Pardon my français, but I was pissed.
Last week was an incredibly busy week for my husband. He’d been putting in long days at work and on top of that was fielding multiple, never ending conference calls once he got home. It was simply an ugly misch-masch of interrupted dinners, interrupted sleep, interrupted sentences, interrupted everything- and I had simply had enough. It was finally the week-end, but the craziness persisted. I complained that I felt like a fifth wheel; we exchanged a few terse comments about the situation and my husband retreated into the garage to sand or cut or paint something.
“Fine” I thought, “I’ll just fake run away.”
There are many different degrees of “fake running away” and for most women, the mall is a popular destination. The most epic faux-runaway I ever undertook was years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I was ticked off about something, so I packed a bag for myself and my daughter and we drove off to one of the most expensive resorts in San Diego. I knew about this place because we had eaten there-ONCE- many years earlier- probably for Easter. Not only did I book a room at this fabulous hotel, but I committed the ultimate act of in-your-face defiance…I ordered ROOM SERVICE!
Needless to say, I eventually called my husband on the phone, cried and vented, revealed where we were, and he ultimately joined us for what turned into a fun and memorable 24 hour get-away.
This past week-end’s run-away from home was much more spontaneous with much less planning than that. I just slapped on my pink sneakers, grabbed my phone and the keys, stomped out the door and started walking. If I had thought things through a bit, I would have at least brought my wallet. Living in an area like this you are bound to eventually pass a store, a coffee shop or a restaurant.. but if you don’t have money, you’re plum outta luck. A seasoned, big city, fake-run-away-er would have known all that and prepared better…but whatever, I had my phone with me so at least I could keep track of the number of steps I was taking. If you’re going to fake run away you might as well try to get in your 10,000 steps for the day.
After about 40 minutes of aimless, (but high powered) walking I started thinking about my husband. Surely he had noticed by now that I was “missing.” I wondered if he would come out looking for me.. being in a big, new city and all. We both have an app on our phones that locates family members on a google map which I pulled up to take a look at. “Nope, he doesn’t even know I’m gone” I figured as I saw his little icon was still at home.
I kept on walking.
About twenty long minutes later I was rethinking my whole strategy and wishing I hadn’t ventured out so far. My feet were starting to get tired, I was getting a bit thirsty and for a few brief minutes thought I was being followed. I was passing people and puppies and patio parties and was feeling pretty lonely and glum. I imagined my husband enveloped in a cloud of sawdust, still putzing away in the garage, oblivious to my absence..though surely, he had come in for a drink or something and realized I wasn’t home.. right? Did he try to locate me on his app? Did he see how far away I was? Was he on another conference call.. talking to a neighbor.. lost in his Billy Joel tunes? It had been a whole hour, didn’t he care about me at all? I could have been overcome breathing in all the pollen.. gasping for air.. collapsed in a bush… beaten up by roaming thugs.. sold as a
sex slave cave cleaner to ISIS! For all my husband knew I was half way to Syria!!! He didn’t even call or text me to say goodbye or good riddance ..or nuthin’!
I opened up the locater app once again.. his little “dad” icon appeared on the map; only this time not at our home address…his icon was on the exact same road as I was on- just south of my location.
I stopped walking and turned around. Way off in the distance I could see the unmistakable flash of his super bright, neon-green, tennis shirt. He had come to find me. He had run all that way to catch up to me. I couldn’t believe it, but then again, of course I could… this is who he is.
It took a few minutes for him to jog up to where I was waiting, and by the time he got to me, I thought I might burst into tears. He pulled me into his chest and wrapped me in a sweaty embrace. We both professed our love as we held each other tight and made promises to do better. Folks driving by were probably trying to figure out why two crazy people were entwined in an airport hug on the side of a busy road on a Saturday afternoon..but I didn’t care.
My husband came for me.