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Monday, June 11, 2012

Suit Yourself

This weekend, my husband and I traveled to Cape Cod for a friend's wedding.  We left our daughter at home with a sitter, and brought our son along for the adventure.  We figured it would be a nice chance to have some one-on-one time with him, given that he's only ever known life in the shadow of his older sister.  I wanted to take him swimming for the first time.  We looked forward to watching him bang plastic cups, gnaw on plastic animals, and shake plastic rattles.  Basically, it was to be a weekend sponsored by the, the Olympics and BASF.   

Instead, the star of the weekend quickly became my husband.

The drive from Maine to the Cape took almost 3.5 hours.  Throughout the car trip, my husband kept remarking at how tired he was, and how it didn't feel like he was really "with it" that morning.  (Fortunately, I was driving.)  If this were a made-up story, that comment would be called "foreshadowing."  And if this were a movie, the soundtrack to that comment would be low drums and a frantic piccolo.

A bit after noon, we finally pulled into the hotel.  We were all tired and hungry.  We unloaded the car and went to check in.

The hotel we were staying at was a "resort" set up in a huge rectangle.  Inside the rectangle was a playground, a pool, an indoor wave pool, and a beach volleyball pit.  It was all very classy and fancy.  Especially the Mikey the Magician show at 7:30 next door to the Arcade Room.

The hotel itself was a low-lying affair, boasting only two stories.  We were on the second floor in the very back of the rectangle.  Which meant all the luggage we'd just unloaded had to get loaded back INTO our car so that we could drive around back to the entrance to our room.

As my husband put our suitcase back in the car, he yelled out to me "Hey, where'd you put my garment bag with my suit?"

Did your heart just sink into your stomach?  Good.  Now you know exactly how I felt as I heard those words make their way from the trunk of the car to my ear.

Because I hadn't touched his stupid garment bag or his suit.  In the decade-plus we have been together, I have learned that my adorable tendency to micromanage drives my husband nuts.  If I've heard "I'm a grown man!" once, I've heard it a hundred times.  Given my equally adorable tendency to be a fast learner, it only took me about 8 years to stop packing for my husband or giving him a list of things for him to pack himself.  These are the types of things that keep our marriage strong.

So my grown-up husband packed his grown-up clothes by his grown-up damned self.  He was also given the grown-up job of putting everything we needed for the weekend in the car.

Yet somewhere between the walk downstairs from our bedroom -- where he went for the specific purpose of retrieving the suit-filled garment bag just before we left -- and arriving at the door to exit our house, he had misplaced the garment bag.  He didn't realize that as he ambled for the passenger seat, and he didn't realize that during the 3.5 hours we sat in a car.  He didn't even realize that when he first unpacked the car during the unsuccessful check-in Mission #1.

But now, it was upon us.  We were in Cape Cod, but his suit wasn't.  And the wedding was going to start in 3 hours.

There was a lot going on inside my head.  There were questions, there were swears, there was triumphant fist-pumping and preening about the dangers of not letting me micromanage. 

I also went through a roller-coaster of imaging.  I had left Maine with the image that, at the wedding, my husband would look something like this:

Now the image of what he'd look like at the wedding was something like this:

I don't think trucker caps are smiled upon at Cape Cod weddings.

Despite the busy time my brain was having, my mouth was relatively still.  I was trying to control my various thoughts and pick only the closest-to-appropriate ones to let loose.  I managed to contain the fury and simply wonder aloud how he could have possibly forgotten his suit.  This was his answer:

"Abby!  I like to focus on the big picture!!"

I reminded him that when the picture is a wedding, as a gentleman, having a suit on hand is probably a big -- if not the biggest -- part of that picture.  He just exhaled loudly.

We took our Unholy Trinity to a lovely little restaurant where the waitress spoke primarily Russian and kept on asking if my 8-month-old son wanted crayons or needed a menu.  I slid my iPhone across the table and advised my husband to put Google to good use and search for "husbands who forget things" and "Cape Cod malls."  Fortunately, the second search was successful and he learned of a mall near our hotel.  I told him I wished him well and that he had to be back from his search and rescue mission by 3PM.  Past that hour, I would assume he'd forgotten he was a married father on his way to a wedding and I would issue a Where's Waldo Alert.

He gulped.  Even he didn't trust that he could complete this new mission on his own.  But then he said something about "crunch times being his shining moments."  I wasn't paying very close attention because he'd poked his eye out with the fork he forgot he was holding and I was trying to contain the blood.

To fortify himself for his crunch-time heroics, he got down to the business of ordering lunch.  He enjoyed a healthy pause in the ordering process as he considered his options and our Russian waitress asked our son to spell his name for her.  After taking the time to consider the grams of protein-versus-carbohydrates that would best carry him through the afternoon, my husband slammed his menu on the table, eyed our waitress, and proclaimed that he would like the "Double Dogger - WITH FRIES!"

That, my friends, is two hot dogs smothered in sauerkraut and a nice side of, well, fries. 

It was at that moment that I really began having concerns that I'd married a five-year-old with an affection for coronary artery disease.  He was thrilled with his selection, though, and happily went off in search of the mall with the balloon he received for cleaning his plate.

He returned to our hotel room around 3:15.  I told the cadaver dogs to stand down and helped him assemble a respectable, wedding-appropriate outfit from the pieces he'd bought at Macy's, Banana Republic, and I think the toy store.  In the nick of time, we walked out of the hotel room and he looked something along the lines of this:

We spent the rest of the night handling his fans.  Since it was a wedding attended by lots of family friends, a lot of the people there read this blog on occasion.  Apparently on the days when I write about my husband.  He was swarmed with high-fives for the wood-chipping success, hoisted on shoulders for bringing chickens into our back-yard, and bowed-down to for his skunk catching.  Somewhere during the night, I unwittingly signed on as his press agent and am now booking him at fairs throughout New England.

Then the music started.  Since people could no longer ask him for his opinion on annuals versus perennials, everyone hit the dance floor.  And my husband hit it too.  Hard.  I think he was on an adrenaline rush from all the adoration.

He sweat through his clothes.  He jumped.  He got low.  He broke a ladies foot.  He shook his money maker.  He pointed his fingers.  He whistled.  He kept on screaming at me to "put your hands in the air!" and "stop limiting me!"  It was all I could do to keep him from crowd-diving.

When we got to the car to drive back to the hotel, he was a sweaty, exhausted, very happy mess.  Off went the sports coat, the tie, the button-up shirt.  He hopped into the passenger seat again to regale me with the finer points of his "Moves Like Jagger."  I drove home in silence, wondering why he looked like a down-on-his-luck drug lord.  I snapped a picture of him just before he consumed his fourth bottle of water back in our hotel room:

Amazingly, we arrived back in Maine safe and sound, and with everything we were supposed to have.

And that is the weekend that was.  The one that was supposed to be about a wedding and our son, but instead was about my husband. 

Indeed, all weekend long, the common refrain, as my husband did the worm across the dance floor or showed the prep cooks how to feather a chicken, was "at least this is great for your blog!"

Like I married Benicio del Toro for the writing material.

1 comment:

  1. "stop limiting me!!". I only hope the people of the cape got to see his 'washing machine' dance