An Easter ‘Staycation’? What could go wrong? by Catherine Bennetto
My family and I are spending the Easter holiday at home. ‘You’re having a staycation,’ my sister announced gleefully. I say gleefully because my husband and I have recently settled in one place long enough for her to bother remembering my phone number and now we can discuss what we had for breakfast; other people’s parenting; if I should worry that the Buddhist down the road is ‘saddened’ by my mousetraps, and what we’re having for dinner, all in the same time zone.
But while my sister was gleeful I felt irrational anger; the word staycation bugs me. And I’m not entirely sure why. We don’t even ‘vacation’. That’s what Americans do while wearing bum-bags, practical travelling shoes and husband-and-wife matching rainwear. We holiday. And a mash-up of a stay at home holiday is a stoliday. Which just makes me think I’m going to be spending Easter drinking a lot of citrus flavoured Stoli. Probably in Malaga.
I did some research.
Sister One is angered by the words ‘mat leave’. ‘Do you not have enough time to say the whole thing? It’s not like you have a job anymore – you’re on ‘mat leave’ you lazy cow!’ (I think she’s just jealous hers is over and now she does relentless unpaid mothering.)
Sister Two doesn’t like the word ‘pus’ for recent health reasons.
Mother has a violent dislike to any shortening of anything. Saying veges could result in immediate peeling duty. Saying ‘ta’ would entail whatever you’d just received being snatched back.
My husband is adverse to the words ‘electricity bill’. And really, except for the electric company, who isn’t?
But this angry reaction to certain words made me think about an opposite reaction (which the thesaurus tells me is ‘pleasure’ or ‘good humour’) and I realised I didn’t have any. I tried running a few past myself to see: Beach? Nope. Suntan? Nope. Son? Nope. Netflix? Oh now there’s a flicker…
I asked around again. Sister Two said ‘I’m busy, go away.’ Mum has become rather fond of the word superannuation – the NZ equivalent of a pension, and Sister One likes a handful of words, preferably in the following order: ‘Why don’t you go and have a lie down and I’ll look after the kids and clean the house and cook dinner.’ I’m not sure if anyone has used them all in her vicinity yet though.
So in conclusion, Easter is here and Sister One will be lying down while someone cooks for her, Mum will be counting her retirement pennies, Sister Two will probably have to catch up on some work considering how much I’ve been pestering her and I will be… hmmmm… Pass the Stoli?