Paradise {By the Dashboard Light}

I need a vacation.

Don’t we all?

Since I’m not taking one any time soon, I have decided to lower the bar and revise the definition of vacation.  Just to see me through and preserve my sanity.

  • Hot sun?  Nah.
  • Hotel room service?  Optional.
  • Getting on a plane?  Doesn’t matter.

What I really am looking for in a vacation — like any mom with young kids — is some quiet.  Some time to myself.  I mean, not too much — I’m not looking to hike in solitude or to meditate.  I merely want just enough alone time and silence to complete a few consecutive thoughts.

Turns out, these nouveau vacation opportunities are right under my nose.  It’s really amazing what starts to feel like a getaway when you lower your standards enough.  For example:

1)  Getting a hair cut.  The only effort involved here is speaking for about 30 seconds to make my intentions clear.  This generally entails pointing to my hair, shrugging in defeat and mumbling something about minimal change.  Again.  And then — it’s vacation time!  I fall asleep while my hair is being washed — despite the tough angle of my neck resting on an awkward ceramic sink cut-out.  Because, if given the chance, I could fall asleep on a nuclear warhead.  Then, I check my email and read bad magazines while I sit under the blasting white noise of hair dryers.  Ah, white noise = it’s too loud for anyone to speak to me.

Bonus:  I do not have to attempt to carve out time at home to wash my hair.

2)  Grocery shopping.  Alone.  Without two children screaming in my ear, crashing the cart, begging to purchase every snack in sight and breaking merchandise, it’s amazing how relaxing — even downright enjoyable — this outing can be.  I am no longer “that crazy mom” yelling across the store to prevent such accidents.  No, no.  I am calm.  I am able to actually cross-reference a shopping list, instead of the desperate “grab, run and get out now, now, NOW” approach.  I am able to look at my options and have full control of the cart without fearing for the safety of fellow patrons.  I can say hello to people I know without throwing Teddy Grahams at my kids to keep them quiet.  I may even find myself singing along to the bad soundtrack .

{Related: I think we should have grocery store DJs.  Because what is with the amount of Sheena Easton and Billy Ocean playing at the Shop Rite?  Are they in a legally binding partnership to torture shoppers?}

3)  My car.  Clearly, it’s not a luxury destination — with the snack wrappers and empty water bottles all over the floor, as well as a potentially hazardous mold scenario growing on old Goldfish crackers trapped under the seat.  But, when left to myself, it is indeed a private oasis.  Driving with any music I please {screw you, Fresh Beat Band}, at any volume I like.  Complete freedom to exercise my road rage — using my full range of profanity — against any inept drivers in my path.  Sitting in a parking lot between school pick-ups and checking email without simultaneously fielding a series of 89 questions on the history of super heroes.  It’s like a vacation cabin with four-wheel drive.

4)  Dental cleaning.  Yeah, OK, this one is unlikely, but hear me out — because I just had my cleaning done last week and it turned out to be strangely relaxing.  I was forced to recline for 45 minutes in the middle of the day — when was the last time that happened?  I had a TV over my head. I was physically prevented from speaking {everyone wins here}.  OK, so the bright lights and humming of dental equipment were not spa-like, per se.  But nobody judged me for drooling — and I got a goody bag and a quick snooze, which is more than I can say for my time at home on any given afternoon.

See? No need to squeeze into that bathing suit.  Or pack.  Or leave town.

Paradise is right here.  If you are desperate enough.

I’ll just keep telling myself this until the flights to Somewhere Else Far Away go on sale.


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  1. I am guilty of slowly meandering down every single aisle of the grocery store and having long conversations with the bakery and deli staff in order to prolong my once every moon cycle solo shopping trips. I completely understand.

  2. Hi, I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog, it’s really funny and entertaining.


    Mommies In Orbit, Raising Kids, One Orbit At A Time!

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