Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vacation Time

One of the great tests of romantic compatibility is how you travel together. Not in the first months or even the first year. There is too much "pleasing" going on then and so compromise comes easily. The real marker is in later years. Tommmorow we leave for France and our one big suitcase is on the living room floor. I have been adding to it all week and revising my packing list almost daily. Yes--a list. Actually lists. I have a general list and then sub lists for toiletries, exercise gear, and work related materials: iPad, file system for receipts, tablets and pens and my beloved Sharpies in at least ten colors, and then the cords for all the hardware.

One trip without all the right cords sealed that list into permanence.

John has it all in his head, and over time, tho I have nagged him to try my list system, I have come to see that his system works--for him.

Of course he's a guy so it's two pants, two shoes, six socks, six shirts and six undies and a toothbrush. Alas, I have many small toiletries bags--all clear zip locks, a minimum of lingerie (I bring detergent packets) and for this trip a record breaking two pair of shoes. (I shopped a long time to find shoes that work for both walking and for dress up.)

But those are differences we accommodate. In the bigger arena of travel compatibility we are --much to our surprise--like peas in a pod: We don't rush, we don't like to socialize with strangers; what we bring to read matters more than any shoes or clothes--our most fun discussions and greatest angst is about which books and how many and what can be Kindle versus an actual book. We don't bring cameras; we don't care about pictures--our experiences and memories are inside of us. (It was worth everything we've been thru just to be with a partner who gets that.) We don't care about wine but we do love to eat and we'll go out of our way to try a restaurant recommendation. But we'll go even further a field to find a bookstore that someone said was good. A really good trip means we found three or four new-to-us bookstores and especially new-to-us books.

France promises all of that. So I'll add a few more scarves at the last minute--Paris after all--and then zip it up and go.

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