Monday, October 31, 2005

Don't Forget the Toothpaste

I am friends with an exceptional elderly woman. She sums up her marriage to her late husband by saying, "We sure did take some great trips together."

Ty and I are terrific traveling companions. Our routine doesn't vary all that much. We call for a car from a car service company, which gets us to the airport later than I would like and earlier than he would like. We check our bags, and then comes the fun part: a magazine shopping spree at the nearest Hudson News kiosk. He usually gets relatively highbrow fare like The Economist or The New Yorker, with some respectable escapist fun thrown in, such as Country Home or Gourmet. It is like Christmas morning for me, as I have a virtual license to purchase Us Weekly, People, Glamour, and Allure at the same time. If we're headed to a foreign country, I might even get In Touch, and rationalize it by saying, "There probably won't be many English-language magazines available there." Ty buys two or three million packs of gum, and, deluded by thoughts of turkey and havarti on crusty bread, I pick up some kind of disgusting and overpriced snack, like a soggy salad or airport bagels.

We then sit and wait a half an hour or so for boarding to begin. Just as they call the first block of rows, Ty takes off for the Mens' Room, and I sit still for about ten seconds before I panic that the plane will take off without us and struggle into the line with my open magazine and both of our carry-on bags, crumbs spilling from my lap. As I'm about to board, Ty sprints to my side, smiling and freshly groomed. Our vacation is about to begin!

A seasoned traveler, Ty has a knack for picking wonderful restaurants, bars, and hotels off the beaten path. My tolerance for adventure increases ahundredfold on vacation, and I am likely to find myself hiking in my good shoes and then savoring a new and spicy cuisine, my third gossip magazine crushed and forgotten at the bottom of my suitcase.

We are silly together. We create new inside jokes. I take photos of him with tousled hair and three-day stubble; he takes photos of me in my green coat and the blue glasses that the eccentric lady gave me for free when I bought a bag. We make forty minutes of fun out of procuring the toiletry items we have forgotten. We get hungry at the same time; we get tired at the same time. We make love before dinner and go out when everyone else is coming home and getting ready for bed.

Coming back is always a little bit sad, of course. The apartment is dark and the air is stale. There are phone messages to check, bags to unpack, junk mail to shred, tons and tons of laundry to do, no food in the refrigerator.

So, we pull the dirty clothes out of our suitcases and throw them on the floor. We order Chinese takeout and put on our pajamas. After a few days, our lives get back to normal.

We grocery shop, wash our clothes, do our work. Our apartment becomes clean and bright. He cooks, I cook. He wears the gray turtleneck sweater that I love. We plan our weekends. We take a walk, and look at dogs both big and little, and babies. We buy a new kind of cheese and ogle houses we can't afford.

I love my trips with Ty; they are necessary to keep our senses of humor and our sanity healthy and functioning. But I cherish the fact that we can come home and still have fun. It makes me feel very blessed.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mignon said...

Where is that picture?? And can I have your life in this post for an afternoon?

1:18 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Amsterdam?

And... wow. You have the kind of marriage that I hope I someday have. Dang.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Yes, Amsterdam. A very beautiful city.

Pl, you can have my life in the post for an afternoon if I can have kids as cute as yours for an afternoon, complete with their adorable little Halloween costumes!

Jessica, I'm sure you will.

2:02 PM  
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