It all happened so fast. Last weekend, we left the kids at grandma’s and snuck down to sunny San Diego for a company convention, meaning we tacked on several extra days to our stay, turning Derrick’s “work” into our play. The morning of our departure, as I was bent over the airport kiosk scribbling out a tag for our luggage, I felt Derrick turn toward me. Looking up, I met his eye to find a luminous–and vaguely familiar–light in it. Pupils dialated, he grinned [sociallocker id=”9134″]widely but said nothing. I peered into his face, sure I’d seen his expression somewhere before, perhaps long ago and far away. He was all aglow, bursting with a palpable energy that I feared might catapult him onto the conveyor belt a la Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch.
“Honey?” I asked. “What is it?” His smile broke open and he threw his arms around me, hugging me so hard it was almost desperate.
“It’s Vacation Derrick! Vacation Derrick! He’s back, Jen–I can feel him coming back!”
“Oh, honey. I’m so happy for you.”
“For us–happy for us!”
See, Vacation Derrick is a Derrick with no responsibilities, no commitments, and no guilt for the forty-seven things he should be doing right now and just doesn’t have time to do. Vacation Derrick is a Derrick on the run. And we both love him. Much more, in fact, than we do Kennewick Derrick.
Kennewick Derrick is Vacation Derrick’s nemesis. Kennewick Derrick is constant and reliable; Vacation Derrick, illustrious and fleeting. Vacation Derrick comes out to play only once or twice a year, but when he does, life is good. Especially for me. But, like Mary Poppins and my size 6 pants after a month of no carbs, Vacation Derrick can never stay long. All it takes is one ill-received email, one accidentally answered phone call, and Vacation Derrick crumples and wilts like the Wicked Witch of the West under a bucket of water. Kennewick Derrick takes his place, and only a plane ticket, some palm trees, and a dead cell phone can bring Vacation Derrick back again. So I’ve learned to enjoy him while I can. This time I only had him for three days, but those three days felt a lot like this:
(And I know you all saw this photo on facebook already, but when you have the bishop in this compromising of a position, you have to capitalize on it. Think of it as my Vacation Derrick souvenir.)
Though we still have a few days of our trip left, they will now be peppered with work responsibilities that, though not unpleasant, remind Derrick of who he is and what he has to do. And so I bid Vacation Derrick farewell. For as George Canstanza once instructed, if Kennewick Derrick walks through the door, Vacation Derrick ceases to exist. A Derrick divided against himself will not stand.
(But I still have the credit card. And the car. And he’s in classes all day.)