April 12, 2012 by themommahen
My end-of-vacation dread starts, according to The Husband, approximately five minutes into our trip to wherever we’re going. Okay, so maybe not that quickly, but I do have to fight myself not to give into that sinking feeling of, “Crap, it’s almost over, only three more days!” Which is followed by, “Waaaahhhh, how can it be only two days left already?!” And then, “One more stinking day?! That’s it? Poooooooorrrr meeeee!” Then finally, “What’s the point of even coming on vacation when you have to go back home?!”
Drives The Husband absolutely crazy. Add to that the fact that he doesn’t understand us North Carolinians and our infatuation with driving back and forth to and from the beach. Growing up down here, that’s what we did. While The Husband was gallivanting around the world to national parks, historic battlefields and exotic locales, my family and I were happily schlepping back and forth to the beaches of North and South Carolina.
I really wanted to find a picture with my parents, but this was the best I could do.
(Who marries someone who has already been to Hawaii, the Bahamas, Greek Isles and French Polynesia just to name a couple, making honeymoon planning completely frustrating? Me!)
We went to French Polynesia anyway.
Let me be clear: I use the word schlepping with complete and utter affection. I love the beach. Freaking. LOVE. It. Can’t get enough of it. Think the three-hour drive is a breeze. Crave the smell of salt air and sound of crashing waves. And can’t understand for the life of me why the love of my life, my soulmate and partner, (whom I met on Spring Break in Mexico AT A BEACH, might I remind you) doesn’t feel the same way.
Where it all began…
Don’t misunderstand or jump to judgment – he likes the beach. He may even love being at the beach. But getting there and back? In one weekend? Hells to the no thank you, but okay if you really really want to I’ll do it for you.
Holy crap — a family photo!!
Maybe his reluctance has something to do with the fact that he spends two hours in the car (at a minimum) every day for his commute to work. And it also could be that wreck he was in last Easter, not even 20 minutes into his trip to the beach, that ended up totaling his new (used, but new to him) car and scarring him for life the way serious car accidents do if you’re lucky enough to limp away. But it was before all that came to be that I could tell he wasn’t as into it as the rest of us were. And don’t even get him started on those of us who think of the coast as a magnificent and relaxing daytrip. Which I kind of get if for no other reason than I would have probably looked at him like he’d lost his mind if he’d suggested, while we were living in Chicago, that we make a daytrip down to his hometown, which is roughly the same distance as a trip to the beach. But I chalk that up to the hour it took to get out of the city. At least the beach trip is mostly 55+ mph.
What’s not to love?
But he goes anyway, and this past weekend, he even left us there with my parents to come back to work, leaving us to frolic and play in the (frigid) waters of the ocean, lazy river and indoor pool. We weren’t alone, but I’m pretty sure all those other people were Damn Yankees* and Crazy Canadians** (as they’re so affectionately called by the locals down here). Now I don’t write about our marital stuff very much on this blog, and I don’t plan on that changing anytime soon, but let’s all agree that any relationship can get a little ho-hum over time. You get used to the routine and your respective roles. You may even take the other for granted. (Gasp! Not us, never us!) But when he left, I really missed him. Like, felt that little pang of something not quite right with the universe. And let’s face it, there’s something about moonlight reflecting off the ocean that makes you wish you were witnessing it with someone special.
Sappy perhaps? Let me bring it back to real for you – I even missed his sarcastic comments marveling at my ability to completely ignore any routine when I can lose. my. Freaking. HEAD. if something upsets our schedule at home. Okay, I may not be altogether truthful in saying that I missed that. But you get my drift.
But that gesture of leaving us to stay when he couldn’t, well, it meant a lot and reminded me (even though I didn’t need reminding — err — okay, maybe I needed a teensy weensy reminder) that even though neither we nor our relationship are perfect, I’ve got a pretty good one. Even if he never will understand our love affair with weekend (or day) trips to the beach. But I think he’s in trouble, because I’m pretty sure the Hatchlings get it.
*Since I lived in Boston and Chicago for a combined 20 years, my friends down here tell me I now am technically part of this group. And since Midwesterners are a completely unknown class to Southerners, so is The Husband.
**I have no real disclaimer here, just know that most of us Southerners (yes, I’m able to hold dual citizenship) think a Crazy Canadian is either a whiskey drink or a Damn Yankee. And the “crazy” moniker, I was told one time by a Canadian on vacation at the beach, is deserved because “we will swim in any water South of your Mason Dixon line at any given time.”