Things to do over Spring Break

Otto is on break this week. The louse. He hasn’t actually SAID, “Nyah nyah, you’re working and I’m not!” but I strongly suspect he is thinking it, occasionally.

Mostly he just wanders into the office when I’m playing Scrabble on Facebook and comments on how UTTERLY SWAMPED I must be. Because he’s a wiseass. And nobody likes a wiseass! Except for me.

And it’s not that Otto isn’t terribly busy when he has time off of work. Because he is. He’s doing all sorts of manly things around the house, and he thinks I’m mocking him when I’m totally not. Like when he installed the trailer hitch on his truck, all by himself. I told him I was feeling very attracted to his burly usefulness. And he told me to shut up. BUT I WAS SERIOUS.

Anyway, when one spouse is working and the other is not, and the weather suddenly spikes a gorgeous 80+ degrees for a few days, sometimes you need some suggestions of things to do to pass the time amicably.

I’m here to help, people.

Feel free to avail yourself of any and all of the following suggestions:

1) Play passive-aggressive dishes. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes, the sink is full of dirty ones. See how long each of you can ignore ALL of the dishes. Will it continue until you run out of cereal bowls? Until you run out of counter space? Whoever does the dishes first loses, except for the part where the other spouse then showers them with love and affection for being so awesome. Hey, maybe you should just go ahead and do the dishes. You’ll probably get lucky, after.

2) Sit back-to-back in the office, listening to dueling Jon Stewart videos. No, really. It’s fun.

3) Take a nap on the couch while your spouse is trying to work. Bonus points for snoring and not being smothered by your hard-working spouse. Unless she’s just playing Scrabble, in which case, hey, snore away.

4) Eat a late dinner on the porch. It feels decadent! Discuss the soon-to-be-planted garden. Discuss how much better steak tastes when there is not a small, quizzical face nearing your plate, intoning, “Does it go MOO? Because if it is COW it should go MOO or you’re probably a MURDERER.” Yeah.

5) Talk about gun control. Funny, but you never really noticed how the crazy neighbor’s fifty-seven cats like to use your yard as a litter box until someone was home for a week, going apoplectic every time a feline sauntered onto the property. Discuss BB guns. Discuss animal cruelty. Discuss calling animal control. Give your agitated spouse a cookie.

6) Talk about taking a vacation. Dream big! Then remember the tax bill and the new hot water heater and all of those trees that fell mostly over that need to be taken out, now. Sniffle a little. Decide that going into Atlanta for the day TOTALLY COUNTS as a vacation!

7) Play hide-the-packing-tape. No no, get your mind out of the gutter. This is simply a game wherein the HARD WORKING spouse talks for several days about packages that need to be mailed and how there is no more tape. Then she talks about ordering more tape. Then the day the tape is to arrive, the vacationing spouse should casually mention that hey! I have some packing tape! It’s right over here! Bonus points for only taping up the PACKAGES after this discovery is made.

8) Treat your spouse to a long and detailed explanation of your blue jeans. Guys LOVE that! Especially while they’re supposed to be on vacation!

9) Send your spouse a link to a $30k pre-fab garage. I’m not going to say it’s DEFINITELY retaliation for the denim soliloquy, but you can draw your own conclusions. Be sure to insist that you were “just looking” and “not trying to make your head explode” when your spouse reminds you of the tax bill, and the hot water heater, and the trees, and also asks if maybe you have started smoking crack.

10) Watch a lot of television, inbetween all this other stuff. Did you know that there’s an episode of CSI: Miami on pretty much ALL THE TIME? Because there totally is. And next to smoking crack, I can’t think of a better way to empty out one’s brain.

I hope you’re enjoying your Spring Break just as much as we are. And I’m glad I could help.


  1. Megan

    Hedonistic faculty type. I’ll have you know that staff never get Spring Break, even if they are really, really NICE staff who do guest lectures and create training thingies and all sorts of stuff. Utterly unfair. Tell him more about the magic jeans – he’s earned it.

  2. Kelly

    Hahahaha…. sounds like a fun week. We play passive-agressive dish game every week actually.
    (And if you are in need of a scrabble partner on Facebook – I love that game!)

  3. Aimee

    I would give anything to not be working this week. The universe, she is conspiring against me.

    I’ll totally play Scrabble with you later, though. ;)

  4. Linda Sherwood

    I’m on spring break too, and I am enjoying sleeping in. Plus, I managed to make it to “number 2” among my friends in Scramble on Facebook. I’m totally thinking of unfriending number one….

  5. Lylah

    11.) Play Xbox games with the volume up while your still-working spouse is on deadline.

    12.) When the working spouse asks for feedback on a project, tell him/her that you’re not interested in that subject, so you don’t have any feedback to offer.


  6. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give for 80! It’s 30 in Seattle.

  7. Leandra

    You know, when the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and the sink is full of dirty ones, eventually you use all the clean ones in the cabinets and start pulling from the dishwasher and before you know it, voila! the dishwasher is now empty. Not that I know from experience or anything. But let’s just say I almost went pro in Passive Agressive Dishes.

  8. StephLove

    Doesn’t he have any papers to grade? That’s how I used to spend Spring Break when I was teaching college. That and I’d rent a bunch of movies.

  9. exile on mom street

    Atlanta for the day only counts as vacation if you stay in a nice hotel.

    Try priceline at the last minute…we’ve had friends get some great rooms that way!

  10. bob

    A day in Atlanta is TOTALLY a mini-vacation.

    Go see the terracotta army at the high museum. NEATO! (exhibit ticket also gets you into the rest of the museum (there’s a traveling exhibit from the Louvre there – kinda meager, but then, when not in Paris, beggars can’t be choosers!) Then go to the Varsity for lunch. (whattayahave, whattayahave, whattayahave……)

    The Tut exhibit at the civic center is actually pretty good for an overview of the pharonic period, but don’t go expecting to see Tut’s golden mask. The Carlos museum over at Emory has a really good permanent exhibit on Egypt. (We were lucky enough to go before the Ramses mummy was verified and sent back to Egypt.)

  11. bob

    further to exile on mom street: several hotels are offering room/ticket deals for both the museum and civic center exhibits – and also room/ticket deals for the Titanic exhibit at the GA Aquarium.

  12. dad

    Maybe you need a house full of company.
    That should eliminate all the laughing and perhaps some of the sarcasm that I love you for.

  13. jennielynn

    Please don’t let Chickie see Otto shooting at the cats, because I’m pretty sure her screams will travel to the West Coast and that would be scary.

  14. Tracy

    I don’t know how you do it. That would completely do me in. I can not work unless everyONE is working!

  15. Debbi

    I agree with Megan, how come staff doesn’t get a break too ;-) Ours is coming up next week and I get to still go to work.

  16. Summer

    We play passive-aggressive dishes too, except our version has some special bonus rounds made possible by the fact that we both work from home. See, I get up with the kid to get him ready for school, and the bus comes at 7:40AM which means I get out of bed really, really, it’s still dark early. The husband, however, has no reason to get out of bed until much closer to 9am when he starts his work day, so he never, ever starts his day in the dark.

    In our condo, our bedroom shares a wall with the kitchen, so if I’m feeling very passive-aggressive, I use those early morning hours to unload the dishwasher (clank! bang!) or, even better, to run the cheap and very loud dishwasher.

    The upside is that we never run out of clean cereal bowls.

  17. kaycee

    Did you know that there is also an episode of Spongebob Squarepants on 24/7?

    What’s not to love about Spongebob? Except maybe the annoying theme song and the grating voice and the fact that he IS ALWAYS YELLING.

  18. mythoughtsonthat

    In these tough times, sometimes going to the movies qualifies as a vacation!

  19. The Mother

    I LOVE passive-aggressive dishes. But my teens play it better than I do.

    Funny post. I read it and howled.

    My hubby has been hanging around the house the last few days, too. I feel your pain. REALLY!

  20. Scottsdale Girl

    I wish the real world of corporate america had SPring Break. Dammit.

  21. yvanka

    I love that a plethora of staff members are leaving comments about our lack of break… during work hours. Instead of working.

    Anybody up for a game of facebook scrabble? I don’t feel like dealing with the faculty pre-travel authorization forms just yet.

  22. Stephanie

    While the student’s at DH’s school *are* on spring break, unfortunately, DH has way too much to do to even get to sleep in. He doesn’t manage to get weekend time, either…oh, and, because we need the money, he’s going to have to teach summer school. I feel sorry for him, so I do the dishes (by hand because our dishwasher quit working and he hasn’t had time to look at it and we can’t splurge on a repairman) and try not to do anything to remind him that he SHOULD be getting some well earned time off. My my…aren’t *I* Suzie Sunshine today?

  23. Jane

    Couldn’t you just send him out for more tape?

  24. BethRD

    Do you guys also play the game about how exactly the dishwasher should be packed? Where one person is primarily concerned with optimizing use of space and the other person is concerned about not putting soft plastic things on the bottom where they’ll deform and become useless and where you’re constantly rearranging each other’s dishwasher load? Good times.

  25. Lindy

    For the cats… call animal control and ask your options.

    It probably depends county to county. A while back my dad has the same problem you had – except with cattle. The dude whose pasture bordered ours never kept his fence up and the cows were always breaking through and trampling through our pasture and all over my dads farmland. He’d go over and tell the guy, who’d come get his cows and maybe “fix” the fence, maybe not. Although manure is decent fertilizer and a few well-landed cow pies can make a GREAT baseball diamond in the front yard (no, really!), having a herd of cows tearing up your yard ain’t cool and my dad got tired of mending the fence for the guy just for the cows to break through somewhere else.

    He finally got fed up and called animal control. They told him they didn’t do cows. If this other mans uncontrolled animals were destroying his property, he was in his legal right to shoot em.

    If you didn’t know, free-range beef makes good hamburgers. ;)

  26. Tam Kin

    My friend is a single dad. To avoid playing passive agressive dishes, once a fortnight when he does their grocery shopping he buys paper plates, paper bowls, paper cups and plastic cutlery, thus eliminating the dishes, and embarrassing his sons to death in front of their friends.( A dual purpose – my favourite!). *but he also uses a leaf blower to blow all the dirt off the floors and over the back landing into the garden…*

    He’s my Special Friend.

  27. Jan

    Hey! I play the passive-aggressive dish game, too. Even more now because the &*!$$-ing dishwasher is busted.

    I just wish I weren’t playing all by myself.

  28. mama speak

    I find it so amusing that the most comments typically come from the mundane subjects. (Same w/my Tweets & FB postings.)

  29. mama speak

    Oh, I also meant to mention that meat is MURDER! Tasty, tasty murder. (I could actually be a vegetarian if not for the fact that I married into hearty Kansas stock. I just love saying that.)

  30. Katie in MA

    The thing that always gets me with Passive-Aggressive Dishes is that if you do it, you get lucky. If HE does it, he gets lucky…which means you ALSO get lucky. Dishes. Getting lucky. Win-win. In other words, ladies, hold strong. ;)

  31. Sasha

    Hey, did you know that ALL of the CSI’s are available for streaming at any hour on Netflix…you can pick and choose!

    Just sayin’ :-)

  32. dawn

    i just need something for my kids to do i have four of them so i am bored and tired of hearing them! and a babysitter is out of the question

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