how to leave for a vacation

part one in a week-long series about the rituals of summer-vacation-taking

how to leave for a vacation

  1. plan to leave by a certain hour.  save up 413 small tasks that you must accomplish before you leave.  begin those tasks 90 minutes before your planned departure time.
  2. pack way too much.  remove three items from your suitcase.  feel proud.  put one of the three items back in your suitcase. 
  3. water the plants.  think about how you should go on vacation more often so that the plants get watered more frequently.
  4. unplug everything in sight:  the coffeemaker, the rickety old lamp in the hallway, the microwave oven.
  5. spill something on the floor.  preferably something that makes a big sticky mess or will dye the floor a nice shade of purple if it isn't tended to immediately.
  6. decide to set the timers for the lights.  spend 25 minutes looking for the timers for the lights.  get in a fight with your partner/child/dog about where the timers for the lights could be.
  7. leave 104 minutes after your planned departure time and feel pretty psyched that you stayed on schedule.  or close enough.  or close enough-ish.
  8. feel relieved that you're finally on the way, and then throw a big rock at that feeling by stopping for gas, lunch, and cash before you even leave town.
  9. get fifteen minutes down the road and make a joke.  smile for the first time in several hours.  remember that you actually like the person/people in the car with you.
  10. relax.