Maybe it was sneaky, but after 30 plus years with someone, you learn a thing or two. Besides, it worked. The day before he left for North Carolina, he "informed" me that I shouldn't make plans for the weekend of March 30th. "Oh?", I coyly replied, batting my eyelashes. He puffed up his chest and smiled. I could see he was quite proud of himself. "Yes", he said. "We're going away for the weekend. Just you and me. I'll get this trip behind me, and then, we'll have something to look forward to. Okay?" I smiled, feeling a tad bit naughty, but somehow satisfyingly vindicated. Inside I was thinking; "Heh heh heh." On the outside I threw my big brown eyes wide open, wrapped my arms around his neck, and kissed his cheek. "Yay! I'm so excited! Thanks, Honey! Where are we going?" He squinted his eyes and smiled. "Oh no. It's a surprise. You'll have to wait and see." Damn. That's not quite what I had in mind. Oh well, doesn't matter. Like he said, it's something to look forward to, and heaven knows, we deserve that.
Here it is, the day before our impending departure for the big anniversary weekend, and I'm not quite sure who got the last laugh. From the minute I dropped him off at the airport, right up to kissing him before he left for work this morning, Charlie has been playing a little game called; "Building the Suspense." It's cute, but after a month of being asked; "Are you excited? Can you hardly wait?" I'm kind of over it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I'm actually quite thrilled. The minutely cloying part is that for 30 years, I have planned every trip, weekend, vacation, and event we have ever participated in. Some of those things have been so complicated that I still wonder how I pulled it off. I've done it well (if I do say so myself), and I've done it without fanfare. Charlie, on the other hand, cannot let a day go by without telling me some little snippet of what he arranged, and what hard work it was, and what a lot of planning it took. Geez, I've done this for three decades, and you do it what, three times in thirty-three years and you want a medal? Serious? I kind of liken it to tiny pet peeves about your spouse that over time, you just ignore. Like the way they don't even put the toilet paper on the roller, they just stick the whole new roll ON TOP of the empty roller. After a few years, you stop asking, knowing its just not gonna happen. Then one day, out of the blue, they actually take the old empty cardboard roll off and replace it with a brand new roll....and then ceremoniously come tell you what they did. Standing there with that "Look what a good boy I am!" smile on their face. Waiting for their pat on the back.
I'm laughing as I type this. I sound like a bitch, I know. But I honestly don't mean it to sound that way. I adore this man. I cannot even imagine a day without him. The little annoyances, quirks, and idiosyncracies that are part of what make up the man that I married, are so minute as to not matter. He thinks his buildup is for me, but I see how truly, almost manically excited he is the closer our time of departure gets. THAT, is my Charlie. So excited to do something for someone else. For me. He's made me his world. Every single day, he tells me; "If I haven't told you today, I love you." As this weekend has drawn closer, his phone calls from work have become more and more frequent. On Monday, he called once at lunch. On Tuesday, he called twice. Yesterday, he called three times. He teases me because he has a secret and he loves that he knows something I don't know. The thing is, after thirty years, I'm pretty sure I know how Charlie works, but I'm letting him think I haven't a clue. He doesn't realize that that is my gift to him. To let him have his excitement and relish it with gusto. Nobody relishes like my Charlie. Nobody.
Am I excited about this weekend? Hell yeah, I am. But the anticipation hasn't been nearly as much fun as watching Charlie ::ahem:: work "his magic". I'm a lucky lady. Excuse me while I answer the phone...again. I'll tell Charlie you said hello.