Everyday Jenni has, admittedly, devolved over the past couple of decades. Most notably, Married Jenni looks as if she ate Single Jenni. College Jenni tried to tan in the 90s, but instead she turned into one giant freckle. Mid-thirties Jenni awoke one day to random facial hair. All of which is to say that on any given day I’m fat, white, and possibly unintentionally hairy. So, while Everyday Jenni is by no standard pleasing to the eyes, Vacation Jenni is akin to something you’d see on the People of Walmart site.
The de-evolution of Vacation Jenni began about four summers ago. We spent the Fourth of July in San Antonio. At SeaWorld. And I wore black pants all day long. To make matters worse, I agreed at about 10 a.m. to sit in the Splash Zone of a whale show. I was thinking it may cool me off to get sprayed a bit with some tap water. I was not thinking whales live in saltwater and make quite a splash. Do you know how long it takes black cotton yoga pants, which have been soaked in saltwater, to dry in the Texas summer sun? Me neither. They were still damp in all the wrong places when we left the park twelve hours later.
On the way back to the hotel, I made myself two promises. Promise number one was that we’d stop at Walgreens to buy something for chafing. Promise number two was that I’d, forever after, wear only shorts on summer vacation. I’m now the not-so-proud owner of six pairs of shorts, but, unfortunately, the de-evolution of Vacation Jenni doesn’t end with white thighs.
Let’s recap this year’s vacation outfits.
We drove to Universal Studios in Orlando and arrived at noon, at which point we unpacked and relaxed. When we went to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack, I changed into navy shorts with a white tribal shirt. My sandals had some bling, and I wore a gold necklace to compliment the outfit. It was perfect chain restaurant summer attire. We went for a night swim upon returning to the resort, and I had a fresh bathing suit and cover-up ready to wear.
The next morning I awoke an hour earlier than the rest of the clan. After all, I had to iron my clothes, straighten my hair, and apply make-up. I looked as good as I’ve ever looked in the Florida summer. I should’ve taken a selfie, but that’s never good for my self-esteem.
We arrived at the theme park at 10 a.m. By lunch, I was sporting a ponytail and two bobby pins. An hour later and I had an orange cooling towel around my neck. Day two, and the de-evolution had begun.
By day three, an attractive waterproof ticket and keycard holder graced my neck.
Day four: Make-up? Who needs make-up? We’re just having a beach day. All I need is my damp bathing suit from last night’s swim and my favorite Crocs.
Day five was back to the parks, where the kids and husband managed to look incredible. Me? Well, I looked clean, after having spent until 2 a.m. doing laundry. And by “clean,” I mean I showered and brushed my teeth. Long gone were the days of ironing, straightening, and such. My perfume of choice was Banana Boat, because red isn’t a good color on my skin.
That night, I hit a low point. I was tired. I’d stayed up until 2 a.m. and then gotten up at 6 a.m. to get a jump start on the Harry Potter nonsense. Plus, we’d done water rides that day. If you’ve never done a water ride at Universal Studios, know this: the water rides at Islands of Adventure are used for torturing terrorists at night. Y’all? I could’ve poured water out of my panties following the Jurassic Park ride. No sleep, water, sun -- all of this served to make me sleepy, though it just made the rest of my crew hungry.
We ate supper at a nice seafood buffet. Dinner was wonderful … until I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. Because we’d soaked our park outfits, I’d just pulled randomly from my suitcase for my evening attire. People, we ate a $200 meal, and I was wearing a burnt orange t-shirt I’d received for free and cotton navy shorts with an elastic waistband. I had on Chacos, no make-up, and damp hair. I took a backpack in instead of a purse! If the bathroom mirror were to be believed, I think I could’ve been easily mistaken for a man. A homeless one.
So, days six and seven saw the resurgence of make-up.
I had a relapse on the way home, though. We drove to Perdido Key and spent the night crabbing with the cousins. As this was somewhat unexpected, my beach clothes became my pajamas, became my drive-home-to-Arkansas clothes the next day. So, that was fun.
I’ve been sick since we returned home, though I’m sure it’s unrelated.