G travels a lot for his job. Most weeks he visits manufacturing facilities in small towns in the South, Northeast, or Midwest. Occasionally, he travels to great places like London, Germany, Chicago, and this week, to southern California. I’ve never been able to travel with him on these trips because I work, and until last June I had a job where I was given a miserly two weeks of vacation. (Seriously, some night I’ll crack open a bottle of wine and do a stream of consciousness blog about that job and hope it will be cathartic.) Now I work for a company that walks the walk when it comes to work/life balance. 23 days of PTO plus holidays equals 30 glorious days off, up from 16. Let me say here that a lot of American companies have this whole vacation thing wrong, but I’m letting my Canadian/European show through.
When G found out he was going to attend a conference at a resort in southern California, I decided to burn a few vacation days and come along. We flew out west yesterday. Did you know that drinks are now included on domestic flights on Delta if you’re seated in Delta Comfort Plus? I think I was the only one drinking wine at 7:00 am Pacific time, although the flight attendant seemed non plussed so a lot of people must do the “it’s 5:00 somewhere” thing.
On the plane I wound up watching a couple of episodes of Mad Men. I used to plan my week around Mad Men, but once Don hooked up with Meaghan I lost interest. Then the whole Lane Price thing sealed the deal for me. I like my entertainment light, and just found that Mad Men was becoming too depressing for my taste. But I was a captive audience on the plane, and actually enjoyed the two episodes I watched. Betty was only on the screen for a few minutes; secretly she was always my favourite. Okay, Don is really attractive in a brooding, bad boy, alcoholic, bastard kind of way – but I always enjoyed Betty’s character. Young, blonde, beautiful, smart … manipulating her way through life wearing really great clothes on her uber slim body. What exactly does Betty do all day? She just seems to stand around in the kitchen smoking and drinking whiskey.
We were upgraded here at the hotel and are in a suite with a view, a huge tub, and a chaise. What do I have to do? Nothing but behave like Betty (minus the cigarettes).
Today I got up early (we’re on east coast time so we’re awake at 4 am), drank a lot of coffee from the fancy espresso machine in our suite, then went for a run through a beautiful bouganvilla draped neighbourhood in Old Pasadena. Late breakfast on the Terrace, and now I’m sitting by the pool. Me and a bunch of older women, women with kids, and a few men. Women in tennis skirts keep walking past in their way to the courts. A foursome just got their car from the valet in time to hit a bucket of balls before their tee time. Women who I suspect live like Betty. I could be wrong about that but I seemed to be the only one who was giddy about not working on a Thursday.
Last night G asked me if I’d rather just stay home and garden, or in other words, live like Betty. I’m not tempted for even a minute. It’s a wonderful treat to have a break in the middle of the week and experience a beautiful resort, but I like to work. More than that, I like having my own money. We are not extravagant people, but we were married a bit later and I’m used to having a level of independence that only money can provide.
Betty’s the bird in the slightly boozy gilded cage. I don’t think I’m cut out for the life of leisure and afternoon cocktails. Although the wardrobe sure is appealing.