Member Musings: Carole J. Greene

Member Musings features the reflections and thoughts of an NPC member.

Next Time, A Staycation

(written many years ago)

Carole J. Greene

I finally found my desk today. On the surface, that doesn’t seem like much of a discovery, but for me it was equal to that celebrated landing Columbus made in what was known as “The New World.” After being on vacation for twelve days, I was astonished by the amount of mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogs and advertising circulars that accumulated during my absence. It took nearly eight days of constant reading to whittle the pile to the point I was able to see that my desk had a lovely walnut veneer. (I had forgotten.)

What I want to know is: Does printed matter left unattended multiply like flies on a ripe banana on a hot day? Or does it only seem so? My guess is that magazines and newspapers beget to the third generation while my back is turned. Now, I’m not the best housekeeper, but I did work for hours to stack all the newspapers I had read before I lugged them to the recycle bin. Yet every time I walked through the family room, I saw more papers than I’d seen the time before! Either they were multiplying, or someone was trying to make me go mad!

It was enough to make me cry. So I did.

Someone is sure to ask why I didn’t just cancel the newspaper during my vacation. Silly person! If I canceled the papers for twelve days, how could I find out who filed suit against whom, whose obit was published, or the latest “dumb letter” printed by Dear Abby? Besides those essentials, I’d be twelve days behind in the comic strips. How could I be unfaithful to Mary Worth?

The very suggestion depressed me further.

Magazines are another matter. A sure-fire way to discover how many subscriptions you actually have is to go on vacation. I discovered we subscribe to four weeklies, six monthlies, and three quarterlies. And the latest issues of all arrived during that twelve-day period.

I simply have to enroll in a speed-reading course—as soon as my psychiatrist says I can handle the stress.

We asked the neighbor to bring in the paper, but for the mail, we requested a hold. The day I reported to the post office to pick up the accumulated stacks, I should have driven a pickup truck instead of a two-seater sports car. All the mail stuffed into the passenger side made it impossible for me to see out the window. When I tried to explain that to the deputy who investigated the accident, he wasn’t sympathetic—perhaps because it was his car I crumpled.

More depression.

The day we returned, I retrieved our dog from the kennel where we boarded him. He now refuses to leave my side for fear we’ll take off again without him. (Have you ever tried to bathe with a lap full of dog?) He no longer eats the cheap dog food and table scraps he formerly devoured but insists on the most expensive food available. He also picked up a few bad habits, no doubt from watching other less-disciplined dogs at the kennel. Now, no visitor’s legs are safe from amorous attack.

My psychiatrist hopes I will be ready for the trial in a few months, but he advises me to keep the vicious brute—he’s a Chihuahua—penned up lest I invite further lawsuits.

Please don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation alone with my hubby—the first trip in years without the kids—and I eagerly await the next opportunity to “get away from it all.” But I would enjoy myself a lot more if I knew it all would not be waiting for me when I got back.

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