Monthly Archives: August 2008

#s84-92: How Not To Vacation Old, Part 1

For the age-challenged, the most difficult part of going on vacation can be getting ready. We’re nervous about leaving home, is the thing. We don’t like being away from all our routines, all our stuff. And then, we worry about what’s going to happen to the place when we’re gone. Here, how not to act old, pre-vacation-departure:

1. Do not book your flights, arrange your accommodations, and plan your itinerary so far ahead of time that when the date gets near, you can no longer remember what airline you’re flying on, what time you’re leaving, or even exactly where you’re going.

2. Resist the temptation to panic-pack your entire life: six pair of shoes, clothing for every weather possibility from heatwave to gale force blizzard, plus your special coffee and the pillow that keeps your spouse from snoring.

3. No luggage too heavy for you to actually lift.

4. And no luggage that matches. Unless it’s Vuitton.

5. And no fanny packs. Even, make that especially, Vuitton.

6. If you ignore my advice about packing light, at least don’t bring everything from your backup sneakers to three purple sweaters and then forget your life-saving medication.

7. Don’t leave everything from your keys to your plumber’s phone number to your life insurance policy with your neighbor, “just in case.”

8. Speaking of “just in case,” you don’t need to do everything from washing the last sock in your eternal laundry pile to paying all your bills before you leave. You are coming back. If you can ever actually get out of the house in the first place.

9. Don’t travel an entire three miles from home only to have to turn around because you think you might have left on the iron. (Why do you have an iron?) Or because you think you might not have locked the door. Or because you have to go to the bathroom.

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#83: Don’t Be The Ricky

In many couples, of whatever age, one person’s the Lucy and the other person is the Ricky. One person is the Homer, and the other person is the Marge. One person is Han Solo, and the other person is Princess Leia. One person acts young, in other words: wacky, fun-loving, charmingly irresponsible. And the other person gets stuck with acting old.

(For those of you born after 1980, think Gaby and Carlos. Or Paula and Simon. Or all the contestants on Project Runway and Tim Gunn.)

How do you become the Ricky in your relationship? Here’s how it starts: You want to take care of your Lucy. S/he makes you feel so important, so intelligent, so capable. And then, as time goes on, someone’s got to pay the bills. Organize the taxes. Discipline the children. Excuse me a sec: WOULD YOU PUT AWAY THAT ICE CREAM BEFORE THERE ARE ANTS ALL OVER THE COUNTER?

Phew, where was I? Oh right: The next thing you know, you’re the Ricky. You’re yelling and screaming and cursing and threatening. You’re managing the money and blowing your top when the credit card is overlimit and the cell phone minutes are through the roof.

Meanwhile, your Lucy, your Homer, your Han is wandering around in a daze, buying yellow shoes and auditioning for Broadway shows and befriending Wookies. So tell me, who do you want to be, the screaming check-writer or the starry-eyed golden-footed Wookie-lover?

I rest my heavy case.

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