I’ll never forget watching my husband pack the first time we ever went away for a weekend together. Dude packed a LOT of shoes. So many shoes. It’s like I was going on vacation with Imelda Marcos¹.
I found the sight of all those shoes disturbing somehow. What exactly did all those shoes mean? It’s like all those shoes were mobilizing for some major military operation, resulting in world domination by my husband’s shoes. Yes! My husband’s shoes were planning to rule the world!
I’d never seen anything like it. When my family went on vacation, we barely even packed shoes. I’m not kidding. We took our flip-flops with us. Or "thongs," as we used to call them back in the day. So feel free right now to have a little fun visualizing my brothers wearing thongs.
Anyway. Back to my husband’s shoes. He had shoes for running. And hiking. And playing tennis. And golfing. I even seem to remember him packing a pair of cowboy boots, although he assures me that I’m exaggerating now.
My husband: You’re exaggerating now, Ann.
Whatever. The point is that he packed a lot of shoes for a long weekend. About the only kind of shoes he didn’t have were shoes for ballroom dancing, because while my husband has many interests, ballroom dancing isn’t among them.
And then it hit me. He was packing all those shoes because he thought we were going to be — you know — active. He thought we were going to run and hike and play tennis and golf and possibly participate in a calf-roping contest. We were gonna cram a heap o’ living into just three days.
I was horrified. Didn’t my husband know that the point of going on a vacation was to do a whole lot of nothing? Didn’t he know the most exercise I ever got on a vacation was to put quarters in the old Motel 6 Magic Fingers² box and watch TV with my mouth slightly open? Because I was too lazy to shut it all the way?
What was wrong with my husband? Could this marriage be saved?
A funny thing happened, though. After a few years together, he saw the appeal of being me and I saw the appeal of being him. We went all "Freaky Friday" on each other: my Lindsay Lohan turned into his Jamie Lee Curtis, his Jamie Lee Curtis turned into my Lindsay Lohan without the court appearances. I wanted to run rivers. He wanted to lie on a beach, reading a book. With big words. And a lot of pretty pictures.
And now (apparently) we’ve begun the third act of our lives as vacationers together. We just got back from the beach (where, for the record, my brothers did NOT wear thongs) (for which we were all very grateful). In the mornings my husband and I took long, satisfying bike rides (active!) along the coast and through the hills of San Clemente. In the afternoon we slipped into pleasant little comas (not so much!) on the beach, listening to waves roll this way and that, 10 yards from our feet.
Marriage. It’s an endless, shifting dance.
Just not the ballroom kind. My husband still doesn’t do that.
¹ Insert clever Imelda Marcos shoe joke here.
² Google this for yourself. Have fun with that!
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