Diary of a Marriage: Solo Senorita

This week, I’m just back from vacay — sans hubby

One Em minus J., in Cabo.

Last week, just as these frigid temps and relentless snow threats were becoming plain unbearable, I was lucky enough to hop on a plane (two, actually) and jet off to sunny, blessedly warm Los Cabos, Mexico, for a friend’s destination wedding.

Sadly, J. couldn’t get off of work, so while I was sunning and sipping umbrella drinks with four of my friends, he was back at home, trotting back and forth to work in the slushy snow. Every time I thought of him, I felt a twinge of guilt.

That I missed him wasn’t surprising. After all, if you don’t miss your husband while out of the country for four days, I think that’s a bit of a problem, no? What surprised me was how much I missed him. This was the first time that we’d been apart for longer than a day or two and, given my cell phone’s sky-high international charges, we didn’t talk or text at all while I was away. It made me realize the obvious: Good things are better when he’s around to share them with.

But it wasn’t just the rote absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder type of thing. I also realized how difficult — if not impossible — it would be for me to live with anybody else, how the day-to-day rituals J. and I have are much more etched in stone than I ever realized. I shared a room with my good friend Jane during the trip, and it was all I could do to remember to shut bathroom door, or fill up every hotel drawer with my stuff, or waltz out of the shower without a towel on.

J. also wasn’t there to do the little things he’s come to do automatically, things you can’t ask or expect a friend to do: Hand me my towel as soon as he hears the shower shut off; remind me to take my allergy medicine; let me pick at his plate; put up with me when I get cranky; cram the things that won’t fit into my evening clutch into his jacket pocket; slow dance with me at a wedding.

I am more than capable of grabbing my own towel and remembering to take my medicine. And anyway, it’s rude to pick off of someone else’s plate, I should really work on my crankiness, and I do need to learn how to pare down the list of things I stash in my clutch. But I’ll take my slow dances with him, please. And I think I’ll take my next far-flung Mexican getaway with him, too, if only so I don’t have to remember to shut the bathroom door.

Tell us: Have you vacationed without your significant other? Did you feel guilty or enjoy your time apart?

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