confessions of a wandering jew.

15 Jul

The thing about being a Jew is that we don’t make our beds, specifically on vacation. So it’s a little alarming that I spent two days heading down the East Coast in a Volkswagen filled with pillow pets, swim diapers and Pirate Booty, final destination being a beach house on the Outer Banks with no housekeeping. For a week. This is literally the least Jewish thing I’ve ever done. Less Jewish than the corned beef sandwich I had the other day with swiss cheese, less Jewish than the Italian guy I married, less Jewish than the Christmas Tree I decorate every year since marrying the Italian. At first I was disgusted by myself for how horrifying I find 7 days and nights of cleaning up after myself, thinking that I’m a super spoiled lazy bitch who wouldn’t appreciate a good vacation if it smacked me in the face and told me it loved me. But then I started to casually interview some other Tribe members, and it turns out that as a Jew, I’m actually conditioned to take things like mini bottles of Molton Brown shampoo & my toilet paper folded in a V every morning completely for granted. As it happens, the majority of Jews I spoke with (there were at least a dozen, so don’t think that it was just my bartender I asked or something) absolutely do not do anything more than pull their blanket up in the morning upon exiting their beds. One couple puts the decorative pillows and shams and shit back in place every AM, but they apparently started that only recently after their children left for college and they had some spare time.

This whole road trip thing is pretty new to me as well. Before embarking, I called my mom to find out what I should pack for the kids to do in the car for the long haul to our first stop, sunny Williamsburg, VA. “I have no idea. We never went that far.” Upon reflection, I realized that the furthest we really ever went as a family without heading to JFK or LaGuardia was Hersheypark or Lake George. And other than that, the most extended time I ever spent in a car was an unfortunate trip from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to Howe Caverns with a friend from college during which we drove in wrong direction for hours on end. The silver lining of the day was that we decided to backtrack and made it just in time for the last cavern tour of the evening at the conclusion of which they literally shut off the lights in the cave. I don’t believe that the whole driving-to-a-vacation thing is exclusive to non-Jews, but then again, Harry is sooooo much better at license plate bingo than I am.

Among my Jew panel, one thing was absolutely certain: WE DO NOT MAKE OUR BEDS WHILST VACATIONING. We simply lock our valuables in the safe, sit around drinking our Poland Spring and white wine spritzers (and miami vices if we’re on a cruise,) and wait for housekeeping to tidy up & refresh our mini shampoos.

Not so much on this trip.

Upon arrival at our house “Big Daddy,” (which is beautiful and beachfront and I didn’t even know that places like this existed outside of the Hamptons to be perfectly honest and other than an insane fear of being eaten by sharks it’s totally paradise) we divvied up the rooms and were handed SARAN WRAPPED PACKS OF LINENS WITH WHICH TO MAKE OUR OWN BEDS. So not only was there going to be nobody to make my bed each day and hang a USA Today on my door, there was also apparently going to be nobody to put the sheets on in the first place except for lucky lucky lucky me. So I made 3 beds on the very first day of my relaxing vacation. And you know what? Even though I bitched Harry out the entire time for making me love him and marry him and be a part of his family and subjecting me to this awful form of torture, I did some kick ass hospital corners and the beds came out top notch.

Speaking of things I learned in sleepaway camp and brought with me to the beach house, I also played a pretty great game of Jacks against my mother-in-law, and although I tried to teach the step kid, I quickly decided that this is not his sport and that maybe he should instead consider becoming a professional sand crab hunter or boogie board faller offer. My babygirl, on the other hand, is now a living legend in Harry’s family for being that chick who pooped on the deck.

Regardless of their habits, I am so thrilled to be passing on my admirable attributes to my children. After exploring the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo at our two-night halfway point Williamsburg stop, he discovered that our bathroom boasted a feature that his did not. “It’s not fair!” he stomped. “My bathroom doesn’t even have a jacuzzi!”

I think it’s safe to say my work there is done.


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