Traveling with My American Man
We spent our wedding night on a Greyhound bus from Virginia to New York City.
We became a couple when we were 18 and freshmen. We married a few weeks after graduation when we were 22.
I made all the wedding arrangements, except the honeymoon. I reserved the Church, secured the preacher, booked the club, selected the menu, chose the entertainment, sent the invitations . . . I even picked out and picked up his tuxedo.
All he had to do was show up, say “I do” and whisk me off on the romantic honeymoon he had meticulously planned. This is when I began to learn that if I wanted to get away with Mr. Blackberry, I had to let Mr. Blackberry get away with being himself.
Mr. Blackberry is dependable. He can be depended on to do what he believes is required, and then some, to secure his family’s well being and future. He can be depended on to follow the rules. He can be depended on to earn his “pay” and to be available “24-7-365” to his colleagues and clients. He is a Type AAA.
Outside of work, however, he is not reliable. He is reliably unreliable and notoriously forgetful and scatterbrained.
In typical Mr. Blackberry fashion, his senior year spring was overcrowded with career-related goals. He had scheduled himself with a 10 day period when he would take five final exams and, right in the middle of those exams, take the three-day, four-part CPA Exam. He was not content with just graduating and passing a few parts. His mind was set on getting straight A’s and passing all four parts. He wanted to jump start his career with a good first impression at work and to make sure he had the highest GPA possible for the grad school admissions process in a few years. So, come January 1, he went to the library and didn’t emerge again until the end of May.
He did manage to book our flights from New York City to the Caribbean and to reserve a wonderful ocean front room. Unfortunately, with his head down in the books, it did not occur to him to check what time we were getting married on that Saturday in June and to make sure we could get from Virginia to New York City for our 10 a.m. flight on Sunday.
As he would have learned if he took a moment to read the invitation, the wedding was scheduled for 7 p.m. The last flight to New York City left at 8 p.m. Mr. B eventually put two and two together the Sunday before the big day and, showing one of his lovable traits, saw it as an opportunity for which there was some “reasonable solution.” We could move the wedding up to earlier in the day. We could leave the church after the ceremony and head right to the airport.
So, when we left our reception at 10 p.m., my new mother-in-law drove us away from the reception to the bus station and we caught the 11 p.m. bus to New York City, which arrived at 7 a.m. the next morning.
He found me a window seat and himself an aisle seat. They just weren’t in the same row. The bus was nearly full by the time it reached our station and we could not find two seats together.
We actually had a wonderful honeymoon and I have come to understand that Mr. B pours so much of himself into his work for “our family,” that there is just very little left to allocate to “details” outside of work. What some might see as maddening aloofness, I see as the lovable quirks of my guy and soulmate.
He also is a red-blooded American man. The first thing he does every morning is read the sports pages. He views the world through the lens of an athlete with a cliché (“it’s not whether you get knocked down …”) for every situation. He loves war movies, war books and war history. He doesn’t have the shopping gene. His idea of dressing up is taking off his baseball cap. He thinks sun on the golf course is safe and sun on the beach is dangerous.
Despite all this, he has become a wonderful and enthusiastic travel companion. We found ways to indulge him while he indulges me. It wasn’t easy or obvious, but it works for us and perhaps it will give you some ideas that you can use.
Perhaps you too have someone special who can be so professional and excellent at work and so inept outside of work. Perhaps he is another red-blooded American man and not the type who would easily fit into a chic-chic French hot spot. I’ll share with you what I’ve learned in getting away with Mr. Blackberry. It all begins with letting him be himself, and not asking him to be someone else. He’ll love you for that and, together, you’ll love sharing your dream vacations.
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