I realize it’s been a wimpy winter so far, but I am a Canadian and the desire to go somewhere warm is inherent. I’m at that point in the calendar year when I realize I need a vacation, and there isn’t one in sight.

There is no budget or time for such notions until August. The only beach I’m going to see between now and then is in the photos my friends post to Facebook. Vicarious living should be a thing.

One night, as I lay in bed watching a movie under the warmth of my electric blanket, a commercial came on the television for a couple’s vacation resort. There, before my eyes, was paradise. Crystal blue water, white sandy beaches and gourmet meals served between cocktails. It was an island of gorgeous people romantically paired off like it was the Noah’s Ark of perfect genetics.

The advertisement showed a man and woman enjoying a couple’s massage, then taking romantic walks on the beach, holding hands, and dancing poolside in the evening in elegant attire. Every person in the commercial was smiling and fit. Not a single one of them had an ounce of body fat. I forgot only skinny people go on vacation.

Was this Fantasy Island? Let me tell you how it would look if the Carpenter and I showed up in a couple’s beach resort, in the dead of a Canadian January. First off, we’d arrive in paradise exhausted and pale. Of course, we’d have flown in economy class, and thanks to the Canadian dollar, we’d have packed our own snacks: granola bars to last a week. It’s what we could afford. We’d suck it up just to hit the beach.

The Carpenter’s attire would consist of his favourite Seattle Seahawks T-shirt, a pair of golf shorts and the most hideous Velcro sandals you can imagine, because the man really just doesn’t care about shoes. His sun protection would consist of a baseball cap, which would remain on his head for the entire week regardless of the social events or dining rules. He is who he is. He does not dress to impress.

Me? I’d be packing my winter fat and unlike the Carpenter, would struggle to fit into last summer’s shorts. I’d pass on any public displays of bathing suits and live in my cut-off jean shorts and a T-shirt that says “Whatever.” Flip-flops would be my fashion accessory. Good enough.

Our luggage would not include dress clothes for clubbing. Besides, the Carpenter wouldn’t dance until the rum was plentiful enough to erase the years of inhibitions, which would then make him an assault to everyone on the dance floor. We would be a spectacle, for sure: the poster couple for reality. Skip the couple’s massage. We can’t be that serious. We would giggle and make inappropriate jokes that would end with a swirling towel snapping fight. Serious shouldn’t happen on vacation.

Walking hand in hand on the beach? Okay, that might happen, but it would likely end with me getting tossed into the ocean, creating a splash battle of epic proportions. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Carpenter and I would never make the advertisement, but I assure you we’d have way more fun. For now, I’ll turn up the electric blanket and dream.


Kelly Waterhouse