As The Blog Turns
I almost didn't post today.
I don't really have anything funny to say.
In fact, I'm feeling quite the opposite of funny today.
But then I started thinking... You all have shared your bad days with me. You've raged, hurt, mourned and fought. I didn't love you any less for being human. In fact, I found I loved you more for sharing. So I hope you all will understand. I hope you can forgive me.
The family has been planning a trip to California for almost a year now. The tickets are bought. The hotel rooms are booked. I haven't been on a vacation longer than four days since I was 16. Just us: Mom and Papa Bear, Gma and Gpa, Lil' Bit and Big Bit, and me. Hoop was invited, but can't go. I have two weeks of vacation to his one, and he decided to use his days for the week of his graduation from Business school instead.
I can't tell you the last time I went on vacation with my family. I'm always excluded because someone has to watch the house and their 10 dogs. I don't mean to sound bitter. I understand how difficult and expensive it would be to board them all. But for once I was really excited not to be in charge of it. And then Mom asked me if Hoop would mind. "I'll pay him $100 a day!" For a moment even I was convinced it was a good idea. And then it dawned on me how much it wasn't.
Let me color in the lines a little bit for you. Hoop would have to get up at 5:30 to let all 12 (including our 2) dogs out. He'd have to leave by 6 to make it to work at 7, work for 11-13 hours and leave directly from work to drive an hour back to my parent's house. He'd spend the remainder of the night in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no one to talk to but 12 dogs. Then it would start all over in the morning. Not to mention the weekend. And then there's school on Tuesdays until 10:30 PM. The dogs would be caged for 17 hours.
When I mentioned all of this to Mom she suggested Hoop take some days off work without pay. "We'll compensate him." I tried to make her understand how irrational that idea was for a sales guy in the middle of summer. They'd fire him. "We'll build a kennel outside so the dogs won't be caged so long." For every problem I came up with, she had an answer. I proposed the idea to Hoop. "No," was all he said. "No?" "No, it's much too difficult with my schedule. Besides, I'd like to go out with the guys during that weekend." I couldn't blame him. He had every right.
I sat in the bathroom crying. No one tells my Mom "No." She doesn't understand that word. She'll be mad at me. She'll be furious at Hoop. She'll take it as an insult to the family. Families help each other out. Which almost always boils down to sacrificing yourself when the occasion arises. I can't let Hoop lose face in front of my family. But I can't disappoint my Mom. They have no other options.
So I've decided to stay. I was a fool to think I'd have gotten off so easily.
I stayed up all night. I smoked. I cried. I thought about driving to nowhere. Somewhere between Conan O'Brien and the start of infomercials I realized, "The only way to make everyone happy is by making yourself miserable. You can't think of everyone AND yourself." And then I lied. I came into work this morning and emailed a horrible lie to my own Mom. "I'm not going to be able to get the vacation days after all. So I'll be able to watch the dogs if you use the money you would have paid Hoop to reimburse my ticket."
Not five minutes later came her response, "That's bullshit! They can't take away your vacation days. Call me right now." But I can't. I can't lie to her in person. 30 minutes, an hour, two has ticked by. "What do I do?!" I text Hoop. "Tell her the truth. She'll get over it." No she won't. She'll be hurt. She'll be mad. She'll be stuck. He doesn't even care. My thoughts are a blender of all the words they've fed to me.
I can't even self destruct properly!
(Hoop) "I'm either going to go out with the guys that Friday or Saturday. But you don't have to worry. I'll behave."
(Tink) "That's nice."
(Tink) "I'll just stay. It'll be easier for me to watch the dogs since I won't be working."
(Hoop) "Aw babe. Well you know I'll come visit you."
(Mom) "If I board them then I'll have to get them all caught up on vaccinations too. I can't afford that."
(Hoop) "I'll watch them, for you."
(Tink) "But I don't want to make you do something you don't want to."
(Hoop) "Then I'll just tell your Mom 'No' and she'll have to get over it."
(Tink) "But then what will she do with the dogs?"
(Tink) "If I tell her I lied, then I can't lie again. It's done."