the husband. the holiday and the last minute items
I made my husband a very happy man on Friday evening.
The reason may be different to what normally makes guys happy, but in this case, it was a change to a 25 year plus altercation every time we went on holiday, or took a trip.
The argument about what he terms “last minute items”.
Now somehow, he is the self-designated boot packer (probably because he gets everything in), which also then seems to mean that he gets to decide who has taken too much, unnecessary stuff and so on and so on …….
Naturally his bags get loaded into the boot “unaudited”, we do not get to comment on what or how much he takes as we do not really get to see it. However, every single item brought out, particularly by me, has to be commented on.
My suitcase – when zipping it up and picking it up off the bed, he usually gives a little shriek, holds his back, drops the case down on the floor and asks “What the hell have you got in here Laverne?”. Now given that my answer has been roughly the same since about 1990, I do not know why he continues to labour the point.
I have clothes, slops and 18kg of magazines. And 2 Novels. And 32 bookmarks. And my daily devotions book. And my journal/notebook/pen thingy. Always the same.
Everyone has vices. Mine are coffee, magazines and books. Always has been, always will be. And when I am going away, I stockpile them before the time. And read them on holiday. And leave them behind.
But the BIG thing is what he mumblingly calls the “last minute”. Because yes, when he has packed the boot, it does happen that as he smugly bangs it shut, I come out with my handbag, which always goes in the car, my toiletry bag (good grief how did he think I would brush my teeth, pamper my skin and do my hair in the morning before we leave if my stuff was in the boot) and I may also have a few little teeny things I forgot whilst packing. Like my hairdryer. Or 5 tops I had in the tumble dryer. Or my sneakers – two pairs. Or a game. Or a giraffe.
And then it comes …. First, he stares. Then his eyes roll back in his head and since we have been together for 30 years I always must make sure it is because of the last-minute items and not because he is having a seizure from age. Then his lips get very thin. They need to because it is hard to speak ONE.WORD.AT.A.TIME if you do not do so through clenched teeth. Then comes the standard “oh for ………”.
This usually leads me to either a) burst into tears because “he is so mean” or b) burst into a temper because “he is so mean”. Either way it leads to us reversing down the driveway to go on leave, me glaring out my window, him out of his and the kids rolling their eyes. By the time we go through the tollgate however, it is over and verby.
So, this year, given that it is almost our 25th wedding anniversary, I decided to be more thoughtful. I only packed 17kg of magazines and 3 bookmarks. I also put one hairdryer in the bag for all of us to use. I put 8 of his t-shirts also into my bag. When he picked it up and thumped it down and asked the mandatory “what the hell have you got in here Laverne”, I smiled sweetly and said “stuff”.
This year for the first time I suggested that we pack the boot finished the night before we leave. This way he would a) know what is still coming and b) have all night to get over the trauma.
So, upon packing he asked each one of us 3 to tell him “what exactly would be coming to the boot in the morning” – I told him my Nespresso machine and one toiletry bag.
In the morning, having given him 12 hours’ notice, I arrived with those 2 items. When I saw the semi lip tightening because of the coffee machine, I reminded him that I had not arrived with any undeclared items, and thus had turned over a new leaf. I did however find a jersey in the tumble dryer which I put on, even though I already had one on. Surely we cannot be penalised if we wear our “last minute stuff”.
So, at 4am the next morning, we departed right on time. Everything had a place and hubby was smiling. He had no choice.
Oh, and for the record ….. when I took over the driving after 4 hours, he did tell me to take my “bloody handbag out underneath his legs on the passenger side”. I did. I would have been so disappointed if I had not given him the chance to at least have one little moan about the luggage.
May I never see the day that I pack up the car for a holiday without him. It would break my heart to not have the chance to chuckle over the “last minute things”.
This is what marriage is about. I love him. Even though he hates the 17 magazines.
c’est la vie