A couple things: this post is not by me. You’re probably like, yay! It’s fine. I’m also like, yay! Sometimes ya just gotta pass the baton off to someone who knows how to get the job done. Well, my bff Andrea Hyre got it done with this one. Want a glimpse into marriage? 40 hour road trips? Vacations that surround suffocation of family? (In the best way possible) If you said, “Um yaaaa” then read on, fam. This is a good one. Get a glimpse into the Italian ways. Cheers.
A few things I’ve learned about life thus far: one, vacations are needed – often. Two, vacations are hard to come by. Three, a true, honest and real vacation (i.e. the beach, ocean, and water) are almost IMPOSSIBLE to come by when you live in Oklahoma and both sides of your family still reside in the northeast. Hence, this is my current life-learning-curve: when I was seventeen, vacation meant all things beach, ocean, sand, amusement parks, friends and sleep. As a married, twenty-three year old, vacation now entails using the time one might have spent in her previous life at the beach and now devoting it to dreadful, 22 hour long road trip to our small hometowns to visit family and suffer through awkward small talk with friends who knew us when we dressed like tom boys (or maybe that’s just me). It also entails no real sleep, rest or relaxation due to travel time.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful things about this adventure of “vacationing” to our hometowns! For instance, if we are going to see my family, we will eat delicious Italian food every hour, on the hour. In fact, we will never stop partaking in some sort of edible indulgence for the duration of our stay. We also get to see our family and spend every waking moment in the kitchen.
For, if you live in an Italian family, the kitchen is not only just a place for preparing meals, it is a place centralized around: talking, fighting, debating, waxing eyebrows, finishing homework, changing diapers, folding laundry, washing hair, washing the dog’s hair, cleaning your shoes, sometimes even sleeping if the food coma is that intense.
Essentially, Italians own thousands of square feet in their home for the purposes of “blending in” with their surrounding cultures. Yet, in all actuality, they will live, eat, breathe, sleep, drink, and take showers in their kitchen. Fundamentally, what am I getting at? The kitchen is everything. The kitchen is where you get crap done. These glorious few hundred square feet is basically where all the magic happens.
So, the “vacation” with my family looks like a heck of a lot of olive oil, bread, cheese, pasta, pizza (GRILLED) and meats. Basically, if it’s possible to “home cook” then it’s possible that my family has made it. Yes, even sushi. And Thai food. Don’t ask me how they do it, it just gets done.
ON TO, my husband’s side of our “family vaca” – what does life look like with the Hyre’s? While they are not Italian (yes, I married a white boy. My father is still in mourning, plz send him ribeye steak for your condolences), they do have some traditions. They love to talk. And they love to talk in the kitchen. In fact, don’t be shocked if our first child is born in the kitchen – it would only be appropriate. In essence, his very small, very intimate family mainly wants one thing: to follow us to the ends of the earth until we say, “No more! You can not sleep with us. Not tonight. Not ever. We will see you in the morning.”
You think I’m being dramatic but, actually, they would sleep with us if given permission. Not about it.
So, PERKS of this side of the family – we can do whatever we want, whenever we want because all they want to do is follow. Hello, dream! Or so you think, until you remember that this family can also not make a decision to save their lives. Including me, I’m the worst. Don’t consult me about these decisions. Don’t even look in my direction. I have nothing to say. Until you list off a few activities I really despise, then I will have something to say. And if you even think* about mentioning going to Olive Garden? Oh, then I’ll have opinions for days.
Essentially, I’d rather have no opinion and simply critique the opinions of others. It’s what makes me, me. That’s what makes me happy. These are a few of the very first traits my husband fell in love with.
So the Hyre family looks like a lot of shopping, a lot of exploring DC (this is where they live and this is what I make them do), again, a LOT of eating, a lot of talking, a lot of sitting, a lot of starring, a lot of standing. A lot of ordinary life-living. Pretty simple. It oddly represents the time with my family only subtract 150 people, eliminate all loud noises, move from the kitchen to the living room, add 10 new movies to watch, and negate 15,000 calories. With this beautiful equation, you will equal a day with the Hyres vs an hour with my family.
Why bother mentioning any of this? Great question.
I just need you to understand what our annual “vacations” look like and how long it’s been since I went to the beach. I want you to understand that when you complain about your sunburn, I complain about my swollen ankles due to 40 hours of driving.
With this point, I also need you to understand that it is a 20 hour drive to NY (my family), another 6 hour drive to DC (Jon’s family) and, again, another 20 hour drive home. All taken place with our pride and joy, Nugget, who keeps us sane and far away from the conversation of divorce as Jon and I scream at each other about who drank the last sip of coffee at 4AM.
I also think you would appreciate my final and most critical point. On our last “family vaca” (which just concluded as of 52 minutes ago), my sweet husband and precious pup arrived home after 20 straight hours of driving through the night. As we arrived, we found out that a pipe in our shower broke. And that our water must remain turned off until further notice. Also, I found out that I will need to be at work at 7AM the next day for a pep rally.
Finally, this is me leaving you with my most current thoughts: What life do I live? What is my purpose? Where is my identity? I’m 23 years old. Aren’t I too young for this ish?
To these questions, I have no answers. No true, optimistic responses. Only the negative ones.
But this is because I’m 15,000 calories into a food hangover, I smell like gasoline, I haven’t slept in two days and I won’t be showering until further notice.
So, the next time you see a cute pic of me on social media or a status that says I’m “on vacation”, just know that it is a bunch of bull. I’m not. And I’m probably coming back 9 pounds fatter and 6 times smellier.
In regards to my 7AM pep rally tomorrow, let those effing games begin.
– your gal, Ang