Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Vacation, Minus Two

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Vacation, Minus Two

Article excerpt

Detroit: Our top story today is the recall of 7.4 million sport utility vehicles after General Motors' technicians discovered they consume unconscionably high quantities of fuel. Company executives were unavailable for comment because they were being held on felony charges for violating the ozone.

Actually, that was just one of the many daydreams and wistful thoughts I had during my recent vacation, where for the first time in 20 years my spouse and I were free from the one thing that can ruin an otherwise enjoyable family trip--namely, the family.

To be fair, I have appreciated the years of memorable beach trips with our children, particularly the part where I personally carried EVERYTHING from the ear because the teenagers' hands were full with a bottle of sunscreen.

But with "'Just the Two of Us" being this year's vacation theme, we found ourselves finally able to sit quietly in the sun, and not once hear the familiar lament of "I'm bored." (At least not until Tuesday, when I said it.) Relaxing on the sand, watching the setting sun, and listening to the rhythmic surf, I gave voice to my long-suppressed inner contemplative:

ME: (as a single pelican wings by) A penny for your thoughts, my dear?

SHE:

ME: Okay, l0 bucks. But that's my final offer.

SHE: (tucking two fives into her beach bag) I was just feeling a little guilty about having such a good time without the girls.

ME: What girls?

SHE: No, seriously. I never knew how romantic the beach could be in the evening. We're almost completely alone.

ME: Don't I know it. Beach thugs could swoop down at any moment and forcibly take my new lanyard with the lucky shell. And they would totally get away with it.

SHE: Let's go for a swim. Look how the moon reflects on the surface of the water ...

ME: : ... making it impossible to see the fin breaking the surface just before the shark's jaws clamp down on my leg. Why don't we just put signs around our necks saying "Free Chum"?!

SHE: And just look at all the stars.

ME: Yeah. But I miss Pluto.

SHE: Pluto is not a star. And now it's not even a planet, poor thing.

ME: No, I mean the real Pluto. You know, that cartoon dog with the floppy ears. …

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