatogue started kicking in.  I started thinking about the vacation.  Man, that is going to be a long flight.  Oh, man, I’m going to have to pack stuff.  Oh man, is our babysitter going to take their job literally and sit on our kids? What about all the Hawaiian laws?  I don’t know if I have them down yet.  Could I be breaking a law by wearing swim trunks that don’t have Hawaiian flowers, or shirts that don’t say Surf’s up?  How many hours late am I supposed to be for a function?  I don’t want to show up too early for being lazy…Which island are we going to again? It’s not the Alaskan one right?

Those were just the questions I had about the vacation.  Then I started have post vacation anxiety.  Oh man, I’m going to have to be back at work in a week.  I’m going to have to answer all kinds of questions when I get back.

“So how was your vacation?” (It was good, until I had to come back and talk to you) “It was fun.”

“What did you do?” (Laid around did nothing, until the end of the vacation, where we made a mad dash to do something fun so I could tell you we did something fun.) “We went on this boat snorkeling.  It was fun.” (Don’t ask for details, I don’t want to talk to you.)

“Why are you still super pale after spending a week in Hawaii?” (Because I laid around all day, like I could have at home.  I only went outside when it was too late. Plus there is this new thing called SPF 100 that takes all the fun out of sunburns.) “I just used SPF 50 and it worked!”

“So are you just so relaxed right now?”  (I just got back from a tropical paradise where I was lazy all day and had a horrendous 5 hour flight that made me go back in time two hours, and made my sleep schedule go off and now I am at work, talking to you about vacation when I really should be catching up on the hours of work you didn’t do for me.  Yeah, totally relaxed.)  “Yeah, I’m totally relaxed.”


Yep, really relaxed.  Why don't you ask me one more question about my vacation?

Yep, really relaxed. Why don’t you ask me one more question about my vacation?

This Christmas was like that except instead of a whole week, it was a Wednesday.  A holiday where society starts celebrating in the middle of September, gets kicked into high gear the day after Halloween and “officially starts” the minute after you finish your last gobble of turkey, all so I could get off of work an hour early on Christmas Eve, take the kids to a “light display”, in the cold air, run home, get my kids off the Extra Strength Christmas Crack Caffiene they must have smuggled into their dinner drinks, get all our presents under the tree and finish off my last bit of Xbox DLC before passing out into a coma of weariness.  Only to get woken up at 7 am, because my oldest had been patiently waiting since 5:30 am to Get these things opened!   

The anticipation is killing me! I can’t wait to open all these gifts and be littered with wrapping paper!  Being the family genius of electronics, I can’t wait to set up every cord, and update every electronic and set up every Itune, and put batteries in every new device!  I can’t wait to be interupted during every nap, by cries of “Dad, the thing isn’t working!” or “Dad, look at this new thing that seems exciting but will never be used again!” and I can’t wait for the “Dad, I spilled this thing on that thing and I need help getting that thing off of that thing!”  but the thing I can’t for the most?

The kids were great about cleaning up after themselves.

The kids were great about cleaning up after themselves.

“So how was your Christmas?” (See above.) “It was fun.”

“So what did you get?” (A mid weak break that was more work than it was a holiday.) “I got a new XBox.” (That I bought myself.)

“So nice relaxing, uh day off?” (Yeah, my day off was so relaxing compared to your two week vacation that you get every year so I don’t.) “Yeah, pretty much.”

For those of you that are back to work, welcome back our misery.  For those of you still on vacation, I hope to ask you if you had a nice relaxing two weeks off.


Bitter Anticipation Ben

52 thoughts on “Bitter Anticipation

  1. Pingback: In case you missed it…because you were playing with your shiny new toys | Ben's Bitter Blog

  2. OMG, this was the pinnacle of Truth. I would suggest that you should pen the 12 Hells of Christmas, if it wasn’t irreligious. And the LET DOWN the following day. No Christmas music, no Merry Christmas, no jingling Elves, just a mad rush to return what everyone hated or just plain sucked. We are a nation of self-sadists.


  3. Vacations make me bitter because I always get sick. Take this vacation for example: The first week I was on a cruise and I spent the entire time gobbling motion sickness pills. Now that I’m in my second week, I have a cold. Nothing says vacation like nausea and copious amounts of snot.



  4. My favorite line: “So how was your vacation?” (It was good, until I had to come back and talk to you).
    I do like my coworkers, but having to return to work and be asked such questions just reminds me of why I didn’t (never) want to return to work.
    Hawaii looks like a very nice place to be bitter in.


  5. You’d fit in perfectly in Hawaii, the Hawaiians are just as bitter! Plus, they do everything at half-speed. They call it “Hawaiian time, brah!”

    If you don’t wanna go, I’ll go for you. Just sayin’…


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