Elusive getaway worth the effortPublished 10:16am Thursday, January 9, 2014
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So I’m on the line with the reservations desk when she throws it out there, plain and clear.
The phone is squeezed between my neck and my ear, and I’m trying to write down the confirmation number, hoping I don’t hit the “end” button, when I hear her say it again.
I almost laugh at the thought, as if you can ever really get away from cars that need new front-end struts and laundry hampers that keep filling up and kids who forget to turn off the oven.
I decide I rather like the idea of it. The sound of it. Getaway weekend. I latch onto it – like a Titanic survivor to a life raft.
A month and five reservation changes later, we have gotten away at last, and the Mississippi is lit up, and we’re taking it in over snow crab and steak. There’s a band playing outside in toboggans – not to be cool, but because it is cold. I find it’s rather easy to forget about front-end struts in such a setting. The kids, not so much.
That’s because even while I’m pulling the precious white stuff from a crab leg I get a text from one about a tennis team issue. About the same time I notice my husband responding to a question from another. Getting away, it seems, may be as elusive for us as fame will be for those toboggan-wearing musicians trying to pull off calypso in 40-degree weather.
But my husband eventually decides there is a more positive use for his phone and snaps a photo of us smiling over our entrees, which leads to an important discussion: What exactly do you call a selfie when it includes your better half? There should be a term for it, especially since “selfie” was named the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 “Word of the Year,” but I could find none.
I swipe the screen for a closer look and am struck by the changes I see in both of us. Perhaps I will call that reservation clerk and let her know that it’s actually the days – the years – that take the real getaways.
Looking over at my husband enjoying his last bite of steak, though, I realize that while pictures reveal some changes, the important ones cannot be captured in megapixels. He’s wearing decades of picking up milk from the grocery and kids from piano and bouquets from the median. I like how it looks on him.
We decide after a few trolley rides that getaways are good. We are smiling a lot. Holding hands more. Planning a next time that will be longer and include beignets instead of pancakes for breakfast. I find myself almost forgetting about the stack of ironing waiting back home.
But nothing puts an end to a getaway like hauling luggage through your front door. I’m throwing out the travel guides we collected when our youngest asks about the dinner photo on Dad’s phone. She’s more interested in that one than our sixth-floor view of Canal Street.
“Sweet,” I hear her say.
So that’s what you call an on-your-own couple shot. Sweet. Probably won’t be the next word of the year, but that’s OK. I’ll take the shared over a selfie any time.
Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.