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Working Vacations

July 21, 2016

I love organizing. Did I say love? I meant that I obsess over it. I fangirl over it. It is to me what Bonaparte Pumpkinpatch is to fans of Sherlock.
I’m a hundred percent sure that’s his name.
What Balderdash Pumpernickel and I have in common is that we both have secretaries. The only difference is that his secretary lives outside his head, and my secretary lives inside mine. Yes, you read that right. I’m my own secretary. Learning to be responsible and saving money; my Shopping-At-Thrift-Shops-Arguing-Against-Retail-Prices Indian Mother would be very proud (See Also: Jessica Huang from Fresh Off the Boat).
But along with the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for the uninitiated) I inherited from my parents, I also inherited an inability to actually go on vacation. “Summer is here!” screams my friend excitedly, while getting ready to take artsy pictures of her pedicured nails and cute sandals while on the beach, casually staging a book nearby so that she’ll look smart but not like she doesn’t have a life because clearly she’s outside her house, enjoying herself.
A.K.A Tumblr in 39 words.
Meanwhile, I crawl under my sheets and whisper to myself, “Winter is coming”, while hissing at any trace of sunlight streaming in through the windows. Yes, I know I have a problem, and my problem is that during summer there’s not really much to organize. Law school tries to solve that problem for you by making it mandatory to intern during your vacation. I choose an NGO and excitedly call up the person in charge. Here’s an accurate transcript of our conversation.
Person-In-Charge: So your work will consist of watching movies with us and painting posters. Is that okay?
Me: *Blinks*
PIC: …Hello?
Me: *Left eye twitches*
PIC: Um…
Me: I’ll take the job as long as I can set deadlines for myself and write things down in my to-do list.
PIC: …
PIC: Sure.
Me: *Looks into a distant camera like I’m on The Office and puts on sunglasses slowly*
Like I said, accurate.
I’m excited about being able to organize, but I’m quickly disappointed when I realize that the job is literally as fun as it sounds. There is nothing to put in my “Weekly Assignments” folder apart from ‘Watching Movies’ which sounds too fun to be in there anyway. At the end of my tether, I decide to channel my frustration in a productive manner and by writing, well, this. Meanwhile my Mum sits beside me and tries to read what I’m writing. “Is Farmville not working?” I ask her, surprised that she’s not tending to a goat or growing cabbages. She shakes her head, “Can’t I spend some time with you?”. “Is the phone out of charge?” I ask her. “Yes” She nods. I laugh and let her read what I’ve written. Big mistake.
“Nothing to organize” She raises her eyebrow. “How would you like to clean your room?”
I smile and laugh and smile again and shift uncomfortably, moving as far away from her as the sofa will let me. I open my “Weekly Assignments” folder and write: 1. Do not complain about not having work within earshot of Amma (Mum, in Tamil).
She holds out a broomstick.
I sigh and take it.
Big mistake.