Mike always reminds me to slow down. He says it as if he’s trying to be helpful, but I hear it as if he’s trying to be better than me.
Sometimes marriage makes me unreasonably competitive.
Other times Mike nicely asks me how I lose so many things so much of the time. I tell him to stop stealing my things and framing me for it.
Mike: “Why would I steal your sunglasses!?”
Me: “I know!! It’s weird, right?”
I lost exactly one item in every single city we visited in Europe. Mike called this reckless. I called this strategic, since my backpack was really heavy and I wanted to buy souvenirs.
In a layover in Chicago, I accidentally left my water bottle in the trunk of a friend’s car. It was the bottle Mike got me specifically for this trip, one he ordered online and gave me for Christmas. I assured him that the very best things in life were meant to be shared, so it’s fine that I accidentally, prematurely, and permanently shared my vacation water bottle. It actually shows how much I valued it.
I also lost my boarding pass in the Dublin airport somewhere between customs and the boarding gate. Mike found it several minutes later underneath the moving walkway two terminals away.
Mike: “How did you drop your boarding pass here!? You didn’t even walk on this moving walkway.”
Me: “Isn’t a husband supposed to say, ‘the most important thing here is that you’re safe’?”
Mike: “What? That doesn’t even apply. You weren’t in a car accident.”
Me: “I think it does… Stop stealing my stuff!”
Okay, so I lose things when I hurry and most of the time I have no explanation at all. Perhaps it is the carnage of highly-productive living or maybe losing things is just an expression of my fearless generosity. Either way, I think it is funny to blame my lost items on a husband who never loses or breaks anything. He takes life slowly enough to avoid a lot of messes, so I’m gracious enough to share mine with him. And even still, he continues to be unreasonably nice to me.
In the past couple of traveling weeks, I’ve blogged a lot about reverence and simplicity, about big words and grand ideas that felt louder in a foreign country. I got really reflective and a little poetic and took lots of pictures of churches and mountains and miniature espresso mugs. I used words like “opulence,” which sounds weird now, but felt right when I was traveling around people with accents and peacoats. I even considered using “cheers” as a sign-off, and that’s when I knew it was time to come home.
The Reverent Travel series focused on simplicity, and now I’m considering what that looks like in the ordinary everydays where I spill coffee and lose sunglasses and accidentally run yellowy-red lights.
Just this morning I spilled half a mug of coffee as I rushed out the door. Mike watched as he ate toast without generating any crumbs. To this day, I find his crumb-less toast-eating to be one of the most miraculous things about him.
His crumb-prevention made my spilled coffee look particularly bad, but I realized that both of us started the day as the most honest versions of ourselves, with paper towels and spilled coffee and crumb-less toast. This is real life.
And I was glad.
Because that’s what simplicity looks like today.
It’s messy and mostly consumed in a hurry, kind of like toast.
…Unless, of course, you are Michael DiFelice.