Last summer, in a fit of Crazie, I booked a beach house in the Outer Banks with
way too many fifteen family members – another nine were in a house down the block.
What could possibly go wrong with that many loud, loving, abominable, affectionate Crazie Town residents in one place?
Number one concern was bedroom placement. Maybe the bedroom off the kitchen should go to the early risers, or maybe it should go to the person who had the most trouble negotiating three flights of stairs, but then again, that person didn’t want any special treatment, so maybe it should go to ???
How do you plan who gets what bedroom for fifteen people and not just people – Crazie Town people? I believe democratic rules work best so the majority agreed to the First Come – First Served statute.
A few weeks after we booked the house, my younger brother, Rick, asked me what flight I was on. Because I’m a gullible sap, I told him. He used that information to book his flight to arrive before mine.
Our son Fineas’ family, driving down from Connecticut, planned to leave at four in the morning in order to be the first ones there.
My nephew Ben bailed on sharing a car with his parents from the airport so that he and his wife, Kate, could arrive first.
This is just the way my family works. We love each other with all our hearts and would give you the shirt off our backs, but there comes a time when First Come First Served wins out.
Vacation day arrived and we piled into the house, alternately shouting curse words and caring remarks to each other. We crowded onto the deck and fought for the best chairs. While we all
talked at once with no one listening caught up on each other’s lives, we discovered the house next door was an exact duplicate of ours and also filled with a large family.
Mirror images of ourselves – only perfect.
While we walked around in torn t-shirts and worn out shorts, The Perfects glided from their pool to their house in starched white shirts, sleeves appropriately rolled up two folds. Waves of aftershave and perfume floated our way.
Out on the beach, our sandcastles were six inches tall, made from red solo cups; The Perfects’ reached to the sky with turrets and moats.
We sweated, grumbled and yelled at each other as we set up our Wal-Mart special tarp. Twenty feet away, two uniformed teenagers set up The Perfects’ canvas rental chairs and brightly colored umbrellas.
Our pool was filled with $1.54 plastic rafts while The Perfects’ pool held elaborate floating chairs, complete with cup holders.
Most disturbing to the woman in our group, The Perfects’ older sister paraded out in a white designer two-piece swimsuit. And, although she certainly was a couple sizes larger than a six, she looked amazing. I suppose that comes from not buying your swimsuit from the clearance rack at Target, but I could be wrong.
My family does actually have a few social skills, taught to us by our Evil Grandmother Nellie so as the week progressed we pulled ourselves together and pointed out that someone (not me of course), might find your red beacon of a nose funny; we said in the kindest possible way, “excuse me but that was my drink you just kicked over, you stupid idiot”; and we toned down our loud guffaws to a more seemly quiet chuckle.
Then, BAM! my nephews, Josh and Jordan, started a water balloon fight.
For the next hour, five little nieces pounded up and down the deck stairs, squealing in delight while the drenched adults shouted out military strategies. When the battle was over it looked like a clown college had thrown up. Our deck, covered in colorful fragments of shattered balloons and laughing residents of Crazie Town.
Next year – fair warning – we are planning our vacation for the Adirondacks. Please accept my apologies in advance if you end up in the house next to us.