*The Bitch’s note: This was written by my mom, Laura Baria (from the icon pic, it could be her, my dad, or their dogs, so just thought I should clarify). I feel like it really sheds light on why I am the way I am. Read on…
Q: What’s white, floats, and drinks anything out of a coconut?
A: The Bitch on vacay.
I had the distinctive experience of journeying 4,000 miles with the Bitch recently. That’s nothing, you say, between the in-flight movies and beverage cart rounds, and with paradise as the destination–I should bottle my complaints. But, you haven’t been wedged next to her mai tai guzzling mass for eight hours, listening to her “I SO NEEDED THIS VACATION” rants and rages, when she wasn’t sleeping it off and drooling on your whole right side and all over herself. We are talking 4,000 PMS, or as-the-Bitch-flies, miles, a distance reserved for martyrs and masochists.
When we arrived, she shed her clothing and donned her swimsuit while I Purelled off inflight saliva. Did the fact that the swimsuit cost more than our flight over matter to her? No, she felt pretty. As she had been so carefully taught, she slathered on her sunscreen (good girl), then plopped on her sunglasses that cost more than our return flight, and put on her chic sombrero to explore the resort. When she returned to our hut, she was sipping from a coconut, looking only slightly wilted, melted, and striped in zinc oxide sweat streaks from the tropical heat, but still demanding a photo of the moment (a trend that would continue throughout the trip…), “Take my picture! I love this drink!”
She set up an exhausting schedule for us of eating, drinking, snorkeling, repeat. I have to say, it was really fun. For herself, she also scheduled spa visits, like lava pit pit acne scrubs, waterfall deep tissue pummeling, and rum soaks. After those, she looked particularly relaxed. We called those the really good times, unfortunately, short in duration.
What did she eat? She channeled the great philosopher Epicurus and tried everything. Her faves were down home fare like pineapple rice, truffle fries, and red tuna—and, yes, as I’ve mentioned before, encompassed both her portions and yours, as in, “You’re not going to eat that, are you?” No one can hold a fork or chopstick more menacingly, not even Hannibal Lecter.
How did she keep us entertained? By doing impressions of us—my germaphobia and jet lag are always good for a few laughs, as are her dad’s warbled theme song (suggested by the location) outbursts. Who knew I had such a funny walk? Then we could do ones of her, like her alien blubbering when she swam with/away from the sting rays. We felt sorry for her hapless boyfriend, who was forced to lift her quivering pineapple ass, while she flapped and thrashed far more than the harmless rays. Thank gawd he works out, someone mouthed.
Between taking pictures of her (she also liked to paddle board by out of virtually nowhere, strike a pose, and have us run for the camera), counting discarded coconuts, and applying sunscreen, the week went by all too quickly. All but one of us was sunburned, all but one of us wasn’t hungover, and it seemed too easy to guess who had gained the most from the trip. We all had. We could wax poetic about the memories to cost ratio. We could recall sunsets and the lips of clams in the most vivid of colors. We could fight over who would sit by the Bitch on the return trip (her boyfriend lost that wet battle). We could imagine distant ukuleles playing us home.
Some many hours later, out of the haze over the Pacific and the haze in our souls, we emerged into a blinding new day at LAX. There was something both majestic and frightening about the sunlight glinting off the Bitch’s princessly pallor. Suddenly, she darted, (as in mowed us down,) for the nearest Taco Bell kiosk. We exchanged weary glances. The PMS and vacation week had come to an official end, but not the Bitch’s appetite or desire for attention.
Mom & I on vacay (Yes, she is both wearing a life vest, and saluting you.)