Vacation makes you do things you wouldn’t do in real life. Random sex with strangers. Drunken misbehavior. Brazen breast-baring.
(You thought there was going to be a picture there, didn’t you? Fine, here’s your gratuitous, implicative photo:)
Yeah, I don’t do any of those things.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t get down with my personal version of my bad self.
One of the things that I like about being on vacation in a faraway Happy Place is the complete anonymity. I walk around like I own the place, because by now I’m familiar with the area from having been here a few times, but nobody knows who I am. I am that mystery woman who ducks quietly in and out of little shops, maybe twice, maybe three times (there’s a gallery here that I love, even though in the four years since I first set foot in it, I’m pretty sure only one item has sold – and of course it was my favorite item). She wears a Mona Lisa smile. She’s somewhere between annoyed and amused when strange men whistle at her as she passes by. (Annoyed because it’s obnoxious, immature, stereotypical, lecherous behavior. Amused because a compliment’s a compliment, and hey– someday, they’re gonna stop looking.) She wears dark sunglasses. She mostly looks brooding, but when she smiles, her whole face changes. And then she pays cash and disappears.
My bad self is quite the enigma.
The other thing I like about vacation in a faraway Happy Place is the freedom to throw caution to the wind. This is relative, you understand. See first paragraph as example of cautions I still keep.
I stay up til 2am watching trashy television. I sleep in. (This hotel’s blackout shades are a gift from the heavens. Ten a.m. in Miami and you’d never know it. Amazing.) I drink two mojitos at 2:00 in the afternoon, and am entirely unaffected. I don’t have to do a damned thing I don’t want to do. If I want to get to the post office to mail my godson a postcard, but I don’t make it in time, you know what? To hell with it. I’ll go tomorrow. Because I can. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t even have to stay with my friends. I can venture off on my own, and no one will be offended. Its’s glorious.
I can eat new and exotic foods. I can have ice cream for breakfast (but I don’t; I’m a savory breakfast person). I can paint my nails very bright colors that I would never wear to work. I can entertain the notion of buying myself a new piece of sparkly jewelry, or trying on a ridiculous, Carrie Bradshaw-esque outfit. I can wear outrageous earrings and sexy dresses and unreasonably high heels, and totally pull it off.
I am invincible when I am on vacation.
Right now, I’m drinking a Diet Coke from the mini-bar. That’s right, I said mini-bar. Since arriving, I’ve also had a small can of Pringles, half a bottle of cranberry juice and the vodka they had in there.
Reckless abandon, people. It comes in many forms.