Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who's Bringing the Lysol?

We have a big family beach trip coming up.  By big, I mean that several generations worth of people will pack up in way too many cars and meet at a rental house near Myrtle Beach, SC.  My husband made the comment yesterday that he can't wait to get down there and "relax."  I laughed hysterically at this, because he had just made it painfully obvious that he's never been on an extended family beach trip.  Oh, he has a lot to learn.

First of all, when we get there nobody will be allowed to touch anything until the grandmother/mother set has swooped in and thoroughly sanitized everything that will stand still long enough.  A cloud of Lysol will hang thick in the air, and everything will be coated with a chemical mist. 

When the ok is given, we will all stumble in, coughing and hacking and weighted down with bags and beach chairs, and dash into bedrooms hoping to snag an actual bed.  Then we will have to put on our own sheets, because it costs $150 extra to have the rental property provide linens, and we are thrifty like that.

After that chaos is over, the biggest chaos of all begins:  grocery shopping.  I will remind them of how they went overboard last time.  How we could not have eaten all that food if we had stayed a month.  How we had to drag it all home and the cars were packed so that we had boxes of cereal under our armpits and coolers full of lunch meats under our feet. 

It will all fall on deaf ears. 

They will lay seige to the Piggly Wiggly, and they will come back with so much cereal, lunch meat, spaghetti sauce, ground beef, Hamburger Helper, loaves of bread, and Little Debbie cakes that it will take the whole crowd to load it into the kitchen.

Then, when the actual cooking begins, they will cook enough food to feed 350 people, and will constantly shout out, "Now, y'all eat this!  Go back and get more!"  And when we don't, they will punish us by packing it up and dragging it back out every single day until we are sick of looking at all of it.  Because even though we have enough food for the army, we CANNOT waste these leftovers!

(Once, we had leftover hotdogs and leftover spaghetti.  My grandpa cut up hot dog weiners and put them in the spaghetti sauce.  We politely ordered a pizza, and he has never let us forget how we wouldn't eat his creation.  In fact, he reminded me just the other day.) 

After all this, we haven't even laid eyes on the ocean yet.

When we decide it's time to actually trek down to the beach, we will spend so long loading everybody down with unneccesary supplies that we will decide we don't want to go that bad after all.

I will remind myself that I love these people.  That they are my flesh and blood.  That togetherness is good for family bonding, right?  RIGHT??

But I'll keep going.  Every time one of these family beach trips is planned, I know I'll show up.  Because I love the beach.  And I know one day, some of these people won't be here.  And because one day, I'll want my kids to grow up really knowing their family.  One day I'll be the older generation who wants the younger ones to come so we can all spend time together.

Oh, no.  Does that mean one day I'll have to start bringing the Lysol??

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