Friday, May 09, 2008

Hidden Agendas

My $600 tax rebate is here! Woo-hoo!

If I were a good citizen, I would spend it patriotically and with abandon, on a flat-screen TV or new paint for Henry the Ford Taurus. The plan is for us 'mericans to be encouraged to spend, not to save.

Well, I'm spending it, but it's not helping the anemic economy. I'm going to the Caribbean. Or maybe Bermuda. I'd go to Suchitoto, El Salvador, which sounds interesting but no, in this case, it is utter boredom I seek. A resort may well be the answer.

"Huh?" I hear you and understand. But consider this:

I have this thing called a day job. A start-up day job in a labor-intensive industry. Got an ad that isn't quite the right size for the Indian licensor? Someone should extend the edges in Photoshop. Uh-oh, that someone is me. An Indonesian magazine editor has an error on our iDisk? Well, someone grab the files and upload them again! (Oops, that's me too.) And someone has to read scripts, proofread newspaper stories, and do normal editor work too (like threaten freelancers who better quit reading this and get back to work). It eats up most of my waking hours.

But I have this book proposal that I've been working on for months. And it's almost done. I just need a few days without distractions.

Somehow, that never happens.

My scheme is to use this tax rebate to go for a long weekend to somewhere dull. Somewhere maybe where I have to walk to a hotspot to get online (so no one from work can find me). Somewhere without anyone I know.

It so happens that I despise the beach. This is weird, yes. Most people love the beach. I find it boring, hot, and sandy. Resorts generally feature beaches. I could do some laps in the resort pool in the morning, then get to work. Cuz there's nothing else to do but go to the beach.

A noble goal, this finishing the book proposal.

But what if something more sinister is boiling unspoken, deep within Marie-gut? Could I crave a passport stamp to put Edward Readicker-Henderson in his cheeky place? Am I jealous of C's freelance international lifestyle, something I myself had for half a decade? Haven't I already proven that I am capable of solo travel (just a bit)? Couldn't I just go to some cabin in the Poconos and be REALLY bored?

We'll see. Right now, the entire Caribbean is this mind-boggling blur to me, and I'm overwhelmed with isolating the right destination. Bring on the ideas, but remember, the more social or interesting the place sounds, the less point there would be in going there.

And if it's domestic, forget it. Not that I care, of course.

The question, then, is this:

What's the most boring place you've ever been to?


Steve Buccellato said...

I think the most boring place I've ever been was Lexington, Kentucky. Broke down there with David while driving cross-country. But, I don't think that's what you're looking for.

The best place I've ever been with little to do was Moorea (in French Polynesia). Not much to do but eat, swim & snorkel. However, you're not getting there with $600.

If you don't want the beach, why not the country? (Dude Ranch, anyone?) What is there to do in Canada? Or maybe the desert? When I was researching Palm Springs recently, it seemed pretty boring! Joshua Tree is supposed to be nice this tie of year.

Benjamin Russell said...

The most boring place I've ever been to was Arkansas. On a cross-country drive from NH to Texas, after leaving Memphis we just rolled up the windows, put on cruise control and didn't stop for anything until we crossed the border on the opposite diagonal of the state. It may well have been lovely, but we didn't really give it a chance, and it's the only piece of featureless, memoryless travel of the whole trip.

Ed Ward said...

Most boring place? Girl, you're already in New Jersey!

Sorry. Reflex. The most boring place I've been is M√ľnster, Germany. There's about five minutes' worth of sightseeing to do and then...nothing. Entire city closes at 10, as I found out going to dinner at 9:30.

But the Caribbean sounds great. Or Bermuda. Lord, I can't imagine what there is to do in Bermuda if you don't play golf. But other islands have better food, I'd wager. So yeah, something tropical. Only places there I've been were Jamaica (definitely not boring, but these days not in a good way) and Puerto Rico (quite boring), but I bet with a little research you'd find something.

Ana said...

Moose Factory, Canada. But you may be kept busy running away from horse flies and mossies.

Steven R. Stahl said...

The most boring place I’ve been to isn’t a geographical place. It’s a social event in which I have absolutely no interest, but other people think I should be there for appearance’s sake. A wedding, opening gifts after the wedding--back in ‘78, one of my sisters got married and later that evening, the family was in the living room watching the two of them open cards and pass the things around. Gaah! I was desperate to do something else, but my mom would have been furious if I’d left the room.

I suppose Henry is on a bit of a diet, but then he doesn’t have a big stomach, unlike, say, an SUV.

You don’t seem to be able to zone out, to just sit in a sauna, say, and let the world drift away.

I’m going to spend some of my stimulus check on dried mushrooms. The Gourmet Store has a good price on Morels.


Sara Kocher said...

I vote Bermuda, even though I loved it back when I went in the late 80's. But then I like the beach.

As I remember it, the stores were full of clothes so conservative that even I was not interested, and the main activities were beach-going, golf, and riding motor scooters. The restaurants were very good, can't recall what the prices were like. The whole island is so small that you could swim a few laps, ride your rental scooter from one end to the other, and still have hours and hours to fill. Also, it's a prosperous place. At the time, I was earning significantly less than the average Bermudan, so I didn't have the guilt of being comfortable amidst poverty.

Most of the places I've been bored were in the continental US. Try Wyoming for nothing to do, or my personal favorite, Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

Just as a point of interest, there's a town called Boring in Oregon- it pretty much lives up to its name.

Stuart Moore said...

I second Wyoming. Remind me to tell you sometime about trying to find someplace to eat after 9 PM in Casper. (This was a while ago -- they may have invented restaurants by now.)

Marie Javins said...

Wait, how did I spend my stimulus check without even noticing? Hell, it's gone already...