Inspired by one of my guilty pleasures, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” I’ve put together a little list of my own to share with you. Please note, a list like this can only be perfected through experience. That said (you guessed it!), it’s also based on a true story. Follow the steps carefully, and this could come true for you too.
8. Upgrade Your Status.
That’s right folks. You don’t want this vacation to be too predictable, because it’s always more fun when you’re keeping ’em guessing. So for your first flight, offer to step down in exchange for one free round-trip international ticket. When they don’t go for that, “settle” instead for a flight the way the Upper Class take it. (Yes, my ticket clearly read Upper Class, not first class, not business class and certainly not economy-plus. Who do you think I am?) At this point in the game, you’re stoked. This vacation is going to be awesome.
7. Hug Your Nephew, and Take a Few Glamour Shots.
If you don’t hug your nephew the minute you lay eyes on him, then offer to carry him around for 24 hours (and of course fit in a few photo sessions), what kind of aunt are you after all? The second step of this list, if you’re really bound and determined to Ruin a Vacation, is really the simplest of all. Just spend every spare minute with the kid who threw up all day because of an (as yet, undiagnosed, that is to say “potential”) tomato allergy. After all, he’s been sick all day. From both ends, if you know what I mean (poor kid!). He needs some #bestauntie lovin’. Cut the pukey kid a break, and give it to him.
6. Exchange the Nephew for the John and a Few Hotel Towels.
When you wake up in the middle of the night with the absolutely deplorable realization that you may not ever sleep again because the little armies in your stomach have decided to wage a battle against themselves, crawl your way to the bathroom and build a fort. Don’t get fancy, because who has the energy for that? This is more a “grab the fresh-stacked towels, drag them down, pretend they’re a pillow, lie on the bath mat and pull a once-used towel on top of you like it’s a blanket for 1/3 of your body” kind of move. Trust me, it works. Bonus points if your mom walks in in the middle of the night. Triple bonus points if it takes her longer than 90 seconds to put it all together, and you get a gem like this one:
You: “Mom… I am NOT ok.”
Her: “I can see that. You’re not in the habit of lying on bathroom floors.”
5. Pass it Around.
This is a family Vacation, after all. So forget about relaxing. People have flown to this event! (Including you, or did you skip step 8, you silly goose?) Your nephew is celebrating a very important milestone: one of those birthdays you count each month until he turns one. 7 months! 8 months! 9 months! The game is pretty predictable, but it’s fun, and you like birthdays. And like I said, people flew for this. So hang out with them. Be with them on Saturday. And again on Sunday (by then, only 1 other person has met John!). Monday it’s a feast interrupted by only 3 other internal guttural battles. Tuesday, redo the feast because 3 people missed it the first time (you’ll notice only one empty chair this time around).
4. Admire the Winter Wonderland.
Did I mention you’re supposed to take this vacation over spring break? That way when it rains and hails and sleets and snows and you’re stuck inside with two babies and a handful of sick people for days on end, you can at least look out the window and marvel. It’s a good thing winter isn’t over yet, you just had to get one more good photo of DC in the snow.
3. Start Sneezing.
Oh! I forgot something. On Saturday, when you were with your family for the birthday party, someone had a head cold. And since a few days have passed and you’ve started eating again, aka building up your strength for the next anvil that lands on your head, it’s probably time that you experiment with vacation calamity number 2. Take Mucinex if you can convince the drugstore to sell it to you without an ID and buy a box of tissues. It’s going to be a long night.
2. Locate More Family, Please.
Like I said, good to stay on your toes. This step is a Joy, and on it’s own could be on an entirely different (much more positive!) list. Hang out with the other side of your family. 12 more of them. The sun has come out by now, so you can wear sunglasses, barbecue outdoors, play corn hole, let the baby dance with a boom box and drink a few American brews. Honestly, this type of family time is what the American Dream is all about. Hug them all long and hard before departing that afternoon, because you’re headed back to London soon and won’t see them for another few months.
1. Count Again.
After returning (willingly!) to London and sleeping for 14 cold-medicine-induced hours, check Facebook for the first time in a few days. Act surprised when your aunt comments on your status with a quick update about the members in her family who have finally also succumbed to the Stomach Virus From Hell. Finally, take off your shoes and socks, because you’re going to need more than 10 digits to reach the end of this tally. The grand total of Family Knocked Out By Flu is 15. Add in the 3 who got the respiratory infection and the 1 with pink eye and …
…there you have it! How to Ruin a Vacation in 8 Simple Steps. Easy peasey, lemon squeezey.