Don’t worry. We stop to eat and spend the nights in hotels. We aren’t actually locked in a car for 3 days.
But whenever I tell friends that my husband and I have a vacation coming up and we are driving to Florida or Maine or wherever, I get “The Look.” Omg, they say, my husband and I would kill each other if we were stuck in the car for that long.
I think that’s when we are at our best.
Our marriage is like many others. We love each other. But annoy the shit out of each other at times. It’s not our first marriage, so our expectations are very different than when we were young and embarking on an idyllic trip from the altar to the divorce court. Now our expectations are that we don’t really have too many.
Who cares about toilet seats being up or down. Or who flosses while making icky noises. I made that one up. Thankfully, neither of us does that. The only real deal-breaker was the first Christmas tree. I think of that as the BLINKING LIGHTS INCIDENT. Blinking Christmas tree lights? I don’t think so. That “discussion” lasted an inordinately long time. I almost won. We have no blinking lights on our tree. Except, somehow, one strand in the middle always “accidentally” blinks and can’t be fixed without taking all the ornaments off. Annoying, but I’m sure it gives my husband a maniacal thrill each year.
And the funniest moment ever is one that still makes me laugh but he doesn’t remember at all. We started dating in 1991. SPOILER ALERT TO OUR CHILDREN: SHUT YOUR EYES AND SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. The first time we spent the night together, we both walked to the same side of the bed. And looked at each other. “This is my side of the bed,” he said. “No,” I responded, “I always sleep on this side.” I won that one, but it was a hilarious moment and an insight into compromising in a new relationship.
No longer is there an eager anticipation that he might call me. He does occasionally, but it seems silly when we’re going to see each other in a few hours. I love my job; he doesn’t love his. So “how’s your day” is going to elicit more or less the same responses every time.
He doesn’t like talking about his, but I go on and on and on about my day and everything else that flits across my ADHD brain. My husband is good at pretty much ignoring all of that and nodding occasionally which keeps me going. We probably spend about an hour a day in the same room as each other, not counting sleeping hours. I sit on the bed and do schoolwork, blog, read or watch Netflix. He sits on the couch and watches movies and spends hours writing in his office.
Which brings to mind what things has he won? He’s a very subtle guy. He would win without me knowing it. Does ignoring me when I talk non-stop to him while he’s in another room count? Probably. And he has banned me from texting him in the house.
So why do we both think it’s awesome to travel together for 10 hours at a time for several days at a time without an escape plan? Because we like each other. A lot. We have a car filled with discussing politics and news and reading and knitting and listening to books on CD’s and comfortable silences. We have trips filled with stopping for gas and food and visiting natural wonders and historical sights. And just being together.
That’s why I like to be enclosed in a car for three days with my husband.