Maybe our parents turned old faster than we do, maybe not. But we sure do our best to live young! Until something gets in the way. That’s what happened to Wendy Reichental when she and her husband went away on A Getaway Weekend, which turned into A Sequestered Weekend.
My Sequestered Weekend
Elizabeth Browning’s popular love sonnet “How Do I Love Thee?” rang true for me during a recent sequestered weekend with my husband. It all started when I realized our 21st wedding anniversary was fast approaching, and how nice it would be to inject some romance with a quick getaway. There’s something so liberating about sleeping in a different surrounding, the anticipation is simply delicious!
We settled on a cozy inn about two-and-a-half hours away, with a late Friday evening departure. Saturday we would go antiquing, and at night we would celebrate and toast our anniversary with a lovely gastronomic feast, followed by some canoodling and rekindling before heading home Sunday.
But first I would have to prep my 50-plus body for the occasion and put my best bunion-bearing foot forward, so that when my husband looks at me, he won’t see the toll the years have taken but instead with his new progressive glasses he’ll see that vibrant woman he once fell in love with.
I booked my appointments for a facial, hair color renewal, manicure/pedicure, and the requisite groomingand waxing! Thanks to E.L. James, and her ubiquitous Fifty Shades of Grey erotic books, us women need to be not just beautiful, sexy, and intelligent, but wickedly willing and venturesome as well! Meanwhile, as I go through this arduous effort extraordinaire, my husband gets to grow a five o’clock shadow and throw a toothbrush and a few rumpled clothes right into his duffle bag and he is good to go!
We arrived late at our accommodations, so we simply went to sleep. The next morning, our official anniversary, we greeted each other with creased faces and bodies and the willingness to see the beauty inthis and the honesty to know that grabbing some breakfast and coffee would be equally appealing!
We spent a carefree day ambling about shops and when it got to be around lunchtime we stopped for a bite. I was famished but eager to fit into my new sleek dress for dinner, so I ordered a mixed green salad and pretended it was satiating. My husband, on the other hand, having no commitments other than to me, ordered a roster of different delicacies, culminating in an indulgent dessert. All of which I witnessed with envy, because his slim rangy figure allows him the good fortune to eat almost whatever he wants without worrying about where it ends up.
We decided to drop off a few of our chintzy purchases and partake in a rare mid-afternoon nap. My husband kept mentioning that he felt quite full and I retorted that perhaps that last piece of cheesecake could be the reason why. He sat down on the sofa and turned on the TV; I decided to start my nap without him. I must have fallen asleep for when I woke up some time later, I saw that my husband wasn’t on the sofa or in the bed beside me. As I reoriented myself, I heard a strange exaggerated shrieking crescendo of someone throwing up. I soon realized it wasn’t the TV but indeed my husband!
He appeared before me ashen-faced and drenched in sweat. I asked “What happened” he said “Lunch happened!” I got him a cold cloth and put it on his forehead, but he no sooner sat down only to sprint back to the bathroom. I heard him try to disgorge and dislodge whatever was making him feel this way but to no avail.
Finally he emerged, this time looking very Robert Pattison vampire-pale. I offered him some bottled water. He said he was feeling a bit better and I felt instantly relieved for him. Little did we know that for the rest of that evening and several pained episodes throughout the night, my husband would be making marathon runs to the bathroom.
I had not slept myself, and every time I had to use the bathroom, I executed a stern decontamination and disinfection routine equivalent to handling the Ebola virus. By Sunday morning, my husband was feeling exhausted and not much better, so we headed to the nearest emergency clinic. His ghoulish pallor fast-tracked him through triage. I stayed with him while a physician assistant took his vitals and blood. He was diagnosed with everything from stomach flu to food poisoning. He was hooked up intravenously and given two bottles of fluids to ease his severe dehydration.
Within an hour or so, his zombie appearance receded and shortly thereafter we were back in our room, the misery that had filled the space just a couple of hours ago thankfully dissipated. We looked at each other and in unison said “Happy anniversary!” We embraced, and I held him gingerly, for fear anything tighter would kill him, he was that sore from all that retching!
Once home, I unpacked our bags, and came across my new lingerie that never got to be enjoyed. I forgot I brought it in the first place. And that is when I realized all that stuff we think is so important is just window dressing to what really matters. To see your partner at his worst and still feel an overwhelming admiration and love and stronger than before, well, that is a luxury!
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height …” the height of heaving and hurling!