why i need vacation training

I need to learn how to take a vacation.

I get so excited in advance.  “This weekend is going to totally rock!”  (Yeah, I still say “totally,” I used to live in Palm Springs, give me a break…)  Then I work really hard to get all of my stuff done so that I can go on the vacation.  Then I go on the vacation and try to do everything I can do.  I cram so much fun into those forty something hours that there’s nothing that I want to do on my way home but sleep.  Then I get home and I only have a few hours left before rehearsal.  I spend that time cleaning my house and grooming the cats and talking to my parents and then I run off to rehearsal and then I’m there for four hours.  I eat, get home, pass out and then wake up early in the morning to get ready for work and end up dumping out the suitcase from the weekend trying to find my shampoo and fall asleep in the car on my way to work just dreading getting home because I have even more cleaning and another rehearsal tonight.

I always need a vacation after my vacation.

I can never just rest.  I take that back.  We did rest and relax the first night we were out of town.  We went to Port Aransas, just outside of Corpus Christi, to swim in the Gulf and basically not do anything.  We were pretty good at that Friday night.  We sat around and played spades until early the next morning.  After a five hour nap we got up and ate and then went to the beach to go horseback riding.


I would never recommend this little jaunt for someone on…say… a honeymoon.  We get on these horses and they walk on this trail that they do about seventeen thousand times a day and all the horse wants to do from the second it leaves it’s trough is come right back.  At one point the horse just kept turning around and facing the other direction and stopping.  “My horse stalled out,” I was saying to the tour guides.

“She just knows it’s time to turn around,” he said.  And right afterwards all of the other horses turned around and started walking towards us.

“Oh,” I whispered to the horse,  “You just wanted to beat the traffic.”

When we were at the beginning of the tour everyone had a horse but me.  I was standing all by myself without one, and started thinking that if I didn’t say anything I could get put on the Black Stallion.  I said to the horse wrangler,  “I’d like one that’s bored and maybe even a little dumb.”

“Bored and dumb?”

“I’ve never done this before.”

“Larry!” he yelled to the back.  “Bring out Dolly!”

“Dolly?”  a voice shouted from behind a large horse butt.  “What the hell do we need Dolly for?”

The horse guy pointed at me.  A head popped out from behind the horse butt and looked at me.  “Ohhhhhh,” he said, and went to get the “bored and dumb” horse.

But this horse was competitive.  Whenever one of the horses started trotting, so did Dolly.  She didn’t like to feel left behind.

Because I’ve never ridden a horse before, I didn’t know how not to bounce up and down when the horse was in a trot.  Because I’ve never ridden a horse before, I didn’t know how to stop the immense pain bouncing up and down caused on my pubic bone, spine, inner thighs, and rear end.  Because I’ve never ridden a horse before, I didn’t know that I should probably wear shorts, so that the saddle doesn’t rip the skin off my inner thighs.  Because I’ve never ridden a horse before I didn’t know you shouldn’t wear sandals, and they should adjust the stirrups a certain way.  Because I’ve never ridden a horse before I didn’t know that it would be a bad idea to wear my bathing suit only underneath my clothes in case I felt like jumping off the horse into the water and start swimming.

Because I didn’t know all of these things, Saturday afternoon I spent flopping down the beach along the Gulf of Mexico screaming every second or so– my feet gripping the stirrups and my sandals at the same time, cutting the tops of my feet, my breasts flopping up and down so painfully I thought one of them might have fallen off, my poor bottom aching from the constant pounding.  It sounded like an S&M basement with the leather of the saddle smacking my inner thighs over and over again (combined with my whimpering, of course…)

I was not cool on a horse.

And today, as I sit here trying not to move any portion of my lower body, I’m forced to think about how bruised my thighs are.  The inside of my thighs are a yellow-black, in ugly streaks from mid thigh to the top of my thigh.  My ass hurts in a way that Billy Blanks could never show me.  My spine may not ever recover.  I can no longer remember how to do long division.

I never thought of myself as a city girl until I saw a jellyfish on the beach that day.  I saw it and thought, “Oh my God!  We’re going to die!  There’s jellyfish!  We’ll never be able to avoid their evil clutches!”

I was terrified of accidentally stepping on one.  I was even more afraid of having my horse accidentally step on one.  I had a hard time controlling all four of Dolly’s feet, but she did avoid stepping on anything jelly-like on the shore, including what someone told me was a Portuguese Man-O-War– the name alone sends shivers down my spine.

When I was swimming in the gulf, every time I felt something on my leg I would squeal.  Usually it was seaweed.  Once it was Eric.  Every time I thought for sure I was going to be limping around searching for the meat tenderizer.

Now that I’m home I thought I’d be rested and happy and ready to start working on my one person show and ready to do the play I’m in (Austinites:  If you’d like to see me and Eric in the flesh, come check out “Boys’ Life” at the Movements Gallery every Thursday, Friday and Saturday (and one Sunday) May 6-21).  But instead I’m exhausted.  My butt hurts. My legs hurt.  My head hurts and I wish that I had another day to my weekend.

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