In February, my mother called to tell me a surprise party was being thrown for my grandmother’s 90th birthday the following month. It was to take place in New York, where she lives. That meant, in order to attend, I would have to hop a plane or drive twelve hours.
I called my boyfriend, Michael. “So Grandma is turning 90 and they’re having a surprise party, so I’m going to New York that weekend, whether you go or not.”
“Do you want me to come?” he asked.
“Well, yeah, but I don’t want you to feel like you–”
“Then ask me like you want me to be there!” he said.
So I started again. “Hi Michael. My mother just called and told me Grandma’s surprise birthday party is on March 22nd. How about we go up to New York that weekend?”
“That would be great,” he said. Since he had lived in New York City for nearly ten years and had talked about going back for a visit, we decided to spend a few nights in the city prior to the party, then head up to the mid-Hudson Valley for a few days with my family.
I opened my computer a few hours later and saw quite a few e-mails from Michael. He had already booked our hotel in the city. He had also sent flight options, leaving from the three airports closest to us. And he priced out a rental car. I could have cried I was so happy.
As a woman who has spent the better part of the last fifteen years traveling on her own, having someone else do the planning was monumental.
And it’s not just travel. Men who have a plan for a first date (how about we go to X restaurant at X time?) automatically score lots of points in my book. As a single woman, I have to decide everything in my life, so when someone else makes the choices for me, ah, that’s how I spell r-e-l-i-e-f.
That same joy overtook me again today. After hiking nearly seven miles, my friend and I reached the car. I checked my phone and noticed I had a few messages. I opened one from Michael to see a picture of–what? Is that . . . yes, it is! Our Eurail passes! There they were, in his possession, and I didn’t have to do a damn thing to get them there. He has also booked our first month’s apartment in Aix-en-Provence, and checked us in for our upcoming cruise. And has documented all of this in an app we both have on our phones.
Well, now I feel like I’m bragging. And I am, of course. It is a good idea to give thanks for at least five things each day. And Michael is on that list most every day, and for that I am grateful.