I'll tell you what…I haven’t had a vacation in years. Man…it’s got to be at least 6 years. The last family vacation I had was to Disney. And believe you me, that really didn’t go to well. Maybe that’s why I haven’t taken a week off in over half a decade. Well, that and all the custody hearings. Sure, I may have had a weekend excursion to Disney World here or a long weekend to Mexico there, but I haven’t had a week off, with the kids, in a really long time. So, needless to say…I was flippin’ excited when I booked a house down the shore for me, Kelly Marie and the kids.
God damn! Hold on. I know. I know. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Didn’t you learn anything here? You’re going down the shore again? For a week? You hate the shore! Ok…look, mom…if that’s what you’re thinking. Nuts to you! Ok? It’s a brother’s prerogative to change his mind, alright?!? It’s called growth. Look it up. You guys are brutal! Way to let the past go. That’s what the problem is with the internets…none of this shit goes away. It’s always out there. For someone to remind you, you said this about your kids, or that you sent those naked pics of yourself to Kate Beckinsale. Whatever! Can’t a guy grow in a couple of years?!?
I was really excited to tell the kids. I even went out ahead of time and bought a “shore” type item for everyone! And I told them in the best way…I called a family meeting. And you know, it’s never good when the ol’ man calls a family meeting. It’s usually because the cursing around the house has reached a level beyond society’s acceptability or I’ve just had enough of the special kind of terror my little terrorist terrorize me with. So, when I called the meeting, I knew everyone would be wondering what was up. Probably wondering what the hell they did now. And believe you me, I really played it up as the four of them converged in the living room. Kelly Marie sat in the chair behind me. And I paced. And paced and paced and paced, scowling as each of them took their assigned family meeting seats.
When I left just enough of the awkwardness pass, I pulled the bag of goodies I bought out from behind the chair Kelly Marie sat. I disgustedly handed the boys beach towels (how lousy of a surprise gift is that? Especially for the shore? Especially if you’re 10 and 7. Couldn’t I have at least gotten them boogie boards? Or a shovel and bucket? Probably, but towels are what they got, ok? What’s another year in therapy at this point?) and the girls’ beach mats. The look of confusion was priceless. Insert dramatic pause….
“The Gormley’s…” I projected out to my captive audience. I casually nodded behind me to Kelly Marie. “…and her…” another dramatic pause “are going on vacation! We’re going to the shore for a week!”
Ummmm…Hello? Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on? The silence was deafening.
“But, you hate the shore.” Sarah finally spoke up. WTF?!?!? Can’t a brother change his mind? It’s called growth, ok? Go look it up. WTF?!?!?
“Yes. I used to not like going to the shore.” I smiled, correcting her. “The last time we went, you guys were real little. And it was a lot of work for me. You’re all bigger now, and you can help out with all the pack mule choring.”
Wow! I know kids are inherently ungrateful, and I really didn’t think they’d be all that excited, but…C’MON!!!!
I looked at Kelly Marie, puzzled. She shrugged as baffled as I was. “What’s wrong, Jethro?” she asked. And this is where I really made a crucial error.
Which, you’ll find out about next week. If I’m still doing this thing that is…