It’s Spring Break and I’m Spring Broke
So, here I am. Tuesday of my Spring Break. It’s 6:30 p.m. and I’m sitting in our second-hand recliner with a sleeping dog drinking a cup of coffee (I am, not the dog) and downing some Double-Stuff Oreos.
Living. The. Dream.
Trying really hard not to log in to Facebook too many times lest I am bombarded with photos of other people’s Spring Breaks—most of which are a tad bit more vacation-ish than mine. Not that I’m not happy for them; I really am! It’s just not quite as fun to look at pictures of the sand, sun and ocean when we had our ONE nice day yesterday of the entire week, and now it’s raining—again—which actually looks really good compared to the SNOW that’s forecast for Saturday. Blah.
I know I shouldn’t complain. Some people don’t get to take any time off let alone fly to Florida for a week. Teachers on Spring Break, however, just seems a bit, I don’t know, ironic.
Let’s see, we’ll give you a week for Spring Break, but we won’t actually pay you enough so that you can afford to take your family anywhere tropical. Or subtropical. Or even a hotel an hour away that is decorated in a tropical theme.
And even if we thought before that we might be able to save just enough money to take the kids on a little getaway, Reality quickly stepped in, snapped its fingers and said, “Oh no, you didn’t!” (in a super sassy voice, of course).
Today, in fact, we participated in that wildly popular Spring Break activity of paying bills. And not just our normal monthly bills. Nope. Just in time for Spring Break, we welcomed a few annual expenses (property taxes, THREE vehicle licenses) as well as several new unexpected bills into our family. (Welcome, $6,000 income tax bill! We’re glad to have ya!)
Other glamorous Spring Break activities I’ve enjoyed so far include:
- eating $1 hot dogs at Sam’s Club with my sister (which was curiously a lot more fun than it sounds)!
- power shopping at Goodwill for spring pants that actually fit me in 15 minutes before the store closed. (In case you’re wondering, any pride I had has long since vanished.)
- doing laundry. Always doing laundry.
- bowling a … wait for it ... 88 and 77 before finally really ripping up the lanes by bowling a 111. Apparently it was Palindrome Sunday at Alley Bowl.
- wrestling with dead vines from what has to be the strongest nuisance plant known to man that was all wound around the posts of my covered patio. Seriously, I had to channel my inner Hulk to rip apart each individual strand of that thing. Then trying to bag it all up was a whole other adventure that I’m sure was pretty entertaining to passers-by.
- taking down my outdoor Christmas decorations. (And yes, I realize it’s mid-March. Because I’m classy like that.)
- watching hours of my husband playing some video game involving weird wizard-ish people and a dragon-y thingy he conjures that I named Little Triceratops. Mind you, watching him play for so long was not intentional. I really think after a while I just kind of went into a trance. Or maybe the wizard-ish character put some kind of a spell on me…one that he concocted using the water hyacinth and ninsroot he collected along his journeys…
- buying fleece from the clearance bin and washing it twice before using it as a poop-and-pee pad in a guinea pig cage to replace the messy bedding. So far, the girls are just pooping and peeing wherever they please, so this may not have been the most successful endeavor. Oh well, at least I don’t have a layer of bedding stuck to my clothes after walking out of Boy #3’s room! (Cue Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” — with appropriate whistling.)
Honestly, though, it hasn’t been that bad (even though you may be saying to yourself, “Really? Hasn’t it?”). No, really. Saturday night after my “bright idea” of trying to get into a brand-new microbrewery/eatery in “the city,” and being told it would be a two-hour wait, with no place to stand, and after almost going into full-panic mode in the car because I couldn’t make a decision about where else to eat, my husband arbitrarily (can’t say “randomly” if you’re married to a math teacher—unless it truly is random) chose a place we’d never eaten, and it turned out to be THE BEST food I think I’ve ever had. (Who knew Skillet Corn could be so freaking delicious?) So we found a new favorite special occasion joint, which is a plus!
And even though this probably isn’t what the boys would choose if they were asked, “What would you like to do for Spring Break this year?” they are still managing to have some fun together, and it is nice to have some down time to just hang out. Tomorrow we may go watch open practice for the NCAA Men’s Division I Tournament teams who are in Des Moines. Because that sounds kind of cool and, you know, it’s free. So there’s that.
Husband also mentioned that we should probably try to clean out the garage. This will not be a fun task, to put it lightly, however it will be nice if we actually manage to get this accomplished. But considering we’re supposed to have up to 50 mph winds tomorrow and Thursday and then highs in the 40s on Friday and Saturday, my guess is this will still be on the to-do list when we go back to school.
But no matter if we’re lying on the beach in Mexico or lying on the couch watching each other play video games, the important thing is that we’re together while we’re doing it. And even though being a teacher doesn’t afford me many luxuries, it does provide me with the luxury of more time with my family than many other people get. And in the end, it’s the time—and not where it’s spent—that really matters, right?
If you’re wanting to make a trip past ‘the city’ on Thursday come back to the old hood. I’m cooking Irish. And I’ll put you up for the night in my daughter’s room. It’s clean (for an 11 year old). I’ll give you your own bottle of Bailey’s. Or Jameson’s. Whichever will make you think you’re on a beach somewhere….