The moment I got the all clear Saturday morning that the kids were doing just fine on their summer vacation, everything changed.
The guilt and anxiety that had been hanging around me all week lifted, and I found myself surrounded by an entirely different cloud.
I felt my shoulders relax and the air I was taking in seemed lighter. But more than that, as I stood in my living room with the vaulted ceilings above me and the piles of laundry that needed to be folded around me, I looked around and realized that I was… alone.
Blissfully, wonderfully, remarkably alone.
Wait. Did you hear that? No?
That’s because being alone has ABSOLUTELY NO SOUND AT ALL!!! None! Nada! Zilch! It is a great big huge wide openness of quiet nothingness! And it? Is AWESOME!
I could elaborate my point by telling you that I flung my arms out wide and twirled around like Julie Andrews right there in the middle of my living room, but of course no one actually does that. I mean, really, it would be a complete exaggeration just for the point of story telling to say that I spun around in circles all by myself wearing nothing but my underwear for a good five minutes just because I could.
But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, just to make a point – that I totally could have done that if I wanted to.
Jared came home from work about noon and we headed over to Universal Studios to check into an on-site hotel. Oh yes, we did. We paid damn good money to sleep in a hotel that was 45 minutes away from our perfectly empty house.
And do you know why?
Because we could. Damn straight.
Once we checked in we took our room keys and boarded the complimentary water taxi to the theme parks. Because when you pay damn good money to sleep in a hotel room 45 minutes away from your perfectly empty house, you appreciate the irony in the water taxi being “complimentary”.
We wandered around the park hand in hand, dancing to the 50s music that was blasting from the retro diner. We stopped to use the restrooms when we had to pee without a single thought to how long it had been since the last bathroom break or how long we would have to wait until we passed another bathroom. We spent $6 on lemon slushies and called it “lunch”, without even a twinge of guilt that it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
For the first time in the year that we’ve been annual pass holders, we rode on rides together. There is something about screaming your lungs out on a roller coaster that is infinitely sweeter when your husband is sitting beside you roaring with laughter, hearing your squeals for the very first time.
We walked in silence and got lost in the people watching. We stood in the short Express lines (yay for staying on-site and getting free Express passes!) and talked about whether or not I could ever hack it as a magazine editor. Not, mind you, because I have any intentions of becoming a magazine editor at any point in my life. Just… because… it came up.
When we were finished riding every last ride we wanted to at Universal Studios (which is not the same as the sister park Islands of Adventure, just so you know), we decided to head back to the hotel. And we didn’t stop to eat. Because we just weren’t hungry! And we don’t have to eat at a decent time if we’re not hungry!
While riding the complimentary water taxi back to the hotel, I snuggled up to my husband and told him over and over again how much I loved him. I kissed his neck and smiled very meaningfully at him. Very. Meaningfully. Really. I was practically winking except that I do not actually know how to wink.
My husband, perceptive little bugger that he is, patted me on the head and mentioned no less than two times that he was getting kind of tired. On our way back to the room after unloading from the complimentary water taxi, he insisted that we stop at no less than three restaurants to read over their menus.
In case you are missing the subtleties of this story – I was throwing out every “let’s go have crazy hotel sex” sign in the play book and he was discussing the merits of a nap and fine American cuisine.
Which means, I believe, that I was completely justified in breaking down in the elevator into a blubbering pile of snot and sobs and proceeding to wail on and on about how “you don’t even notice! You don’t even care! It’s probably because you are not in love with me anymore and you probably hate me now because I’m getting FAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!”
Clearly, I am the best romantic getaway date ever.
Ahem. ANYway, once we got over my little issue, we got all prettied up and headed out to City Walk for a night of booze and embarrassment at the karaoke bar with Adam and his wife. And we snuggled in the corner of the booth and sang cheesy 80′s music to each other.
And when the evening was over, he was very careful to pick up on any not to so much subtle anymore thanks to a couple of stiff drinks signals that I may have lobbed his way. Because he was perceptive and paying attention and not at all afraid of finding out what in the hell might set his wife off next.
He even stayed awake for the entire fifteen minutes or so I spent alone in the bathroom trying to figure how in the hell this strap thing connected to that strap thing with this lace thing and that hook thing and fuck! fuck! I think I have it on inside out! And not once did he say “what the hell are you doing?” in response to my empty promises that “just one more minute! Everything’s fine! I’ll be right there!”
Clearly, he is the best married to a crazy woman man ever.