Saturday, October 31, 2015

I Left My Underwear in Kansas.

I've often been told I should write a book about my husband and his crazy hijinks. It's one of those things I've been meaning to do, but I inevitably get too distracted by other things. Things like, as is currently happening: a microwave that has been alerting him for the past five minutes that his food is ready, a woofing dog who doesn't understand why she can't have said food, and the constant drone of The Big Bang Theory on our television, a show that too closely mirrors our real life. 

"Are you writing a blog post about me?" he just asked.

"You bet I am." I responded. I informed him that tonight's happenings were so over the top, that I didn't care if I had his permission or not to retell the story to EVERYONE. 

"Hey, I'm your creative muse!" He exclaims as he finally retrieves the food from the microwave, his first meal after getting home from the airport tonight.

"P" travels frequently for work. He is out of town at a minimum of once a month. When he's not out of town, he's going full tilt at work here in California. He is the very definition of a workaholic, but one who has a one-track mind for only high-level tasks. (Example: he received his PhD in chemistry from Stanford, but doesn't understand why Dawn dish soap cannot be used in the dishwasher.) Despite that we are in an interracial relationship, our biggest cultural rift is his larger-than-life brain. I think he often feels that I am "making fun of him" when I scoff at his lack of knowledge of dish soaps, when really, I am equal parts in disbelief and astounded that so much of his brain is taken up by useful information and heady topics, rather than practical information. I marvel at his high-level knowledge, and his lack of general knowledge. And, truth be told, I'm a bit jealous. I wish my brain had the automatic disposal button that his does, getting rid of "common" knowledge in favor of academic knowledge with the bat of an eye.

Because he's so busy with work, I generally try to pack his suitcase for him when he has a business trip. I also travel frequently, so I know what a bothersome task packing is. I like to think I'm being helpful, but knowing men, throwing some underwear, a suit, and a toothbrush into a suitcase isn't the anxiety-inducing to-do list item it is for women. What he did today proves this theory.

I picked him up from the airport tonight as usual, and reached to open the back end of my car so he could throw his carry-on bag in. Before I hit the button, he jumped in the car, closed the door and exclaimed "SO, FUNNY STORY!" 

"Hold on," I cut him short. I fear I have grown too accustomed to interrupting him in order to make him focus on the task at hand. "Where is your suitcase?" It wouldn't be a stretch to assume he had left it sitting there on the curb like a homeland security false alarm waiting to happen. 

"Yeah...funny story. So, good news and bad news. The good news is the trip was really successful. The bad news is I forgot my bag." he explained.

"Well, I'm sure they'll let you retrieve it," I said. I wasn't about to leave the airport and have to spend my Saturday waiting for the airport lost luggage van to deliver it.

"I left it in Kansas." 

As he tells it, he checked his bag at the front desk of the hotel upon checkout this morning. Because he met up with his coworker (who had the rental car) later in the day, and raced to a meeting with him, he forgot his suitcase at the hotel and didn't realize it until he got to the airport with only 20 minutes to make his flight. 

"When I realized I forgot it, I had a choice to make. I could either stay in Kansas, or make my flight." he rationalized as only a PhD could do as I stared at him with my mouth agape. I wasn't taken aback for long though. The thought of "forgetting" luggage is such a foreign concept to me, but is such an unsurprising thing for him to do. His bag wasn't lost at the hands of the airline. In fact, it wasn't checked baggage at all. He straight up fucking forgot that he had luggage, and his brain is so full of other thoughts that nothing felt strange about not pulling a carry-on behind him until they were at the airport. It all makes sense in the context of my husband, and my subsequent response was a fit of the crazy giggles--the giggles you get when life has forced you to accept that "fuck it" is your only option. "Of course you did," I roared, tears of laughter streaming down my face. I briefly contemplated pulling over for our safety, as my laughter was making me swerve over highway 101. Even now, I hardly have the words.

It was such a "P" thing to do, after all. This is the man who left the metal rim of the tire on the side of the road when he got a flat, and drove for several hours on a donut. (A story which, to his chagrin, he has never lived down at my family gatherings.) This is the guy wore his glasses while surfing in the ocean, lost them...and later forgot his contact lenses on a work trip to New York City, leaving me to scramble to get a last minute optometrist appointment so he could see. It's not the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last.

"My coworker was wondering at what point I was going to tell you! I briefly contemplated not telling you--" he began, a bit relieved at my reaction.

"Not only did I pack the bag for you, but my first words to you were 'where is your suitcase?'" I interrupted. "You were screwed either way." 

"Hey, at least I don't bring much baggage to the relationship. Ha, get it?!" he quipped when we got home. 

If I were in his situation, I would be so deep in the throws of a temper tantrum that I wouldn't be able to muster a joke. Maybe he would be too if he had also forgotten his laptop (I daresay he would never be without that) but generally, he takes everything in stride. I admire that about him, but our relationship works because we are tuned into different things. As such, I stand by my choice in partner because no one knows the true meaning of "never a dull moment" like we do. Even if in these moments he's proclaiming "it'll all be fine" as I reach for the Xanax. 

Because after all, his underwear is in Kansas, and no amount clicking our heels will bring them home tonight. 

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