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Opening Arguments

Time off

Count me among them:

Many Americans seem to eschew traditional vacations — a trend that has some experts worried that workers are not getting away from their jobs to relax and recharge, both physically and mentally.

The reasons vary, from having too few vacation days available to lacking money for travel. But in some cases, it seems, many people just aren't getting into the habit of getting away.

A recent study by Orbitz, the online travel company, found a drop in the number of people taking three-week or two-week vacations and an increase in those taking a week or less. One-third of respondents said they took five or fewer days of vacation in the past year.

We were talking about vacations at work yesterday. One person had just come back from a week in Florida, and another one had spent a week off just hanging around the house and sleeping late. It sounded to me like the homebody had had a much better time -- no travel hassles, no schedules, no desperate attempt to have fun and take pictures that might be dragged out and looked at in 20 years -- and I decided that's what I'd like to do for my next vacation. But my house is much too messy to feel good about waking up late in, and I have no interest in spending two weeks cleaning it up just to take a week off. So I thought I might just check into a local hotel -- perhaps the downtown Holiday Inn, which the city created and is destroying so as to revitalize downtown -- where I can sleep in and have somebody else do the cleaning and tidying up.

I will also be able to succumb to one of my favorite self-indulgences: room-service breakfast. You sleep until you are ready to get up and turn on the morning news shows, if you've even bothered to turn the TV off the night before, you order toast and bacon and orange juice and coffee and take your shower while they prepare it, then answer your door and collect the food, along with a morning paper, then enjoy it on the edge of your bed feeling wonderfully decadent and remorse free. Then you go down and wander through the lobby for a while and check out the gift shop so the maid can make your bed and you can go back to the room and take a nap until lunch.

Whenever I've gone to conferences, I always paid attention to the seminar sessions and dutifully reported back on what I'd learned. But, honestly, the meetings were always just annoyances between room-service breakfasts.

Oh, and please don't ever use "eschew." It's just about the worst pretentious word there is. Geshundheit.

Posted in: All about me