Welcome to another installment of Post Traumatic Sunday, which are posts written during my first marriage. None have appeared on this blog before, and only a couple were included in my book. These posts aren’t about venting or vindictiveness; I was just someone dealing with an unhappy marriage in the best way I knew how: Through humor.
Eight years later, I am happily re-married to someone who constantly inspires me to laugh for the right reasons.
Now we can all laugh together…
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This morning, we left on a family vacation with our two children, four train tickets to Seattle, and approximately 700 pounds of luggage. This is a conservative estimate based on my wife’s meticulous packing strategy, which means bringing anything that doesn’t require the help of a licensed forklift operator. My wife says that we have a responsibility to our children to be prepared for all situations. Apparently, this includes any sudden shift in the Earth’s core temperature that would render our entire summer wardrobe useless. For example: Our daughter’s clothing options include both a full-length fleece parka AND two-piece bikini, with a choice of sandals, tennis shoes or mud boots.
Being a man, I naturally argue against hauling around this much luggage.
And, being a man, I naturally lose this argument.
This is because my wife is a woman, and therefore prone to supporting her argument with actual facts.
Fact: If for some reason there really WAS a sudden shift in the Earth’s core temperature, I’d never hear the end of it.
As a result, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and just worry about my own packing. This is something I put a lot of thought into. First, because I’m a savvy traveler who refuses to bring anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. And second, because my wife leaves me just enough room in our suitcase for a small shaving kit and whatever I can vacuum-pack into a one-quart freezer bag.
However, according to new travel restrictions listed in our Amtrak guide, my wife was forced to drastically cut back on luggage for our trip. This meant making some hard choices between what to take and what to leave behind. After careful consideration, she decided I didn’t need to shave, and pulled my razor kit from the luggage. Amazingly, it was just enough to put us within Amtrak’s maximum weight limit.
For a circus train.
According to the restrictions, we still needed to get rid of another 180 pounds of unnecessary baggage.
Fact: I weigh 180 pounds.
But I’m also her husband. That makes me an important part of the family experience because, aside from being the man she married, I’m also the man who carries her baggage. And as I mentioned, she has a lot of it.
Fact: We’ll be gone by the time this column runs.
In desperation, we turned to the Internet in search of traveling tips. Though we didn’t find anything that could help us with our packing, I did discover something just as important, which is that there is a cruise ship with a Star Wars theme that includes land-speeder beds and breakfast with Darth Vader.
My wife didn’t see that as particularly relevant, which is precisely why I lose these arguments.
I’m happy to say that we were eventually able to meet Amtrak’s luggage restrictions and are, at this very moment, on our way to Seattle.
We hope to arrive within a few hours of our luggage, which, according to my wife, should be waiting for us at the train station. Of course, it’ll be my job to get all of it to the hotel. I’m estimating that this will require a minimum of two taxis making two trips each.
Fact: If I should come up missing, start by looking for a 180-pound suitcase.