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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

"I'm Glad this Place has an Ironing Board."

If you don’t make sufficient time to relax, by the time you go on vacation, you PACK ALL THE THINGS! To facilitate relaxation and every single thing that you ever thought about doing when you had time to relax. By the time Andrea and I packed the car to roll out to Maine, I could kind of understand why Mitt Romney put his dog, Seamus, on the roof of his car back in 1983. Fortunately, there was room enough for Wrigley in the back seat. He didn’t know how good he had it. Several years ago, the starter spouse and I were driving to the Outer Banks - - as was a hurricane. We had our bikes atop our car and stopped at the toll booth of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The toll booth operator informed us that due to the high, hurricane strength winds, no one was being permitted to cross the bridge with anything on top of their cars. The pal (as I refer to him) asked, “Well. Can we cross if we put the bikes in the car?” The toll booth operator dubiously scanned our jam-packed car, complete with our border collie, and said, “Sure. If you can get the bikes in there, you can cross.” We made the turn around as directed and I stood in the rain and wind, holding the dogs leash, as the pal took the bikes off, removed wheels, and tetris-mastered the bikes into the car. A small, empty spot remained and the pal directed the dog to sit in that spot. Not that there were any other spots available to him. The dog was unimpressed. We made our way back towards the tolls, the pal aiming for the very same toll booth for fear another operator may not less us cross the bridge in a hurricane - - bikes or no bikes on the roof. We rolled up to the toll booth and the operator was suitably impressed with the pal’s handiwork - - certainly more impressed than the dog was, and permitted us to cross.

Today’s drive to Maine was, thankfully, less eventful. This year, we’re staying in a cottage I’d picked after an intense study of options near Acadia. We’ve stayed at The Close Call cottage in Brooklin, Maine a few times before but it’s definitely more remote and we wanted to stay closer to Acadia so we could leave our aging dog behind if we choose to hike or bike. Fortunately, I picked a good one. Overall, I’m fortunate in that regard so Andrea entrusts me with this duty. In 2009, I picked a hotel in Prince Edward Island that was across from the cemetery where the author of the Anne of Green Gables books was buried. Curling ribbons of fly paper spooled from the windows and I was relieved we were only staying one night.

On Monday, Andrea and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. She’s put up with me longer than that. A few years into our relationship, Andrea pointed out that Dr. Laura Schlessinger, whom she listened to on satellite radio, said that you should get engaged by two years of dating. I didn’t point out that although I admittedly knew little about Dr. Laura, I was fairly certain she was not referring to gay marriage. Instead, I was stunned into what was likely interpreted as a dismissive silence. Dr. Laura will be happy to know that I got my shit together and here we are, seven years later. Relationships are funny. Today while exploring the cottage, Andrea exclaimed, “I’m glad there’s an ironing board!” Later adding, “….although, I don’t see an iron.” Relationships are about finding that one person with their own eccentricities that don’t clash with your eccentricities but rather complement one another. If you don’t realize this, it’s likely that you’ll end up with a starter spouse like I did, and Dr. Schlessinger did (incidentally, Dr. Laura is now twice divorced so I’m not sure Andrea should have been putting much stock in her advice on the topic). Not Andrea, so far, evidence suggests that she picked the right weirdo. It’s probably because the relationship had those 2 years to marinate.

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