That’s one name I gave to our recent trip to Provincetown.
I also referred to it as my birthday trip (I turned 34 on Jan. 6) and our Pre-Wedding Honeymoon. We’re, ahem, getting married in a week, which is another blog post entire.
I think, though, that “Last Vacation Before The Baby Takes Over Our Lives” is the best name. Because it really was just that.
It was also: two nights at a bed and breakfast on the Cape of Massachusetts, waking to walk along the dunes, taking naps in our king sized bed with super soft blankets, free wine and cheese events, visits to the mineral bath at the on-site spa and, in general, feeling like we are much richer than we actually are. To boot the town is full of gays and lesbians. Our bed and breakfast received just one bad review and it was from someone who wrote how surprised they were to be staying in a B&B with so many “alternative lifestyle couples.” They added that they should have “been warned” before making a reservation. The owners of the B&B wrote back that P-town is a place that accepts everyone–without prior warning.
On the streets there were old butches walking their labradors. Queens out for a stroll with their pugs, who were, of course, wearing knit sweaters. T-shirt shops selling “I Love Lesbians” shirts. Sex shops that were closed for the season but had a Scotch tape note on the door reading: “We’re closed, but I live just down the street and can be reached at at ____ in case of emergencies.” Leather speciality stores called Cock n Bull. Rainbow flags galore.
And this, in the bathroom of a coffee shop, which is really not gay at all, but very funny:
Unlike Boston, where we spent a couple days before, P-town was devoid of children. Which is appropriate. Considering it was our last vacation alone EVER.
Marta laughed when I said this, so I repeated myself several times. And then I had to remind myself that I am slightly histrionic. I actually went to P-town when I was 9, which means some couples (i.e. my parents) manage somewhat relaxing vacations even with their kids. In fact, my visit to P-Town was the first time I realized that gay was a thing, that gay people were a thing. Which gives the place a sort of soft spot in my heart.
My cousin, who was with us on that particular family gathering, told me before we went to P-Town that I had better watch out because, in P-Town, there would be “guys holding hands with guys and girls holding hands with girls.”
It was the most fascinating thing I’d ever heard. Or at least the most fascinating thing I’d heard that week.
We went and I searched for them everywhere, these guys-holding-hands-with-guys and girls-holding-hands-with-girls. And I spotted not a one. I did, though, get my ears pierced. Which counts for something.
And so it was with nostalgia mixed with pride mixed with trepidation for the coming vacationless years of my parenting life that I held Marta’s hand as we walked though the nearly empty P-Town streets. It was beautiful out. Blue skies. A slight breeze. Nearly nobody but us on the streets. I felt carefree. I can handle this whole baby thing, I thought. There are baby sitters, right?
Meanwhile, Marta was having her own revelation: “Look,” she said, “It’s a statue for me.”
In front of the library was a statue of a very generously bellied man and his generously bosomed female companion. As Marta’s been feeling rather generously bellied and bosomed as of late, she saw their figures as a sign of camaraderie. From one bulge to the next.
The next day we packed up and left.
It was sweet, but way too short.