Friday, 11 March 2011

Spring break - what are you doing?

It’s that time of the year again.

I hyperventilate, my speech becomes slurred, I’m gasping for air and I am totally lost for words.

What triggers off this reaction? It's certainly not hay fever or anything that straightforward. It's the dreaded question – ‘What are you doing for xxxx?’
Substitute xxxx with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Summer Holidays, any holiday!
In this case, it’s Spring Break.

Spring Break is next week for us and I still haven’t got an exotic location or activity lined up for my family. Everyone seems to have it all sorted out – flying to Europe, skiing in Colorado, road trip around Texas, intensive music/arts/sports camps for their child prodigies – name it – they’re probably doing it.

I have trained my antenna to pick up when this question is likely to come up in a conversation.

Cluster of parents
Parent 1 – Hey!
Perent 2 – Hello. Long time no see!
Parent 3 – ‘Hi. What a lovely day today’
Parent 2 – ‘I know. Isn’t it amazing how time flies? I haven’t seen you all in ages’
Parent 3 – ‘So true. I can’t believe it’s Spring break already and the kids break up on Friday.’
**** This is my cue to start walking away slowly, because the next question is always the one that triggers off my reactions
Parent 1 – ‘So what are you doing for the holidays?

As predicted. Thankfully, I am a few yards separated from them, talking on my phone or texting (it doesn’t really matter who I’m talking to or what I’m doing, so long as I look busy and I am not interrupted!)

Now I’m not sure if this is just playground etiquette and if they’re really interested in what I have lined up for the holiday week. But my allergic reaction is playing up too badly for me to be rational about this. Are they even listening to my answer? Or are they just being nice?

I guess there’s always an easy way to find out. I’ve decided that the next time I’m asked the dreaded question.

‘So what are you doing for the holidays?’

This is going to be my standard answer

Clear throat before speaking to ensure you’ve got the attention of your listeners ‘Actually we’re going skiing in Colorado for a day, and then hiking in Africa for 2 days, after which we’ll be surfing in Australia for another 2 days, before a quick stop in Europe for some shopping and then finally arrive back home on Sunday, just in time for school on Monday!’

I think that should get everyone’s attention! (or not!). With my luck, I would probably get some criticism for packing too many activities into one week!


  1. Nice one, Globetrotter. It cracked me up.

    Sometimes you are almost pushed to regress to school days when you made up some imaginary holiday just so you won't seem like the odd one out. However I'm too old for all that drivel. When the dreaded question comes, I just smile and say "Nothing.Then mutter under my breath "It's my life, my family and my spring break/summer/Easter etc and I can do exactly as I please with it which in this case is zilch, thank you very much."

  2. @ Wordsmythe - I know. Life is always such a rush these days. Packed full of activities and the guilt of not doing enough! This break, we're at home and having a peaceful relaxing time! Guess who'll be well-rested when school resumes???


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