Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The getaway

I called Erin the other day to find out how long a hickey takes to fade. She said she wouldn't know, which I find hard to believe since -- hello! -- she has four kids.

The sad thing is said blemish wasn't a result of marital congress. I was grooming and unintentionally pinched the skin on my neck. Sounds implausible, I know. But I have the kind of skin that will redden up for half-an-hour when I scratch it too hard. It makes mosquito season a cornucopia of joy. (Mosquito season in East Texas runs from February to December.)

Anyway, the next morning when I finally got around to looking at myself in the mirror -- well after I'd dropped Madeline off at school -- I saw the telltale mark of any saucy tart worth her salt. (Angry comments from offended saucy tarts will be forwarded to the John McCain for President website. I don't know why. It will just amuse me.)

Erin didn't even believe my story at first, which indicates my inner saucy tart might be showing. This is probably the result of a recent getaway weekend with my husband. About two years ago we pledged to make it a priority to get away by ourselves for a couple of nights about every four months. Oh, my. I still vividly recall about 12 hours into our first getaway thinking, Yes! I remember us being this way. ... why did we have kids? Oh, yeah. We love and want them. They're wonderful. That, uh, what's her name ... Madeline! Yes, Madeline. She's the smartest most precocious child and her brother ... uhm ... her brother ... two years younger, blond. Connor! Yep, Connor. He's so funny. Great kids. Great, great kids. Honey, could you get me another mojito?

Seriously, I cannot say enough about the importance of getting away with your spouse for some alone time on a regular basis -- even if it's just a standing date night. It's marvelous for boosting intimacy, energy and generosity in the most crucial relationship in your family.

But even as I preach this, we don't always find it easy to make arrangements to get away for a long weekend. In fact, this last occasion was the first time we'd done so in nine months. Nine. long. months. As is our custom, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency (think the giant, lit ball above the Dallas skyline). While Roy parked, I went ahead to check in, full of the joy that accompanies the beginning of a much-anticipated trip. I strode up to the counter before a young woman with a friendly face.

"Hello," I said. "I have reservations for two."

She pulled up my name. "Yes, Mrs. Clay. I see you've already paid. I'll just need your credit card for any additional charges."

I gave it to her and she clicked away on her keyboard, finally pulling out two card keys. "I have you in a non-smoking room on the fifth floor with two double beds." She extended the cards toward me.

I stood there a moment, not moving, letting the words "two double beds" echo through my mind. This is what happens when you book through Priceline. They put you in a room low enough to hear the noise from the usually-loud open-to-the-top lobby with TWO DOUBLE BEDS. I don't want TWO DOUBLE BEDS. I want a giganta bed. I want a bed that screams This Way to Marital Congress! Or something like that.

I glanced at her nametag. "Jaymee," I said, my deep voice taking on perhaps a hint of controlled hysteria, "I don't think that room will do. I don't think two double beds will do."

I leaned in a bit. "Jaymee, I have two young children. My husband and I are spending our first weekend together, away from them" -- I spoke slowly -- "in nine months." Another beat. "They are six and four."

She stared at me. I lifted an eyebrow.

"OK, Mrs. Clay," she clicked on her keyboard again, "I have you in a non-smoking room with a king-size bed on the 25th floor with a city view. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

I smiled. "Jaymee, you rock."

About an hour-and-a-half later someone knocked on our door. Roy and I looked at each other. The kind of looks that said, "Why is there someone knocking on our hotel door and can this be good?" After a bit of scrambling, Roy opened it. I could hear a woman's voice but not make out the words.

When the door closed, he walked around the corner, grinning, with a bottle of champagne, a cork and two wine glasses. There was also a note signed by every member of the desk crew. The message said, "We hope you enjoy your stay here."

And we did. Yes, we did.



Addie said...

Just 2 glorious weeks until our getaway. We're going to a place that doesn't allow kids ... yippee!

Jaymee and staff definitely Rock!

Kelli said...

WOW! Jaymee Rocks!!!

We do the weekly date night- we order in pizza for the kids, and then dash out for early Mexican.

It's a couple hours of pure connection bliss. Yes, ma'am , it is!

BooMama said...


And here's the best way I can describe what happens when you getaway with the hubs. When D. and I first get in the car to leave, I'm sort of like, "Hey." Tired, worn out, run down, etc.

But 25 minutes into the trip - when we've been able to talk non-stop and listen to OUR MUSIC and smile at each other, I switch gears to "heeeeeeey."

And there is a world of difference.


Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

I do believe you've just taught me a lesson that supercedes anything I learned in college.

Jayme rocks. :)

Big Mama said...

For a saucy tart, you totally rock.

And so does this post.

And so does Jaymee.

Barb said...

She got it! Jaymee got it! Wow.

(I've been telling my daughters forever, make the time. Date nights and scheduled getaways make all the difference in a marriage.)

mombo said...

It's so nice to figure out just why I live with this hairy roommate. We, too, are sorely missing alone time - even with our weekly date night! Just so much going on that even then I feel like I have to pack the moment full to get my money's worth. Remember that commercial from a while back? "I need a vacationnnnn, like nobody's biznessss!" I feelin' ya! Glad to see you back.

Brenda said...

You know it's time to get away when your kid insists that you need a date night. :) She was right, of course.

Jayme and crew most definitely Rock!

Lacey said...

Love this post! :0

And I'll say it again, you're a great writer!


Cheryl said...

I for one am thrilled you are back- we had no internet for a month, and it was good to come back to a couple of hilarious (as usual) entries! (I left this on the wrong post, I realize, but as I am lazy, I am not changing it. so there.). :-)

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I seriously am laughing/crying over this - maybe in the vein of emotion that comes when someone wins a new washer on Price is Right, I LOVE it when people win things, and that you gave TMI and it paid off, that just tickles me to death. Jaymee DID rock, and dont you know she loved sharing your story with the rest of the staff. Hip Hip Hoorah for you. Glad to hear you made good use of the room, the gigantic bed and likely the champagne. xoxoxo

rohanknitter said...

BEst story ever.

Kelli said...

Thinking about ya' and wanted to say HI!!!