Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vacationing Childfree

My vacation with my husband this week has reminded me again just how great childfree travel is. To remind all of you the same, here is a list of just a few things we have done together this week -- all of which would have been impossible with small children.

-Enjoyed long and lazy afternoons in the backyard at our vacation cottage, catching up on our reading.

-Went wine tasting on several days of the week, often stopping to have a glass outside at a particularly pretty vineyard.

-Went to a nighttime outdoor screening of the Audrey Hepburn classic "Sabrina," complete with picnic of wine and cheese.

-Had a quiet dinner at a nice Italian restaurant on the water, at a table out on the deck.

-Visited the bar at our favorite bistro for several cocktails, some Olympics-watching, and a chat with the bartender.

-Had a couple of beers together at 10 PM in the hot tub at the cottage. (I won't say whether or not we opted for bathing suits.)

-Went for an 8-mile canoe trip up the Peconic in a two-person boat, stopping for ice cream at the end.

-Grilled an intimate dinner for two out on the deck at the cottage.

This is the most relaxing week I've had in ages and I don't even want to imagine how it would be transformed if we had a child or three we had to focus on instead of one another.

I actually had a dream last night that we had two children. I told my husband about it when I woke up. He shuddered and said, "Ugh, bad dream."

Diner Brats

My husband and I are on vacation this week on the North Fork of Long Island, our favorite place to go to relax. We like it for the wineries and for the general sense of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, that peace and quiet was shattered over what should have been a relaxing lunch today.

We were at a small luncheonette and ice cream parlor in the area, sitting in a booth and looking over menus, when a family walked in with four screeching children. I immediately rolled my eyes at my husband. I could tell right away that these tykes were going to be trouble. As they gathered around the ice cream counter, screaming "The pink one, Mommy, I want the pink one!" and "I want sprinkles!" and "I want chocolate sauce!", I hoped fervently that they would take their ice cream to go and walk back out into the pretty summer day. Unfortunately, they decided to stay, and to seat themselves at the booth right behind us.

We could not believe the behavior of these children. Their screams reverberated off the walls of the tiny diner, assaulting our ears for the entirety of our meal. There were other families with kids in the diner, but none were making any noise at all except for these children. We actually heard one of the little boys -- maybe six or seven -- shout at his mother, "Mom, DON'T TAKE ANY OF MY ICE CREAM!" My husband and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

"If that were my kid, I'd take him outside and smack him," my husband said in a low tone.

"I'd tell him he's buying his own ice cream from now on," I replied.

"Even though he wouldn't have any money, because he wouldn't be getting an allowance for the next decade," my husband agreed.

Finally, the family left. It was astounding how much quieter the diner was. I don't think I'd realized until then just HOW much noise these ill-behaved, entitled brats had been making.

Oh well. At least we're back at our cottage now, blogging in peace and quiet. Those parents get to reap the fruits of their own lack of discipline all day long.

Earplugs, anyone?

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Polite Reminder: Keep Your Damn Mouth Shut

Longtime readers of this blog will remember several past posts from about a year ago, when I had gained some weight and idiotic people who (obviously!) didn't know me very well kept "congratulating" me on what they assumed was my pregnancy. Unfortunately, as I'm naturally rather petite and any extra weight tends to collect around my abdominal area and stay out of my face, arms and legs, gaining a lot of excess weight does kind of tend to make me look pregnant. Which, of course, does not excuse the tactlessness of others in pointing this out.

However, I'm proud to say that I've lost approximately 14 pounds since January of this year, largely due to taking up running and cleaning up my diet. No one has brought up my supposed "pregnancy" in quite a long time, and I thought this nightmare was finally all behind me.

Until the doorman in my building at work today, one of my earlier "congratulators," delivered the ultimate slap in the face. As I breezed by him on my way in this morning, he called out to me:

"Hey! How's the little one?"

So, to all, a polite reminder: PLEASE DO NOT EVER, EVER MENTION A WOMAN'S PREGNANCY TO HER UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE THAT SHE IS PREGNANT. And by 100% sure, I mean either she has told you herself that she is, her husband/partner has told you, or she is going into labor and needs medical assistance.

This has been the Childfree Corner PSA of the day.