Monday, August 18, 2008

The Weekend Away

In preparation for our weekend away, Brian asked if there would be Internet. Melissa referred to the house as a "cabin." And I thought Cle Elum's Historic Telephone Museum might be the height of excitement.

Ooh, what low expectations. The gatehouse we passed when entering the planned community hinted that we would not officially be "roughing it." A few miles later, we pulled up to the most high-end house I've ever personally muddied the doormat of: high, heavy-beamed ceilings and enormous custom furniture, fluffy bedspreads and champagne in the fridge. This pristine rustic place was like being at once the center of the universe, around which lowly ordinary houses revolve, and being the only thing in existence -- no neighbors in sight.

But it's amazing how quickly awe fades into entitlement. Why shouldn't we drink mimosas with breakfast and lounge around in the sun? If we felt any discomfort at being out of our unimpressive elements, it left us quickly. The second day, we returned from the adjoining resort's pool + waterslides and took over the house with Rock Band at excessive volumes. (Not that any of us are so underprivileged -- we all went to college. Those who are unemployed aren't exactly struggling. Of the seven of us, only one didn't have an iPhone.)

I'd worried a bit about spending the whole weekend together. This group has been getting together regularly for years, for game nights and Lost and holiday parties. But we don't exactly do sleep-overs. Fortunately the time together, and maybe the alcohol or 103° heat, brought out some fun childishness without any cranky juvenile behaviour. Even when things went awry (we discovered the scenic beach was a redneck parking lot of SUVs and large dogs), we recovered quickly. By the end, we'd spend a significant amount of time on underwater hand-stand competitions and Olympics-inspired triple-axle attempts on the patio.

But. I was ready to go home by dinnertime of the third day, and it seemed to take forever to get people moving through dinner and chocolate-chip-cookie baking. Brian and Buster went home the second day, for work and to bark at the mailman, respectively, and an array of other friends is no replacement. I was happy it only took an hour to get back, so I could sit on my own couch. And as much as a hate our scummy carpet and blah apartment, someone else's fancy weekend house is no replacement for home.

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