I haven’t posted in an unusually long time because the missus and I spent last week on a romantic getaway that fell into our laps when a relative got sick and couldn’t use a time share.

In South Carolina. A half a continent from Milwaukee.

That may not sound like an ordeal to some people, but we drove. And that still may not sound like an ordeal to some people, but if there’s one thing the Man Writing a Romance can’t get enough of, it’s car trips of more than six miles.

Seriously. I’m pretty cranky after driving to work out at Marquette University’s Rec Plex, and that’s all of seven miles.

So imagine how I felt when, at mile 1,070 of the 1,030-mile excursion to Hilton Head, Mary Jo suggested making the trip home about 200 miles longer.

On the beach at Hilton Head.
Yeah…it was freakin’ cold that day.

What she’ll tell you she said was something like, “Honey, I understand that travel is traumatic for you, but would it be okay if we just gave some thought to entertaining the idea of possibly considering going a little out of the way on our way home to see a fabric relief art exhibit that will also be shown in St. Louis? It would be much easier to see it in North Carolina than to make another arduous journey with an overnight in an uncomfortable hotel bed.”

What I heard was, “Who cares if you’re already out of sorts from being on a long trip you really didn’t want to take—after this week is over, we’re going to follow an endless detour to see a hammer-to-the-skull dull display of oh, I don’t know, quilts or something—and if we don’t, we’re taking another trip to St. Louis later on.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that what I said Mary Jo said sounds a lot more reasonable. But, consider this: In thirty years of marriage, she has never called me “honey.”

However that conversation actually went, it put a damper on our arrival to our rustic little pre-fab condo on the beach. The fact that the outside temperature was 29—the same there as it was in Wisconsin—didn’t make things any less unpleasant. Nor did the fact that the furnace didn’t work.

The situation was, shall I say, tense. The cure? Spending most of the next day napping while the repaired furnace slowly made the cabin fit for human habitation.

Oh, and one other thing. Love. I suspect few couples survive thirty years of inevitable ups and downs without a significant amount of that in the mix.

The next few days of seeing sights, power walking on the beach, taking time out to write and watching episodes of Big Bang Theory defined our getaway. The frosty first night became a funny story we’ll both tell forever.

The ability to compromise also came in handy. After a couple days of me insisting that, damn it, we would go see the quilts—or whatever—and Mary Jo insisting that, damn it, we would not, she explained that, sneaking a peek online, she had seen everything she needed to see, and that the St. Louis trip was just an excuse for yet another a romantic getaway.

Which is one reason I love the woman so much.

Am I glad now that our relative got sick so Mary Jo and I could take our trip? Ultimately, yeah. Well, not so much the part about the relative being sick. But you can never have enough romantic getaways, even if it means taking a week off from posting on your blog. Or having to drive more than six miles.

BTW: The relative’s okay now. I mean, after the surgery, and all.

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