Greetings from 38,000 feet. Or as the flight attendant called it before take-off, “upstairs.”
We’re winging our way to our niece’s wedding. Mr. Smite will be performing the ceremony and I was asked to write some pithy advice on the secrets to a happy marriage. Please don’t tell my sister-in-law I’m writing this instead.
Mr. Smite sits next to me, happily bobbing his head to the music coming through his earbuds as he reads something super-esoteric. He’s even sexier than the day I married him.
Especially now that the giant vein in the middle of his forehead has receded.
He hates traveling. Loves getting away, but hates the trip. Individual people he adores, but large masses of humanity who don’t know how to navigate security or can’t figure out the whole overhead carry-on thing infuriate him.
It makes me giggle.
Just one more way we’re polar opposites. I love travel. I love people. Even the stupid ones. Something about airports makes me giddy. Maybe it’s the limitless destinations. The sense of adventure. The beginning of a great journey to be savored every second and the anticipation of the cherished memories that are about to be made.
Maybe I have some marriage advice after all.
Aren’t the best unions simply made up of great travel companions? Because there’s no greater journey, no more amazing adventure than sharing yourself completely with someone. Falling and wallowing in the bliss of Deep Smit.
When I was single that was always the real test of a relationship. Did we travel well together? Some very promising liaisons were severed before we even got to baggage claim.
On the outbound trip.
The secret is you can’t both freak out at the same time. Whether it’s lost luggage, flight delays, foreclosure, unemployment, or the thousands of other minor and major issues that can bog down a marriage.
Despite the release of his inner curmudgeon every time tray tables and the use of personal electronic devices are mentioned, Mr. Smite is my ideal traveling companion. We’re in perfect sync even though we’re polar opposites.
A few years ago, he’d planned a romantic get-away. On the first flight, we were surrounded by the Loud Talker, the Armrest Hogger, the OverSharer and That Guy – the one who is an expert on
Mr. Smite smiled, was social and not a single “W… T… F” crossed his lips. The mix-up with our rental car didn’t throw him. He was determined to be his best self, rise above and make it a perfect romantic trip.
It wasn’t until the unexpected highway construction, lane closures and inevitable delays started to make that forehead vein twitch. A forced detour that added 60 miles to the trip made his jaw clench. Missing the unmarked exit to the romantic B&B with our private cabin on a rushing river, brought out the death grip on the steering wheel.
I chatted to distract him. Made jokes about the situation. Sang goofy songs and was generally my most entertaining self. It worked.
We arrived after midnight. To find all the cabins dark and not a soul anywhere to be found in the remote town. We searched under doormats and in mailboxes for the keys that were supposed to have been ready for our delayed arrival.
He cussed often and loudly. Actually kicked the tires on the rental car, hurt his foot and then cussed some more. All I could do was laugh. Not at him, but at the situation. It was like a scene from a movie. I just threw my head back and roared.
“Honey, look how beautiful the Milky Way is out here with no light pollution. Listen to the rush of the river. It’s perfect. Just like it is. We don’t have to stay here to enjoy it.”
He took a deep breath, smiled and gave me the sweetest kiss. The kind that buckles your knees and threatens to send you both plummeting to the ground. “Thank you for reminding me what’s important. You ready to drive to the next exit and try to find a hotel room?”
“Only if there’s a lumpy bed, roaches and no scenic vista.”
We laughed and kept laughing for another 100 miles, until we finally found a place that staffed their front desk in the middle of the night.
I’ve never had the heart to ask him if he got his money back on the beautiful cabin we never got to stay in.
So, J and R, it’s easy to be happy together. You’ve already found your perfect traveling companion. Now all you have to do is enjoy each other, try to be your best selves and when you find yourself kicking and cussing inanimate objects, laugh at yourself. Your emergency flotation device is standing right there next to you.
Deep Smit – it’s a trip…