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Two years ago while stuck in a vacation-less summer, I wrote an incredibly bitter piece about how jealous I was of teachers’ Snapchat stories during their summer vacations. Sure, the piece was framed as “I regret not becoming a teacher,” but really all I meant was that I was remarkably envious.
Before you jump down my throat, yes, I’m aware that teachers deserve every ounce of vacation they get. They deserve more than that, really. But in the summer of 2018, I’ve come to realize that it’s not just teachers who make my insides boil during the summer. No, I’m a big Scrooge when it comes to just about anyone who’s relaxing on a beach somewhere while I stare at a spreadsheet.
You might be thinking “Wow, what a shallow angry person who can’t simply respect the joy of others,” and you know what, you’re completely right. Call me Silky Johnson because when you’re on vacation I hate you, I don’t even know you, and I hate your guts.
It’s not my fault, you know? When I lean back in my chair after exiting a grueling conference call or grind out my seventh report of that morning before I start to scroll Instagram, it’s impossible for that jealousy not to bubble to the surface. I’m sitting there sipping some coffee that’s gone cold while watching an Instagram story from my buddy who just teed off at Bandon Dunes.
Wow, that view of the ocean from under your beach umbrella accompanied with the cold beer you’re boomeranging to and the #CoastLife on your story sure looks cool, but you can kick rocks from my POV. Sure, maybe you saved like a proper adult and have put in blood, sweat, and tears at your job to be able to hit up the beach with your family. Doesn’t make that bitter pill any easier for me to swallow.
Golf trip, beach trip, lavish European vacation; doesn’t matter. If you trip, I hate on it. It’s mid-July and I still haven’t been able to set aside my personal displeasure every time I watch someone film a selfie-vid on a zip-line while I zip up my fly after my third trip that morning to the office bathroom.
The problem isn’t so much that you’re all crushing the hell out of your vaca time. Almost anyone who’s leisurely throwing back cocktails on a Mexican beach has put in the effort needed to make something majestic like that happen. By all means, you deserve that chill sesh — we all do at some point. It’s just that vacation aesthetic you’re putting out on your social media makes me feel like I’m watching the most popular boy in school ask my dream date to the prom. That dream date in this case just happens to be three to seven days of PTO and consistent alcohol consumption at minimum 200 miles from my workspace.
Sure, I could delete Instagram and Snapchat off my phone, but that’d require more rationality and respect for my own mental health than I currently care to have. Yeah, sitting at my desk and being perfectly content with my life and all the blessings bestowed upon it seems great, but not as great as silently scoffing with spite over that meal from a five-star Italian restaurant a friend from high school just threw up on the ‘gram.
Back in a simpler time, like the 90s, I wouldn’t have to out myself as such a curmudgeon. Vacation ‘grams weren’t a thing. No one was checking out their friend sipping his second marg of the morning while waiting for their coffee to finish brewing in the break room. Maybe someone else was living large in a lake house down at Lake LBJ, but that shit wasn’t stalking you like the Zodiac every time you picked up your phone.
When Jan from the office would come back with a sunburn and some lighter hair after a week on the beach, you’d hear about it from her. Maybe look at a Polaroid or whatever people did back then, and that’d be that. Anyone could feel an admitted pang of envy, but nothing to boil over the surface.
Now when Jan comes back, you don’t have to speak to her to know that her and the fam absolutely wrecked shop at that resort south of the border. A little sunburn, huh, Jan? Was that from visiting those sweet Mayan ruins on your Snap story that we saw? Or maybe that sweet sailing charter you took to go snorkeling? Either way, your happiness and refresh time has left me feeling like Anakin Skywalker seething on Mustafar as Obi-Wan emerges from Padme’s ship.
No pride, joy, or pleasure comes from laying this all out. I just feel feelings, guys. And one of them is just pure rotten jealousy. But by all means, enjoy your poolside cocktails, and especially enjoy letting your emails go unread between sending calls to voicemail. You’ve earned it, and I absolutely hate it.
Also, make sure to check out my Instagram during my October golf trip, shit is gonna be lit. .