Sunday, December 16, 2007

Postcard from London

Dear Wifey,
For work connected reasons, I have been down in London three times in as many weeks. I had originally planned to fly from Frankfurt to Edinburgh but decided instead to fly into London's City Airport and go to a Xmas party.

My husband met me at the airport. We were to do a very daring thing - have a night away from the children. This was the first night we have spent together and away from the children for three and a half years. (When we went away then, it was for a weekend in a Brighton hotel and we missed them so much we came back early. Even so, we had spent the entire time mooching round toy shops saying "Oooh, let's buy that. They'd love it.") On Wednesday night, my husband said: "We don't need a cab. We'll walk." I did not think that boded well. He took my laptop and I pulled my little case on wheels along the narrow pavements, past the parked cars captive behind metal railings with the Docklands Light Railway track louring above us. My husband pointed to a neon lit sign some way ahead - "City Airport Travelodge". I stopped to consider our journey's destination. I said: "So we are staying at the Travelodge?" He said: "Yes, you said you wanted somewhere convenient and it's only £70." I tugged my wheely case off the pavement and towards the brightly lit entrance. I said: "We've been together for 19 years and sometimes I don't think you know me at all." He said: "Well, this is what I do when I come to London." I said: "And whose fault is that?"

He checked us in; I walked across to the vending machine in the foyer, put in a pound coin and a diet coke slammed into the drawer. I thought: "I think I need more than a diet coke." We took the lift up to the room and pushed open the door as a plane taxied past the window. I heard a roaring noise. I think it was a plane. There is a chance it was the blood in my ears. I put down the case on the floor beside the wardrobe and my handbag on the table in front of the mirror and cracked open the diet coke. It did not make me feel better. I put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. It did not make me feel better. I pulled the pillow length ways so that I could lean against it and sank into the bed. My husband lay down next to me. The weight of his body tipping me into him. I thought: "Could the bed be made of sponge I wonder?" I thought: "It is not so much the wallow in the mattress or the sound of planes or the fact its location seems so desolate - it is more that he thinks that this is what I am worth, what I deserve." I said: "This - is our first night away together in three and a half years and you have brought me to City Airport's Travelodge. The thing I want to do most of all right now, is cry."

I started getting ready for the party and he slipped out. I thought: "Maybe I'm tired from travelling. Maybe it's alright. I'll just get drunk at the party and when I get back, it won't seem so bad." My husband came back into the bedroom, his phone in his hand. He said: "OK I've booked the Savoy. Shall we go now?"
love
Wifey

18 comments:

lady thinker said...

So lucky the Savoy. What did you do? - did you trash the place? I hear the Savoy has had to close down now for an 18 month refurb.

lady thinker said...

Oooh look - I was first out the gate for a change.

sunshine said...

Way to go Hubby!! Better late than never, I'd say--- and Wifey, speaking your mind honestly seems to be a healthy thing to do!

softinthehead said...

Result! I'll remember you next time I am thinking of biting my tongue. They are dense sometimes are't they. Don't even look at the credit card bill when it comes in.

Tina said...

Hurrah for him! Although it's not like he couldn't have done that in the first place. Better late than never I suppose, and I hope you enjoyed!

Belladonna said...

I like a man who listens. If you ever get tired of him, please send him my way. With a reservation at the Savoy.

The Grocer said...

He could almost be a Northerner with those romantic inclinations, shame on you for being disappointed with a travelodge.

Sweet Irene said...

Thank goodness for that. You are just not the Travellodge sort of person.

annie said...

Men! Why don't they just do the right thing in the first place and avoid all the aggro!

Norman said...

Rescued from the hotel from Hell! Seems your other half did a first class salvage job.

Mopsa said...

Have you told him yet that a vacuum cleaner is not acceptable as a xmas present?

sophie said...

same goes for an aga cleaning product

Claire said...

I'm still recovering from getting a teapot from my husband last Christmas. Still that beat the bread bin the year before and the salad servers the year before that.

sunshine said...

Right after we were married a few years ago, my hubby let me know that he detested shopping and that he was really at a loss as to what to get me for gifts. I'm tough, as I take pretty good care of myself, "stuffwise". He put a manilla folder on the desk, and asked me to put catalog pages (clearly marked with size/color) in it. He gets to pick which he wants to get me, so I am surprised, but he is assured that I'll love whatever it is! Works like a charm, and he's relaxed! And-----no vacuum cleaners!

Ali said...

You pull a VERY impressive guilt trip! I have much to learn it seems.

Lashings of custard said...

Oh wow how wonderful!

Jeff said...

I don't see honestly expressing one's emotions as "pulling a guilt trip". I just think wifey told hubby what she wanted, and hubby listened. Honest communication--what a concept!

Swearing Mother said...

Ah bless him. Reminds me of the time we were having a bloody awful time in the lake district (nothing against the L.D., it just wasn't what was needed at that particular moment).

Husband finally noticed my wistful expression, my disappointment at not a single log fire burning in the grates, no candle lit dining table etc., at our miserable hotel, and said "where would you like to go tomorrow?".

He only winced slightly when I replied "London". Didn't manage the Savoy though, but still.