Millennial Survival in Toronto by E.V. Hutcheon – Family Vacation or Next Time I’ll Go Camping 092717

TORONTO ONTARIO – A couple of weeks ago I voiced to you my readers, my concerns about going up to my cottage for a vacation. Initially how I pictured it going in my head was a lot like a plane crash, my cottage being the plane and my friends and family all being the passengers.

How I envisioned it in my head was- all of us stuck in tight quarters breathing in recycled oxygen (almost like cattle all packed in under one roof). For the first day or two everybody would be too distracted to notice anything past their own noses, which I considered a positive because it would allow me to escape when I needed too.

By day three after we were all settled in, would be the beginning of the end. I should also mention that as far as my relationship with the ginger goes I knew there was a 50-50 chance that by the end of our week together surrounded by my family, he would head for the hills never to be heard from again. I figured once having spent the whole week with my crazy family, that he’d throw his hands up in the air, exhale loudly and say, “That’s it! I quit!” (Since it’s what any normal person would do.)

Like I said I pictured it going a lot like a plane taking off and then crashing to the ground shortly after. Think of it like this: the couple days of peace would be the plane taking off…. you know that deep breathe before the plunge; once in the air you expect the seat belt lights to go off but they never do and instead the wind turbulence begins to pick up.

Day three in my head would have been the turbulence and by day four the dynamic of the group would start to falter and the metaphorical plane would then begin to drop at a drastic rate. Screams of anger, despair, and confusion would be heard all around as each of us were ripped from the plane free falling all from the comfort of our own seats… Okay maybe I am being a little dramatic since that’s not how my vacation actually went and as you all know there was no literal plane.

How it did end up going was a little different.

First off let me just say that history did not repeat itself. I didn’t end up crying in front of my family and friends, while my current boyfriend smiled (at the emotional mess he’d made me) and comforted me- in fact he didn’t make me cry once. He also didn’t try to have a dick-measuring contest with anyone just because it made him feel good.

However we did have one completely awkward encounter with my sister the first morning we were there. We had woken up a little earlier and were rolling around in the sheets peeling away what little clothes we had on off of our sweaty bodies- the ginger ran his long fingers up and down my back as we pressed our warm bodies together. He kissed my neck and went onto nibbling on my ear, while I moaned softly.

A loud knock sounded from the other side of the door and within seconds of the sound the door swung open. With the ginger in nothing but his birthday suit and me only in a light silk camisole, we barely had time to cover ourselves up; the ginger flung himself towards the end of the bed and had just enough of a window to cover his genitals with a small corner of bed sheet from my sister, who now stood in the doorway smirking.

We never did go for gold that morning since my sister had killed the mood for my fiery companion and just the tip became the inside joke of the week. Despite the fact that with each passing day I was more convinced than the day before that he would leave, he didn’t, and to be completely truthful with all of you I think spending all that time together only made the both of us fall harder.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t need a vacation from my vacation after but as far as my relationship with the ginger goes I’d say we are safe for the time being. My relationship with my mother on the other hand couldn’t be more on the rocks. Which also seems odd to me because on the norm I’ve never had a good relationship with my mother. I mean the woman on my last birthday – in order to teach me a lesson – stole my dog (Lady) and drove her all the way to Oshawa, to live my sister for a few months. My mother’s reasoning was that we needed to work on our relationship as mother and daughter before I could have my dog back…. but I’m getting off topic.

Anyways, the reason that I feel that our relationship is more on the rocks than before is because despite the fact that I do know my mother is a narcissist (she has been my whole life) and she does have this one friend that helps feed into her own sense of self importance who happened to be away with us (I wont name this person because she wasn’t the catalyst just one of the causes) and I should mention that my mother is not a bad person and despite all that I know about her, I do still love her; but there’s only so many insults a prideful girl can handle while the rest of her family and friends watch before she herself begins to feel like a really shitty person and by the end of the week I really did feel like the worst kind of person, despite how much I may have faked it with a smile.

I used to think that my cottage was the one and only place that my mom and I ever travelled too where we could be in each other’s company for an extended period of time without trying to rip each others throats out. When I was younger that may have been true but as an adult that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think deep down a small part of her resents me for not needing her more or at least pretending that I do. Even now I still love her.

The days that followed I’d like to say I kept a well-balanced head, the truth is I lost my composure more often than I’d like to admit. The worst would have been however when I tried to take a bath one morning. That being said, one of my biggest pet peeves is trying to bathe or shower and being made to get out half way through just because someone has to go pee. I might as well have been talking to a brick wall with the amount of attempts I made to get everyone to use the washroom before I went in. Nobody seemed the least bit interested to acknowledge me and that was made very apparent when I finally managed to take a bath after first being forced to sit down for breakfast. I began running the taps for my bath and turned up my speakers, letting the music blare and drown out the rest of the world.

The sunlight shined through the window just over the tub and as I brushed my red hair, I let the idea of finally relaxing wash over me like warm water.

I stepped into the water my pale skin instantly turning pink from the heat.

Settling into the hot water I grabbed for the small showerhead attached to the bath and began to wet my hair.

Not even five minutes into my bath somebody began to knock on the thick wooden door and any feeling of serenity and relaxation I had been feeling in that moment was gone replaced by strong emotions of annoyance and irrational anger.

“Unlock the door!” my sister called, from beyond the closed door. “Dan needs to pee!”

Begrudgingly I got out,  wrapping an old towel around my cold, naked body, which was now three parts wet and one part dry. Water dripped off my hair and onto the floor behind me, leaving a slippery trail as I stepped out of the tub and walked into the hallway.

I wasn’t quiet about my irritation either. After what felt like an hour (which realistically was only about 4 or 5 minutes) Dan finally emerged from the bathroom and I hopped back into the tub and began to rewet my hair. I was maybe in the shower for a whole 10 minutes, when my sister began knocking on the door (I swear the amount of times she knocked on the bathroom door that week you would have thought that it was her full-time job). I tried to ignore her excessive knocking and continued to lather the shampoo into my scalp. Knock knock, knock knock, a pause and then the knocks got louder and more rapid until my sister yelled again “Jo-Ann needs to use the washroom! Emily you need to get out!” at which point I decided to get out. Soap now dripping from hair and rolling down my face into my eyes, I emerged from the bathroom guns blazing and my ginger rage threatening to erupt.

Now at this point I know you are all probably thinking damn this girl is a major drama queen and yes at times that can be quite true, but is it too much to ask to wash my body in peace? I don’t think so. I don’t think Jo-Ann expected such a high octave to come out of my mouth when that door finally did open because the surprise that spread across her face in the moment was not lost on either my sister or I.

During my temper tantrum, downstairs in the kitchen the ginger washed dishes and tried to pretend he couldn’t hear me screaming from the hallway upstairs. When I did eventually get back into the bath my body had dried and my water was not only cold but also dirty from getting in and out so many times. With all hope of enjoying a warm and relaxing bath now completely lost I quickly washed my hair and body and got out cussing under my breath the entire time.

The week went by and by the end of it I was tense from being around my family for more days than I would normally have been and anxious due to multiple items either being moved or going missing.

What I mean by that is every time somebody mentioned leaving or went about packing to leave, random yet important things seemed to go missing. The ginger lost his car keys, my mother lost some stuff she bought at the farmers market in Gore Bay, Lizzie lost her Batman purse, Natasha misplaced her gold necklace and I lost my wallet. Eventually each of our items were found or returned – apart from Natasha’s necklace – but it wasn’t until the rest of us left that anything was found.

So to wrap things up the moral to the story is: if you ever take a vacation where you want even the slightest bit of privacy don’t bring your family along. Between being interrupted during sex, to having to get out of the bath every five seconds and never having a moment to yourself, you will almost always end up needing another vacation from your vacation.

Next year I think I’ll go camping instead.

Born and raised in Toronto, E. V. Hutcheon studied journalism at St Lawrence College in Cornwall Ontario.

She currently lives in Toronto with her family, three dogs and a rabbit, near the Humber River.

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