On Saturday morning, as I sat sipping my coffee, uploading honeymoon pictures/video, and intermittently scolding Charlie for wreaking havoc, a question popped into my noggin. Then, an answer.
Question: What does "honeymoon" mean?
Answer: I'd go to the moon with you, honey!
Those who knew me during my decade-long aeronautics-obsessed phase understand how that answer could be logical. Now, bear with me as I wade through Maggie-the-English-major logic. Quoted above, Pembroke College and Oxford-educated Samuel Johnson, a.k.a. Dr. Johnson, explains the honeymoon as the first happy-go-lucky month of marriage, where everything seems to be puppies and sunshine, waning as the moon. Kyle and I didn't make it more than 5 days after the wedding before the we were met with waning, to tell you the truth. It got real, and fast. Granted, 3 days after the wedding, we weren't in dream world. We were working, paying bills, pumping gas, burning toast. Because life isn't an episode of The Bachelor, and Chris Harrison didn't give us a key to the fantasy suite.
Have you ever seen It's a Wonderful Life? If so, you remember their seemingly disastrous honeymoon. To be honest, that is exactly how I imagined ours would be. Because calamitous is just how we roll.
So, when I found out we wouldn't be able to take the traditional after-wedding honeymoon, I felt a little gypped, but not shocked. Don't get me wrong, I did my share of jealous whining to my mom on the phone, and then to Kyle when I saw Facebook pictures of people from college jetting off on their honeymoons the day after their nuptials. But it wasn't long before I had a Holy Spirit reality check that sent Hurricane Maggie back to sea.
We'd just started after-college jobs, PTO was practically negative, and we needed to be responsible. Patient. It's embarrassing to admit to G&J readers (Hi, mom!) that I felt cheated when I couldn't take vacation when I wanted to take vacation. How self-absorbed could I be?! After all, there's more to marriage than flashy rings and exotic destinations. Marriage means you'd go anywhere, as long as you're together. Relocate to a different city. Sit up all night in the hospital. Wander aisles at Hobby Lobby. Fly to the moon.
DISCLAIMER - To all newlyweds: if at all possible, don't wait for a honeymoon. You don't need a passport or a plane ticket. Take a week to be husband and wife and figure out your new normal. Just be. Together.
Immediately following our October ceremony, we drove up to Chicago and spent two nights downtown, where our Mr. & Mrs. status began to sink in. Thanks to the family friends who gave us those two nights as a wedding present, we stayed in this sweet hotel on Chestnut Street, conveniently right across from a Starbucks. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
It took us a few months, but we ended up taking the trip we originally planned. Kyle stamped his passport for the first time, I packed lightly for the first time (only carry-ons), and off we went to Cancun.
Turns out, we had forgotten how to relax. Or, at least, I had. I disabled work email from my phone, and tried VERY hard to sit still while Kyle so easily unwound. (Spousal diagnosis of Busybody Syndrome.) No to-do lists, no places to be, no people to please. It took some time for me to comprehend. I may have been quoted saying, "We should have gone to Disney World." That was the Busybody Syndrome (otherwise known as B.S.) talking.
It took a rainy day with our noses in books to find my vacation vibe. Let's set the record straight, though. Kyle finished two books while we were there. I finished half of one. Too much people-watching on my part.
But you try sharing a resort with a few hundred characters who speak different languages, and wear odd things, and drink too much. Tell me you wouldn't spend your time writing stories about them in your head. Or is that just me?
While otherwise makeup-less, swimsuit-clad, and sunscreen slathered, we tried to class it up in the evenings for dinner.
Keyword: tried. Shortly after arriving, we found out about their long-pants-only restaurant dress code for dudes. Apparently, everyone knew this and had packed accordingly.
Everyone but Kyle.
We weren't about to drop 1,056.20 pesos ($80) for linen pants in the gift shop, so we improvised with these daggum Asics track pants Kyle had worn on the plane. Five nights in a row, he'd throw them over his shoulder (like a continental soldier) to dinner, and hop into them just before entering the restaurant.
We're classy like that.
Would we go the all-inclusive route again? Possibly, not probably. (Although drinking free, frothy cappuccinos nearly charmed me.) Kyle and I have wanderlust something fierce. But we're more of the road-tripping-with-an-airstream, or backpacking-through-Europe type (stay tuned for future blogs).
On this Midwest March Monday, we're expecting a high of 36. In a few hours, I'll be sipping mediocre office coffee, answering too many emails, and putting lotion on peeling skin that somehow managed to leave Mexico without a tan, and yet, I'll be happy.
Because everydayness is something to be thankful for. And our next adventure is today.
-Kyle & (mostly) Maggie (gent & the journaler)