Another year, another family vacation over. My last post talked about how we’ve been going to the same campground for the past eight years with an assortment of local families. There’s some organization to it - we all eat dinner together and have beach snacks, and everyone takes turns. But this being the third year for three of our Newbie families, the gloves are off. I thought we’d cleared the air at our pre-Camping meeting in June, but memories were short or clouded from wine.
By the end of the week, everyone’s warts and idiosyncrasies were in full view, but some started the week off with a bang. One of the moms, now affectionately referred to as "Snookie" or "Mrs. Robinson” by Hubby, and one of the dads were the source of most of the sniping comments directed at me, the Organizer of the group, like “What do you mean you don’t know who’s cooking tonight – isn’t that YOUR JOB?!?”. It led to a moment Monday on the beach when I looked at the group in front of me and said loudly in response, “No. And if there’s one more crack about the schedule, I'm giving up my Julie the Cruise Director title. You'll all be on your own next year. My family will do our own dinners, and you can pick someone else to organize everything.”
The next morning, when the dads were
hiding out having coffee in our unit
(with the blinds on our unit still closed, their wives have no clue they’re so
close by), the discussion turned to my comment. I was reminded how much I love
my husband when he pointed out that since he's the Chef of the group and I'm
the Organizer, we’d have no problem with such a change. They however would,
mostly because the other moms go "floating” every day from 2pm to whenever
they run out of alcohol have had enough sun; I don’t like the seasick
feeling it leaves me with (and don’t like to drink THAT much), so when they’d
pull anchor, I’d take the Preschooler in for a nap and sit reading a book on
the porch. As he noted, it wouldn’t be his wife being told to cut my drinking floating time with the girls short to come in and get dinner ready. Or, of
course, it could fall to the dads to prep and make all the dinners.
Can you guess how fast a few of them, faced with this prospect, jumped to my defense and squashed most additional jibes? Critical Dad even admitted to the others towards the end of the week the whole thing wouldn't work there wasn't the level of organization we have, explaining he'd seen the four pages of notes and the schedule lying on the table in their trailer. When he mentioned to his wife he was surprised the campground provided that much detail to our group, she looked at him with astonishment and said, "This is what WorkingMom does, you idiot! It doesn't come from the campground!"
But Snookie’s comments still stick in my craw the most. Why? Because while everyone else either brought items up or was in charge of buying something for the group – even this year’s Newbie family jumped on the “we’re all in this together” bandwagon, Snookie provided nothing but excuses, claiming she had no room in her vehicle…despite the two supermarkets and a Wal-Mart within 20 minutes’ drive… which she visited every other day for various goodies for her family.
On the plus side, I wasn’t her only target last week. She became more and more critical every day, commenting on others’ parenting methods to what time their teenagers got up to what time their preschoolers went to bed. At one point Snookie was told to shut up and butt out when another couple were having a rather lengthy “disagreement”. Her husband didn’t even argue with the commentator; he just shook his head in agreement, since he’d been trying to get her to keep her nose out of it all day.
So, have you ever vacationed with a group? How’d you survive? Did you have a Slacker in the group, or a Snookie? How’d you deal with him or her? I’m thinking of packing ear plugs for next year, while Hubby thinks if they want me to be in charge, I should just assign everyone, including her, something to bring or buy.
Whatever happens, I have a whole year to prepare.