It was a warm evening in Italy last week as Nick, my new husband, and I settled into a table for two at a dreamy intimate outdoor restaurant in the center of Rome. Sitting across from each other illuminated only by the candle on the table and the white dangling lights of the the canopy above us he leaned close to me so I could hear him over the sounds of a nearby street performer playing the accordion.
“Did you remember to set up a future payment on the Chase credit card?”
This was the first night of our honeymoon.
Romantic right? This was indeed my first thought to his utterly ridiculous question. I mean here we are in the middle of a beautiful country away from our work and the stress of our lives and we are discussing credit card payments? This is not what a honeymoon should be about! Where is my bouquet of flowers or Nick spoon feeding me gelato?
I took a second to think about this while we waited for our food and realized that maybe this wasn’t Nick’s problem or a sign of doom in our early marriage, maybe the only one blowing this experience was me. Entering a honeymoon believing that it’s going to be all roses and champagne is a sure fire recipe for disappointment but for some reason I expected something different from the man I married. I don’t think I am alone in this. A lot of women set the bar so high on their honeymoon that no amount of romance will ever be enough.
In our case, before Nick and I got married we had already been together for six years and before that friends for more. We work and live together, spending every second at each others side so the mystery train has left the station and I can’t even see the lingering smoke it left behind. So why did I believe that during this time things would be different?
Whether through Hollywood movies, romance novels or my own expectations I learned quickly that the idea of the honeymoon has evolved. Back in purer days, this vacation was used as a chance for the couple to grow closer and get to know each other better, and yes I mean in the biblical sense but times have dramatically changed. So does that mean that honeymoons are not meant for us sinners? Of course they are! But I think our perception of them need to change.
It was in that moment at the dinner table that I decide to stop viewing our time together as some whirlwind fantasy and more like what it really was, a much needed vacation. In all the time we have been together we have never been on a proper vacation and after planning and surviving our wedding we desperately needed one. Instead of over analyzing it, why not just enjoy it? If that meant talking about mundane and ordinary things over some extraordinary pasta than bring it on!
Honeymoons do not have to be a magical retreat to Tahiti or even a snow capped cabin in Aspen. They can be as simple as a quick trip to the city for some fresh seafood or even a nice quiet weekend at home were all household chores are off the agenda. All that matters is spending some quality time with the one you love and taking time to breathe after a huge step like getting married. It’s time to push aside the ridiculous expectations and just breathe together.
Later in our vacation after all thoughts of romance had vanished, Nick and I were touring a Spanish cathedral when he disappeared for a moment only to return holding a flower he had picked for me. This gesture is the one I will always remember when I think about our time together. It was simple and sweet, just like how any honeymoon should be.
And just so you know, I had scheduled that payment for the Chase credit card.