Just when you think you know someone, take a trip with them. I don't mean a weekend away by car where you hole up for two days in a romantic hotel room. I mean, plan a trip and TRAVEL. Fly, book a hotel, rent a car and see some sights.
My beloved, whom I've been ga-ga over for nearly a year and a half (off and on), took me to one of his hometowns - Washington D.C. - this weekend. Our first real vacation together.
I've always thought of my man as a rather laid back kind of guy, save for a few curse-fests in the car when some stupid driver interrupts our route. We all get a little hot-headed behind the wheel from time to time, right?
I was surprised and somewhat amused to learn that my guy is one of THOSE people. The ones who, when the airplane announces boarding, stands up and starts moving toward the gate. Meanwhile, I'm of the ilk who sits in the lobby until all THOSE people get on board. I mean, why shuffle my way to the gate and down the breezeway so I can sit on the plane a little longer?
I subscribe to the same philosophy when deplaning. Unless I have a tight connection, I'll sit back and wait until all those Type As get their bags and bump each other down the aisle. I relax, grab my stuff and sashay to my destination.
Not my man. He's up and motioning me to follow him. Hurry up, his face says. We're in a hurry? I ask. Why? So we can stand around the baggage carousel a little longer?
We secure our rental car, and I am the designated driver because I'm the one with a credit card and insurance. The Alamo attendant directs us to a row of cars and tells us to choose whichever one we want. We select a Chevy Impala.
As we drive away, my man comments on how big the car is. Maybe we should have gotten a Malibu, he says. This car feels too big, he says. Are you OK driving this? he asks. Several times. You look so small driving this big boat, and you make me nervous because you almost ran us off the road back there, he tells me. That's because I wasn't paying attention, I said. Now I'm paying attention. I'm fine.
And he navigates me through the streets of D.C. to our hotel in Georgetown. Turn here, he says. There are people in the crosswalk, I say. You have to be aggressive here, he says. This isn't Phoenix. People are different here. Still, I say, I'll wait for the humans to cross.
As we approach a fork in the road, he says, "stay here." What is here, I ask? I need you to say "left" or "right," I tell him. "I don't know what 'here' means."
Ever been boating with another couple and witness them verbally tear each other's hair out as they put their vessel in the water or dock it at the end of the day?
This is the stuff that builds relationships. We get together based on physical attraction, then we woo each other with romantic dates, flowers and sappy love letters. Those butterfly moments in the beginning are no indication of whether the two of you have what it takes to last a lifetime. It's those toilet-seat-up/toilet-seat-down, cap-on-the-toothpaste, backseat-driver, the-plug-isn't-in-the-boat-you-moron moments that tell us if we have longevity.
If my man survives through Wednesday without me running off the road and killing us both ... or ... shoving his backseat-driving butt out of the moving car ... we might have what it takes ...