Three Day Weekends With Your Family: Expectations VS Reality

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long-weekend-activitiesAh, Memorial Day Weekend. I’m always excited about Memorial Day. This is for two main reasons. First, it’s my birthday weekend every year, so I just know everything is going to be magical. Second, I am clearly delusional, which is why I ever entertain the first notion. Three day weekends always offer the distant glimmering promise of awesomeness, and always end up being awfulsauce instead. I’m fond of saying that if you expect nothing, you’ll never be disappointed. So as long as you are prepared for the worst possible weekend, literally anything above subpar will ensure that you have a sublime experience.

Expectation: Everyone will be so pleased to be home for the weekend:

Reality: This has been the week from hell.

Expectation: Grilling in the backyard.

Reality: Something goes wrong. Something always goes wrong.

Expectation: Swimming in the just-opened public pool.

Reality: The public pool sucks so hard.

Expectation: You can go camping. Who doesn’t love camping?!?

Reality: No one, that’s who.

Expectation: Everyone will get along

Reality: You get sick of each other’s faces sometime Saturday morning.

Expectation: You’ll be unplugged and work free.

Reality: You can’t stop checking your email

Expectation: You will be so sad when it ends:

Reality: You need everyone out. Right. Now.

At least you know that you can temper your disappointment with wine:

(Image: Sukit Hanphayak/Shutterstock)


  1. Bethany Ramos

    May 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Hahahaha OITNB GIF hahaha

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Sounds like the long weekends of my early 20s … 😉

    • Theresa Edwards

      May 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      I wrestled with including this, and then I thought, who can’t relate to bbq sauce basted boobies.

    • DionneKerrrba

      May 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

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  2. Justme

    May 26, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Maybe because it’s just me, my husband, our three-year-old, and two pups but we have had a WONDERFUL weekend. Our backyard was redone last week and we bought a new table, chairs, and umbrella for the patio so of course Saturday afternoon was spent sitting in the shade and drinking wine while watching the girl play in the shallow ledge of the pool and with her water table.

    It was SUCH a good weekend that I cannot fathom the fact that we still have eight days of school left until summer vacation. Last Friday, eight days seemed incredibly quick and easy to get through….but after this weekend, eight days is an absolute eternity of hell.

    • jmuns79

      May 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      I was actually just thinking this. We have ten days left. Nine with the kids. But I’m sitting here writing lesson plans while baby sleeps and am so depressed about going back!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      May 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Dear God. Only 5 days left–but if it counts for anything the kids pretty much decided they were done working like 2 weeks ago. *so sorry.*

    • Sri

      May 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      I’m so jelly. Someone is going to have to call the jelly school on me. I still have more than a month left. The kids think that they should have been out weeks ago, and are acting accordingly, and we still have MULTIPLE field trips left before we get out. Bleh.

  3. FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    May 26, 2014 at 10:45 am

    This is exactly what happens to us every time. The bickering and misery is set to begin in 3…2…1…

  4. keelhaulrose

    May 26, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Omg, the camping thing. I’m not a fan of camping at all. My husband decided for the fourth of July we are going to go camping near his family. In the middle of nowhere. With no phone or internet. Just camping. With the kids in the same tent.
    I want a vacation when I get back.

    • LadyClodia

      May 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Seriously, that sounds awful. And I would say that you’d definitely deserve a vacation after that.
      My husband only used to camp on vacations when they were kids, but he so far has made no indication that he wants to do that with our boys. He also probably knows that I flat-out won’t go, though. I’m not a fan of the outdoors in general, but I will go hiking or stuff like that, but no camping.

    • keelhaulrose

      May 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      This is what I get for marrying a redneck. My family used to go on vacation every year, but our idea of “camping” involved wheels, a king sized bed for the adults, and a private bathroom. My husband’s childhood was sleeping under the stars, unless it was raining, then he got to sleep under the tailgate of the truck.
      I told him if the campground we go to doesn’t allow alcohol I’m staying with his mother and he can camp with the kids.

    • LadyClodia

      May 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      My husband is from Europe, and the way his family did vacations was that everyone got on a bicycle, their dad pulled the bike trailer with tents, and they rode around Europe. His father actually just came for a visit: he flew into DC then biked up to Pittsburgh, stayed for about a week, then left Pittsburgh and biked up to Toronto. Not my idea of fun.
      My dad was so not into camping, so yeah a cabin was as close as we ever got. I did have to go camping once with my mother and stepfather, but that’s been it.

    • Justme

      May 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Our family vacation motto is, “I love not camping.”

    • Theresa Edwards

      May 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      I hate nature. Also, dark story alert: when my mom dropped us off in our group homes she told me that we were all going to camp and she’d be back in a week. A year later…

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I refuse to camp unless it’s “journalgal” style. That means a cabin with cooking facilities, a real toilet, doors on the bedrooms and preferably a/c. Call me a diva if you must 🙂

    • Maggie J

      May 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      My husband has this idea that a camping trip to Yellowstone with our toddler would be a wonderful idea. Thanks, but eff that. I’ll camp in the Marriot.

  5. LadyClodia

    May 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

    We’re in this hell for the long haul. My older son graduated preschool last week, so everyone’s home full-time now. I didn’t even have much of a regular weekend because my husband was on call for work and had to work a good chunk of the weekend, and he has to work today as well. I’m already over this, and we still have 3 months of summer to go. Ugh.

  6. pixie

    May 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Our long weekend was last week. I spent most of the weekend with my boyfriend and I think it was the first May long weekend I’ve spent with him in several years since he usually goes camping with his friends.

    I don’t mind camping all that much, but last time I went with my boyfriend and his friends, one of them nearly chopped their foot off with a hatchet…

    • journalgal2

      May 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Yay for Canadians! Yay for not chopping off feet!

    • pixie

      May 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      I agree to both!

      And the foot-chopping incident happened when we had been at our site for less than 24 hours. And we were pretty much a 5 hour paddle into Algonquin Park. *sigh*

    • keelhaulrose

      May 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      We went camping once, and my friend unrolled some firewood to find a snake in the middle. They heard her scream across the campground and she ran a quarter mile Usain-Bolt style. It was funny once the snake (which was young but venomous) cleared out, but I still slept in the car and refused to fetch firewood the rest of the trip.

    • pixie

      May 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      I don’t blame you.

      I was terrified of running into a bear, but we were in Algonquin Park and had to paddle like 5 hours in a canoe to get to our site, so I didn’t have much choice but to sleep in a tent with my boyfriend. When his friend chopped his foot, we managed to get a water taxi back to where our car was and managed to get to a hospital before it was too late for him to get stitches.

  7. itpainsme2say

    May 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I went to ginger babies wedding this weekend and found out that his mom (my uncles wife) hates me. This was after i had to abandon my mother for three days because one of us (my sister went to the beach instead of taking care of our mother and my dad is a dick) had to go to her special boy’s wedding. I did get to play with my cousins baby though.

  8. Hansen Harlley

    May 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Oh i love you so much

  9. Maria Marry

    May 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    No no I am not agree with that because of

  10. Ro

    May 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    My long weekend went rather well, basically because I was expecting the worst. We went camping and rain was forecast for the whole weekend, a heavy rainfall warning to be specific. It was sunny every morning and barely drizzled in the afternoons, so yeah, awesome! Also, we have just upgraded from tent camping to tent trailer camping, so it felt rather luxurious!

  11. Shelly Lloyd

    May 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    As a retail worker, I hate holidays. Holidays means extra long hours, tons of extra work, and dealing with even more assholes. And since we are only retail we do not get perks like holiday pay. I worked an 11 hour shift yesterday, and a 10 hour shift today. All I can say is that people fucking suck.

  12. C.J.

    May 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I would love to have a 3 day weekend with my family. We are Canadian so our holiday was last week. My husbands drives truck and has to work the Canadian holidays and gets the American ones off. He had to work Saturday and Monday last week. He had those 2 days off this week but the kids had to go to school on Monday, dress rehearsal for dance on Sunday and last practice on Saturday. I will be very happy if he gets a job where he drives product that stays in Canada.

  13. irti

    May 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Check this For Nuts :The Best and Worst Nuts For you

  14. JulesInNC

    May 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

    My husband just left town for 10 weeks. I have a 2.5 year-old daughter who is putting me through the wringer right now. Oh, and I just found out I’m pregnant (which is good, but I’m soooo tired). So this weekend was a long one, and it included NO WINE. CALL FOR BACKUP.

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