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Saturday, September 17, 2005


Extreme Travel Adventures of the Domesticated

There are times in a marriage when a wife and husband just completely fail to see things the same way. I don't know if you could chalk it up to the affects of estrogen vs those of testosterone on the human mind or if maybe it's just that different life experiences teach you to approach things in one way rather than another.

Case in point:

One of my oldest friends is getting married in a couple of weeks and I'm flying to San Francisco for the wedding. I can't take time off of work just then because it's right before we get a couple of days off for Rosh Hashanah and if you give the appearance of trying to stretch a holiday weekend even longer, school administration will lop off your hand and cauterize the stump in the cafeteria oven. They're fucking vicious.

When I went to book my flight yesterday, my options were a bit limited and I found that the best way to go was to fly out the morning of the wedding, which is a Saturday, and then fly back early on Sunday. It means I won't have to miss any work and these were the most affordable tickets. It also means I won't have the time to get my picture taken in a cell in Alcatraz, but I'm willing to forego that, as I'm traveling specifically for my friend's wedding and not to satisfy some California jones.

The wedding is in the evening. I figure the reception will probably go until at least midnight and my flight leaves at 7. My plan, then, was to take a good book and just kill a few hours reading at the airport, then sleep on the plane.

I fully admit that this is maybe not the most mature plan in the world. It's not what my parents would do. And, yes, I'm a little old to be staying up all night on purpose. But the plan works for me on a number of levels. First, I don't really feel a strong need to plop down cash for a hotel that I'm going to be using for so little time. Unless you're using a room for illicit sexual purposes, you're not getting your money's worth unless you get a full night's sleep. Also, I'm a paranoid traveler. I like getting to the airport way early. You never know if this is the day that all of the security personnel are going to be out with mono and it takes you five hours just to get up to the metal detector.

My wife does not see things this way. Try as I might, I can't quite understand precisely why the idea upsets her so much. Perhaps she fears that, spending that much time in the airport, I might overindulge in Cinnabon and come home packing an extra ten pounds of fat. Maybe she's worried that I'll fall asleep and some villainous lout will make off with my unconscious form and I'll awake to discover I've been Shanghied into the world of white slavery as a Bangkok prostitute. Or it could be she just doesn't want her husband to be like some kind of hobo. I don't know.

What it boils down to is that I'm going to end up getting a hotel. There's all kinds of them around the airport and they're not that expensive and blah blah blah, so I'll just do it. Oh sure, I could simply follow through on my plan and then tell my wife I got a hotel. But she's a lawyer. She thinks like a lawyer. She would log onto my bank account and look for a charge for a hotel room. She's cagey.

I could make some kind of appeal to her; explain that I'm 34 years old and I don't get the chance to do these sorts of things much any more and why can't I have this one pathetically unextreme "adventure"? But I'm sure she'd have an answer right there at her fingertips. She's just smarter than me. I'll have to find another way to be insignificantly daring. Maybe I'll drink something from the minibar.

Oh how much I can understand.
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