“My Fantasy Island: Herve Villachez Is to Ricardo Montalban As…a Hawaii Getaway Is to My Snowy Weekend in Duluth”
Some folks might argue that I am prone to excess. For example, I have been known to have more than 60 pairs of shoes loitering in my closet, mingling and sweating in there until I’m ready to take them out for a stroll. Also, at mealtime I never eat less than a full plate of food, and then I have seconds. Shortly thereafter, I have dessert. And then I have seconds.
As well, I have big hair–follicles able hold up a Bic lighter and wave it back and forth soulfully during life’s ballads.
However, I would like to make the case here and now that I am only superficially excessive; deep down, I am modest in desire and principle.Here is my case in point:
The Groom and I have been married for about 7 1/2 years now. This past Thursday night, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., we had our honeymoon.
It was cheap. It was unplanned. It was dreamy.
When we got married seven-non-itchy-years ago, we were quite pragmatic about our reasons for not going on a honeymoon: I had a lot of credit card debt, we were buying a new house, I was knocked up, and I had work on Monday. Luckily, I also had no desire for an engagement ring–quite frankly, it seemed a waste of money (to this day, I’d rather have a new wool coat than a $2,000 rock on my finger).So Groom proposed to me over a stack of pancakes–swoon!–with a Betsy Bowen
woodcut in hand. And when it came to talk of a honeymoon, our attitude was, “Yea, someday when we have more money we’ll pack up our Speedos and hop a flight. But for now, let’s watch ‘Blind Date’ and eat huge bowls of popcorn.”
Not for a minute did I have pangs to go somewhere grand and romantic, to put the final punctuation on our marriage celebration. Grab a tissue now; here comes a soppy statement: I didn’t need a honeymoon because just being married to this dude is one continual Lurve Trip. The marriage pretty much has been the honeymoon.Go ahead. Dab at your eyes if you need to. Blow your nose. In an age fueled by road rage and text messaging, good, old-fashioned “Baby, I jes’ like you all the time, every day, face-to-face” is a rare commodity. We’ve got it good. And in seven years, we haven’t yet revisited that honeymoon discussion. The Speedos are moldering.
But then suddenly, blowing in out of the northwest last Thursday, came our honeymoon. On the wings of a blizzard–an epic storm (after no snow at all for months, we’ve had more than 30″ in the last week)–rode an experience we couldn’t have reserved, even had we dialed 1-800-HONEYMOON and requested a king-sized bed, in-room jacuzzi, and bottle of bubbly.
To illustrate to you the extent of this storm, consider these Before and After pictures of the scarecrow in our yard (he scares away roosters and young men in crisp white shirts carrying religious literature):
Let’s pretend that the storm was so powerful, it whipped the pumpkin head right off Scarecrowlicious. No way did the Jack-o-lantern head rot off and hit the compost some months back. Nae, I assure you that the storm’s winds were guillotine in strength.Due to the severity of this blizzard, our original plans for the weekend–quasi-romantic in their own right (I was to attend a conference in Minneapolis, and some friends had agreed to take the kids for a couple of nights so Groom could come along)–had to be scrapped. Ain’t no one done gone be goin’ nowheres that day. Yet Saintly Friends still insisted they were ready to wrassle the kids, even for a night, so Groom and I could enjoy a small corner of escape from daily duties.
Kids were dropped off.
We stood in the kitchen and stared at each other. What is it we do when not occupied with work and family life, we wondered?
Well, we drink coffee. We take a nap. And we watch ELLEN.
And then we remembered there was an epic storm going on. We should be part of that action. For many people, the honeymoon involves some waxing, as was the case with us. But for us, the wax was blue, and it never touched our bodies.
Rather, it was time to strap on the skis and take advantage of the once-in-a-decade chance to glide out the front door and around our residential neighborhood, down the railroad tracks, over to the golf course.Thusly, our honeymoon went. For more than an hour, we skiied past sequestered neighbors and over empty streets. Down the middle of 43rd Avenue we went, across Robinson, up to Dodge, owning the roads. Within minutes, my glasses were so fogged I couldn’t see; the snow blowing in the wind felt like granules of sand, exfoliating my cheeks; eventually darkness set in, and Groom was often just a shadowy figure in front of me.
Yet every few hundred yards we would stop and bellow, “Dag, but this is amazing! All those poor sods in their houses wearing their warm, dry cranky pants don’t know what they’re missing!”
And then, while snow fell at a rate of 3 inches an hour, and winds reached hurricane proportions, a freakish phenomenon occurred (no, I don’t mean Salma Hayek wore a dress with no decolletage): a thunderstorm began, and suddenly we were dodging lightening bolts hurled out by Thor and hollering over bowling-alley-like thunder. All the humors of the universe were aligning quite remarkably, and the only person sharing it with me was my husband.
Jesus Marimba, the whole thing was so cool.
For a lot of people, the honeymoon digs are a resort somewhere warm, let’s say Oahu.
For us, our honeymoon base was our same-ole-everyday house, whitewashed with snow, draped with icicles.
For lots of folks, the honeymoon–that week of dedicated loving and focus on each other, often carried out because, well, that’s what people do–takes place under an umbrella, surrounded by strangers.
For us, an umbrella would have been little more than a lightning conductor. That storm shut down the world around us, making it so forbidding that we felt marooned together on our own island (albeit a ski-able one), surrounded by an ocean of snow.
Once the wind threatened to tear the very wedding rings off our fingers, we headed back home, where we broke into the booze and Scrabble.
As it turns out, the word “blizzard” on a Scrabble board intersects quite easily with “zowie.”
The next morning, when the rest of the world was ready to crack open their doors and venture towards their snowblowers, we saluted their efforts and then strapped on the skis one more time, ready to take another turn around the neighborhood before the plows cleaned things up.
The daily grind began anew, but the honeymoon continues.