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I Need a Vacation

By Margaret BrennanPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 7 min read
Top Story - September 2023


I need a vacation.

Oh, my lord! Where do I begin?

Am I on a rant? Maybe, a confession? How about the pouring out of a brain after my head explodes?

Take your pick. I would imagine that at this point, either description will seem accurate.

I should probably begin with the physical part. I have spinal and cervical stenosis. Both very painful but with meds, tolerable. Almost! The spinal stenosis is manageable with, as I said, pain meds and then the application of pain strips (like Solanpas).

The cervical is way more complicated. These pains often trigger migraines, sometimes causing me to plant my fat butt in bed, in a very dark room for two or three days. Moving my head causes my next to feel like a bowl of rice crispies after you pour the milk on them.

While all this is going on inside my body, I still have the daily chores do to which includes taking care of my husband whose health seems to be on the downside of a mountain. Good thing he’s not in freefall! I never was very good at sports. My father, should he still be alive, could attest to that. He often said I was the only one he ever knew who could trip over a hairpin Hmm!

I’m not complaining, although it sounds like I am. It’s just a fact. There are, I’m sure, millions of people in the same boat I’m in.

Is it sinking? Probably not but there are times when I just want to run away for a week or two, or maybe a month would be better, and forget everything that’s happening!

While I have always been considered to be a klutz (and yes, I will admit to that), I’ve also gotten very handy. I was able to rewire the kitchen fan’s remote. It now works perfectly. Good thing my husband bought me a soldering iron for Christmas a few years ago.

He said it couldn’t be fixed but without saying a word, I proved him wrong – again.

That seems to have gotten to be his favorite idea of late. He’s right and I’m always wrong. My favorite response is, “Hey, do I have a big red S on my forehead that indicates, “STUPID?”

He laughs. I know that wasn’t his intention but, come on, really? I did fix the damn thing, didn’t I? And it only took me ten minutes!

The dishwasher sprung a leak. Thankfully, it wasn’t a big one. My first instinct was to look inside.

“It’s probably the hose”, he said.

“Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s start small, first” was my reply.

Within five minutes, I saw what might have been the problem. The lower sprayer unit was loose. It’s only hand tightened so that’s what I did. I turned the lower unit until I heard it click. Then, I reclipped the sprayer to the basin that was supposed to be attached but seems to have slid a bit.

Hey, guess what!! It hasn’t leaked since. Lucky me! Another job for which we don’t need to call the repairman.

Huh, maybe my bright red S is beginning to fade. What do you think?

My list of repairs, while nothing ridiculously major keeps growing, his opinion of my red S hasn’t changed.

We were discussing (no, it wasn’t an argument) UFOs. I know, weird topic but it is a topic we discuss frequently.

During the discussion, I agreed with his comment. Then I heard it.

“No, you got it wrong.” He repeated what he’d just said.

“Yeah, I know,” I said, and then repeated what I’d said.

“I’m telling you; you don’t understand.”

“What’s to understand? I’m agreeing with you.”

“You still don’t understand me.”

THAT’S when the argument started.

“So, my big red S is back meaning I’m stupid, right?”

“I never said you were stupid.”

“But if I’m agreeing with you and you say I’m wrong, either you’re stupid or I am. Which is it?

After that, he shut up and didn’t say another word for about an hour!

Whew! Silence. I loved it.

Just a few days ago, I really needed to use the toilet. I walked into the bathroom and there he is standing in front of the “commode”, just staring at it.

“What’s the problem?” I asked.

“I don’t know. It’s broken.”

“Well, what is it doing or maybe not doing?”

“I put in one of house hanging disinfectant things. I think it might have fallen inside the ring. That will be a huge problem.”

I noticed the toilet tank water kept running. That was telling me that the plunger inside the tank wasn’t grasping.

“Ok, I really need to go. Let me use the toilet, then I’ll take a look.”

He gave me my privacy, not that he had a choice since I shut the door in his face. Once I was done, I opened the door allowing him access if he chose to watch what I wanted to do.

I lifted the top of the tank and placed it on the toilet seat. Reaching in, I saw the plunger was, indeed slightly lifted. Lifting it even further, I saw the disinfectant stuck in the flush valve.

It took a few tries but finally, I was able to get my fingers in deep enough to reach the small plastic envelope and pull it out. After releasing the plunger, I gave it a gentle push to be sure it would seal. It did.

With hands still dripping wet, before I had time to dry them, I heard him bellow, “Don’t forget to dry off the toilet seat. You have water all over it.”

That’s when the argument started. “I have only two damn hands and it doesn’t appear that a third one is growing! There is NO big red S on my forehead indicating I’m stupid! Now, go away and let me clean up the mess.”

Thankfully, cleaning up in the bathroom didn’t take long. Just a matter of wiping the few bits of water I dropped during the repair. After washing and disinfecting my hands, I went out to the kitchen to begin cooking dinner.

He saw the bag of shrimp on the counter.

“What’re you making?

“Shrimp scampi”, I replied.

“Do you have enough shrimp?”

I held up and rattled the bag. “There are only two of us. Half this bag will be more than enough.”

“Are you sure?”

There is that big red S again.

“Go away and let me cook or we’ll have ham and Swiss sandwiches for supper instead of shrimp.”

After dinner, he sat on the couch, and I went to my home office to pay a few bills. I couldn’t help but wonder why things were so expensive. Ah! I remembered. Corporate greed. The CEOs just gave themselves really nice hefty raises. That explains why eggs were almost $10 per dozen. Well, ok, that and the apian flu. That killed a lot of chickens.

I no sooner turned off the computer and went to watch a bit of TV, when he turned on Netflix! OMG! I’m really beginning to hate that programming station. Some of the shows are good and some are so lame, I want to toss the entire TV in the canal out back.

Dear old hubby will put on some series (usually about 10 episodes long) and binge watch. By the time he’s at episode 4, he’s sound asleep. That’s when I grab the remote and put the TV back on.

Okay, there are so many shows on TV that aren’t worth watching but, you can always find great shows on the History Channel, or the Discovery Channel. There are science shows that are more than interesting; they’re fascinating. Why, when you can watch these, would you put on an English-sub-titled movie that’ll put you to sleep in minutes?

Oh, yeah, there’s that big red S again.

Either my brain is fried, or I really do need a vacation!


About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 76 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (14)

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  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    Go superwoman go. Pain and nothing will stop you. Welcome to the club of S for 'so we all know we are awesome women' club. Congrats on TS.

  • Nora Ariana3 months ago

    Congratulations on top story I will be there soon..

  • Naveed3 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    Great work! Very well written!

  • Mattie :)3 months ago

    We're on a similar boat. Congrats on top story, Margaret :)

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Yep, I'd go with vacation. Congrats on the TS

  • Stephanie Hoogstad3 months ago

    You definitely need a vacation, Wonder Woman! At least you can still find humor in the situation and vent through your writing. Congrats on the Top Story!

  • Joelle E🌙3 months ago

    Margaret, you are definitely not stupid! The S should be for Superwoman, haha! I think you are doing great. We’re all here for you. ❤️

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    I am so happy to see you wonderful writing pop up on the feed! Congratulations on Top Story! 🤍🤍🤍

  • Marie Sinadjan3 months ago

    Oh this is TOO relatable, haha!

  • Hahahahahahah the big red S! This was so hilarious!

  • Breathe, darling. Find the humor in it all. You're a terrific writer 💙 Anneliese

  • Sending big hugs for this, we all have times when life seems to just have us on its chopping board.

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    100% no big S any where on you! I love getting a notification that you've posted - Your writing is do relatable and you have such a wonderful depth of humour, it really is a joy to read 🤍

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