I’ve decided to have an affair with my husband.
Sure, we’re married, but I think that will make it a bit more interesting.
This past weekend, my husband and I went to Annapolis, MD for homecoming weekend and a class reunion at the Naval Academy, his alma mater. We left the kids at home with my mom: perhaps, the most genius idea ever borne.
Now don’t get me wrong. We love our children, and (mostly) love traveling with them — they’re good kids, they’re fun to be around, and they’re good little flyers. Our oldest has flown so much over his short lifespan that he can practically recite the airplane safety procedures specifically customized for each airline.
But being married with young kids means abbreviating your conversations to “just the facts ma’am” exchanges, blurted out like machine gun fire before the next interruption. It means scheduling sex with same efficiency you book the garbage disposal repair guy or an appointment with a podiatrist. It means playing BEAT THE CLOCK any time you go out to a restaurant, so that you can suck down your linguini and pay the check before someone starts howling.
This is why, for once, my husband and I decided to make the trip alone.
By the time we hit the airport, we felt as free as a couple of escaped mental patients — laughing and joking like old times. By the time we made it to the hotel, we were holding hands and actually FLIRTING with each other. (Shocking, I know. For all you married folks shaking your heads in disbelief, I could hardly believe it myself.) It was almost like we were in love, not just two cohabitating, co-parents passing in the night, connected only by offspring, soccer schedules and a garage that needs to be cleaned out.
As we made our way to the Academy grounds, we spotted a group of fit, square-jawed octegenarians riding pink Segways. (Class of ’47) Every one of them looked like they could drop and give me fifty, or run twenty miles without breaking a sweat. We walked on the campus, and my husband shared little antecdotes about the chapel and the dorm, the formal hall, and the bizarre polishing rituals of the bronze goat.
That night, we met up with some of his classmates at a local pub, an amazing group of men and women who, fifteen years later, are at the top of their respective fields. Most of them are still in service to their country, some in the Navy or Marines, others have joined the FBI, the CIA or corparate America. Most of them, as my husband does, still sport the short hair from their Academy days.
I was struck, as I spoke with these classmates of my husband, by the quality of men, and women. (My husband’s graduating class was comprised of only 10% women, now nearly 25% of the student population is female.) This group was good looking, physically spectacular, and one of the smartest group of people I’d encountered in a lifetime.
Seeing the Mids march, sharing the best chocolate milkshake on the planet at Chick and Ruth’s , watching the football team as they practiced on the field where my husband used to play, reminded me of what a catch he is.
I’m not sure if it was all of the cues of youth (the football game, the hotties in uniform, the fact that we spent three nights in a row hanging out with friends in a bar) or the fact that we had long, lesiurely luches at restaurants that don’t serve chicken nuggets, or a hotel bed all to to oursleves that did the trick.
Whether it was one thing, or a combination, I remembered all the reasons why I fell in love with my husband in the first place.
On the way back, our flight was full, and Tom and I considered whether or not to let the airline bump us for a later flight, just to make the weekend last a little longer. While the idea of getting bumped from your plane with children is a terrifying experience that spells certain doom in the form of a snack shortage, a severly disrupted sleep schedule and possibly running out of entertainment options (and, God forbid, battery power on the portable DVD player) before your plane ever leaves the tarmac — for once, getting bumped seemed like it might just be a good thing.
** by the way, if you ever start to lose your faith in men, I highly recommend attending a class reunion at the Naval Academy. You’ll meet the smartest, most decent group of people you’ve ever encountered.