(I saw those words handpainted on a wooden sign slung over the gate to a beach cottage. It’s inspired me to come up with a mantra for my front porch. So far all I have is “If plants look wilted, please water on your way in”)
I grew up in the tourism industry. Simply put, at a very young age I was acutely aware of the crazy crazy people out there, and that they tend to leave behind good stuff.
So our childhoods were filled with stories of Shocking Human Behavior, and a growing appreciation for the many wonders a Lost and Found can hold.
I’ve long since traded one tourist town for another…and for a while I naively thought that they quarantined the Shocking Human Behavior to the other side of the bridge tunnel.
They didn’t. They can’t.
This past June, the girls and I were having a picnic on the palace lawn (yes, I hope your daily life uses that phrase) and a family passed us, in conflict. Well, really the Dad was screaming at the son in that really horrible, terrifying way that made me wonder if he was suffering from more than a rough night on a rollaway bed. It was awful. It was sad. It was very, very public.
And they were both wearing tri-cornered hats.
Truth stranger than fiction, my friends.
And surely, if you have ever visited Disney World and you weren’t having the tantrum, you witnessed someone else’s complete cognitive and emotional meltdown, while wearing the Mouse Ears.
Is it the high expectations and cost of vacation that does it to us? or… Is this who we are…and we can keep it concealed from the general public in our homes and daily routines?
Both options are a bit frightening…and as one whose local economy depends on vacationers choosing to leave their homes…I propose (drumroll please) Pre-Vacation Family Seminars…group therapy, some visualization, a few role plays, and yes etiquette classes on how to interact with hospitality employees.
Make your budget. Learn that tips are not your leftover change and come up with a rotating schedule of who gets the roll-away bed.
In exchange for enthusiastic attendance and participation, vacationers receive a free night at a hotel, or gift cards to the seafood buffet.
And, (I’m really on a roll here!) like Triple A cards, these tourists will have small cards that say, I have been approved to go on vacation, and participating merchants, vendors and tatoo parlors will recognize them with additional incentives.
Enjoy your last few weeks of summer vacations, friends…whether there are sandy toes or tri-cornered hats, may there be peace and love…