2.23.2006

Vacation vs. Holiday - Where do you want to leave today?

Of the many similar-yet-not concepts with our British-like folks across “the pond,” as it were, is the phrase “Holiday.” Here in the states, this is a term reserved for national holidays ranging from Gargantuan Festive Feast known aka Thanksgiving (a two-day-er at that too!) to the more obscure “Columbus Day” where you still have to go to work but the banks and post offices are closed to increase annoyance.
“Holidays” as they are known here, are celebrated the evening before so you can sleep in unless you are “active” and prefer doing odd jobs and chores until it’s time to start the charcoal grill/Oven/George Foreman Grill.
Over in England, also known as land of the Engs, and in other British-type colonies this term refers to the American word, “Vacation.” In sweet sing-songy voices they say “I’m going on Holiday” and they go across the planet to some remote exotic location like the Amazon or Toledo and suck the marrow out of it. Here, in the states, we take vacations. The very nature of its name proves that we do not know how to relax as a nation. Just look at it:

Vacation

Obviously, it takes it name from the root “Vacate.” That said, the word pretty much states that it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you vacate your current surroundings.
“Where are you going for your vacation?”
“Does it matter? I just won’t be here.”
“True! Hanging out at home, eh?”
“Pretty much, I’ll probably check my email half-hourly.”
(Enter Boss)
“Riley! Your on Vacation, you must vacate … NOW!”

So, basically, we Americans are left to watch commercials for cruise lines that contain “hints” on how to have fun. I believe after a couple more generations, we’ll be so job/career focused, that the simple pleasures will be viewed as antiquated head-scratching customs such as “beating-the-bounds”*

“You mean, I can go into the water”
“Absolutely…”
“Why…”
“…uh”
Baby steps America, take baby steps …

*It’s not worth it to describe

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