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Monday, March 14, 2011  

We'll One Day Have Paris

As of today, Trash and I have been married for, no shit, exactly 19.5 years. We know people who have been married longer, but in most cases we're friends with (or married to) their kids.

Last night, Trash asked me what she thought we should do for our 20th anniversary in September. We don't have that thing where it's the job of one of us to arrange a whole deal and surprise the other. Too much work for the person arranging it and then too much work for the person who has to pretend to love it.

I suggested Paris, but as Trash pointed out, even though we're young and can afford it, our travel range is fairly well limited by how far we can fly within the battery life of M. Edium's portable DVD player. More than two hours beyond that is fair to neither him nor his fellow passengers. So I started trying to think of places in the continental U.S. that a) we haven't been to yet, and b) are sort of romantic. Ummm…I hear Virginia is for lovers? But at the time we were both pretty stumped.

We were in bed and the lights were already off. The only illumination in the room came from Trash's computer monitor, which had also not gone to sleep yet, giving off a dim, gray, low-angle glow from across the room. While we were talking about this, she turned her head to look at me and her lip curled oddly.

"Why are you smiling like that?" I asked.

"I wasn't, I was biting my lip," she said, starting to laugh.

"Oh, it looked like you were smiling in this light."

"That would have been a weird smile."

"I was going to say."

"Why did you think I was smiling?"

"I thought you already had an idea for our anniversary…and it was evil."

She laughed so hard she couldn't fall asleep for another half hour.

The reason I brought up Paris -- and have been, every once in a while, for the past three years -- is a line from a song on the Thelma and Louise soundtrack, which we listened to incessantly during the road trips of our early and mid-twenties. The line goes, "At the age of 37, she realized she'd never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair." In our early and mid-twenties, that line struck us as unspeakably sad. I mean, how much would it suck to be 37?

As for that realization, we're on the north side of that number now, and have yet to make it. Yes, we've got a six-year-old, but we also have resources, and a future full of options. We know how fortunate we are to never feel trapped. One way or another, a tepid Parisian breeze will ruffle my wife's hair one day, even if by that time the sports car is being driven by M. Edium.

In the meantime, I can still make her laugh even after 19.5 years. Which is better than Paris any day.

Suck it, Paris.

posted by M. Giant 9:42 AM 7 comments

7 Comments:

How about Niagara Falls? If you go to the Canadian side, it would be international. They even speak French in Canada! Also, it's considered a romantic spot - or at least used to be, back in the day....

By Blogger Heather, at March 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

Let me suggest Savannah, GA. The historical district is amazing, there are lots of little, romantic restaurants, the beach on Tybee Island is every bit as beautiful as Hilton Head and not nearly as crowded, and they have a cool Civil War fort complete with working canons that M.Edium will probably love. If you can stay away from the tourist traps like Paula Deen's place and Mrs. Wilkes, it's a fantastic city.

By Blogger Sheryl, at March 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM  

Y'all are so cute, it's almost sickening. Congratulations.
Also, I second the recommendation of Savannah, GA.

By Blogger DuchessKitty, at March 14, 2011 at 3:58 PM  

I always figured that the next time I had a hankerin' to go to Europe but couldn't deal with the flight, I'd return to Quebec City. It's French-speaking (but also English-speaking!), one of the older settlements in North America, feels "foreign," and they love dogs, so they probably love kids, too. Of course, I live in Seattle, so it's probably just as easy for me to go to Europe as to Quebec.

By Anonymous Megan in Seattle, at March 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

FYI - Most international flights now have a library of movies available on demand on the in-flight entertainment screen at your seat. In economy class. There might even be outlets to charge the portable DVD player into. Perhaps Paris is not really out of the question?

By Anonymous Kate, at March 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM  

Paris. There will be in-flight movies; if you bring your laptop that's another source of movie watching for him; and it's actually a *great* city to go to with kids. M. would love running around either the Catacombs or Pere La Chaise, and if you want a little less dank, he'd probably adore the Luxembourg gardens and the Eiffel Tower. Seriously. The reasons you gave don't work, and it's 20 years! Do it!

By Anonymous BK, at March 18, 2011 at 8:14 AM  

Go to Paris! I routinely go on 10 hour trips with my kids (who are 6, 4 and 9 months) and they love it! So much to do on Intl flights. I buy some fresh art supplies and puzzle books and a few tiny toys they haven't seen before and we're on our way. The in flight entertainment also often has some video games in addition to the movies. And they sleep for one whole leg (the one to Europe) as it is at night.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 21, 2011 at 6:13 AM  

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