I’m living the dream. If you saw me now, sitting on a chaise lounge on my private deck overlooking the ocean, you might think my dream was to live on a tropical Caribbean Island. But no. My dream? To live next door to my husband.
I love Michael. I enjoy living with him. But there are certainly times I miss living alone. I recall once talking to my mother about a guy I was dating. “He’s the kind of guy I’d like to live next door to. You know, have him come over for dinner sometimes.” At the time, I thought this would be the best of both worlds: I could be in a relationship and still have my alone time.
But then I met Michael. And six months later we were living together. In France. In a small one bedroom apartment. My mother likes to say that we went on our honeymoon before we got married. And honeymoon it was. We went to the farmer’s markets together, cooked together, went out for ice cream and afternoon people-watching together. And then I left. One week after we got there, I hitched a flight to Porto, Portugal. Some might say that was a sign of things to come. My mother, wise woman that she is, or simply observant, pointed out to me just two weeks ago that Michael and I have left each other for multiple weeks every year since we’ve been married. “That’s only two years. . .” I said. “But actually, now that I think about it, we probably did it every year we were dating, too.” Usually it’s me leaving him. Usually to walk a Camino. But this time the tables turned. Just two weeks after we decided to move to Barbados, Michael was gone. I was left to finish preparing our home to be rented. So didn’t get to enjoy the alone time as much as I had initially hoped.
But Michael made up for that. Or Barbados did. You see, due to the pandemic, they not only require visitors to show up with a negative COVID test, but they require you to then take a quarantine-approved taxi to a quarantine-approved hotel where you will then quarantine for five days until you are given a second COVID test. And then you will continue that quarantine until the results of that test come back negative. So though we are now both in the same country, Michael and I are not allowed to commingle for at least another week. So my dear husband decided he would get us as close to each other as he could: he got us adjoining rooms. The connector door is unable to be opened by either of us until we get the green light. Or, in this case, until I get a green wristband to replace the red one I was given at the airport indicating that I am not yet allowed to commingle with anyone—including my husband.
And now I think I’ve found something even better than living next door to your husband: living in adjoining rooms at a hotel. Because there are no house projects to worry about. No dishes to do. Or laundry, for that matter. Michael stocked the kitchen before I got here. He also managed to get breakfast included with our rooms. Mine was delivered this morning to my door. What more could a girl ask for?
That’s what I miss. You see, since this whole pandemic started, I am one of the lucky ones who had someone I could physically touch, unlike some of the single folks out there. I had that option until Michael left three weeks ago. So yes, my own room, next to my husband’s, completely stocked with food, overlooking the ocean. . . oh—and did I mention my private “plunge pool”?— yes, it might be a dream. But I’d happily give it all up for a hug.
May/June 2014: The Honeymoon before the Wedding. . . Left: Michael in our apartment in Vannes, France. Right: People watching and grocery shooing in Aix-en-Provence.
My red wristband accompanied by my GPS tracker, my stocked kitchen, breakfast on Day One, my view.