My husband and I managed to sneak away for three days of vacation recently. Without kids. If you have kids, you understand sneaking out of town WITHOUT them is like tiptoeing past a sleeping insomniac dragon. Until you are at least three zip codes away, you risk the chance of being caught and clawed homeward.
It’s always interesting when you approach a family member to watch your kids overnight. It’s like they have a sixth sense about what you are going to ask. You can see their eyes dart sideways and they fidget. They start backing away slowly, scheduling appendectomies, lasik surgeries and booking 24-hour bingo tournaments or some such obligation.
I kid. Grandparents love to take kids overnight… if the biological parents are present too. I practically skipped to the airport for the three-day respite with the guy who made me a mom in the first place. The guy with whom I am sometimes (read: often) a passing ship in the night. The guy with whom I used to sip beers as often as I now sip green tea. Even though I was just tagging along with my husband for a work obligation, I was pumped. This could’ve been a trip to a three-day sleep study hooked up to apnea machines for all I cared. Sleeping in and having an uninterrupted conversation over coffee that isn’t six hours old? Sign me up.
On this vacation, we were returning to Denver- the stomping grounds where we first met many years ago. He asked me on our first date for a Valentine’s Day. I don’t think he meant to do that. He just said ‘next Saturday’ and that Saturday turned out to be February 14, 1999. Talk about high stakes. He probably thought WTH have I gotten myself into? The anxiety turned out to be nothing that two bottles of white wine couldn’t remedy.
So on our little hiatus from real life recently, my husband bought a lovely heather grey women’s shirt at Target. For himself. By accident. This is what happens when men rush through Target. This is what happens when they refuse to embrace the insane magnitude of zen and comfort that Target has to offer. This is what happens when a man beelines for a clearance rack and then starts toe tapping at the register impatiently so his wife will hurry up with the browsing already.
When I finally found Matt at Target, he had the look. That are-we-done-here look. We had been there twenty minutes max. Do you understand what 20 minutes at Target feels like? It feels like nothing. Because it is nothing. If 20 minutes at Target happened to be an earthquake, it wouldn’t even register on the Richter Scale. In fact, it might reverse and fix previous earthquakes on the Richter Scale.
After the spouse unknowingly grabbed the circulation-cutting shirt for himself off of the sale rack in a rush, he had to wear it to the very populated gym on our workout ‘date’. Because going back to Target to exchange it was deemed more painful than the embarrassment of sweating up a storm in shirt that looks like this:
If armpits can lose circulation, it appeared as though his might at any given moment that day. For the first time in my life, I actually walked well behind him and stayed several treadmills away to take in the sight (aka laugh my a– off).
I’m not saying there’s a single thing wrong with my husband wearing women’s clothes. I actually thought it was pretty adorable… and very conducive to showcasing his toned arm(pits).
But there is a takeaway lesson here. It is: Do not rush a woman through a store. Especially on vacation. Or better yet, learn to embrace her passions (namely Target) and she will work with you (as opposed to against you) during college football season in the same loving manner.
Quid pro quo, guys. Quid. Pro. Quo. Yes, I know where the remote control is. No, I will not tell you. Not until we go to Target without the kids. Together. One more time. And the Broncos play the Ravens in a season opener tonight so…
Truth and love,