Fantasy v. Reality: Work Trips

cat on a unicorn with lasers

My enamorado XFE has deserted me once again.

OK, fine, that’s a bit dramatic, I suppose. He’s travelling for work this week.

sad unicorn
(picture courtesy of Donny Miller/

It’s actually been several months since XFE has been a work-road-warrior. I’d gotten pretty comfortable with him around all the time.

Which is why it feels like total desertion.

Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s leaving the frigid Arctic of D.C. for the sunny shores of California this week.

I’m more than a bit jealous. But I do have to admit, sometimes having perspective on these things is a bit difficult.

For example, there’s what I imagine his flight and arrival are like:

After five hours of guzzling champagne and imbibing in warm macadamia nuts, XFE lands in California, picks up his convertible, and armed with a miraculously traffic-avoiding GPS, arrives minutes later at his luxury hotel, where check in is immediate and completely painless and includes an upgrade to a top floor suite complete with a 1,000-foot deck overlooking ocean waves.

XFE riding his ocean-wave loving unicorn. In his suit. 

Here’s the likely reality:

XFE arrives at Dulles at the crack of dawn, his wallet $100 lighter after his 45-minute cab ride. After a pre-dawn rubdown by TSA, he makes his way to the gate area, where he finds that his flight has been delayed. His breakfast options at this hour are Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. So he can have a scone with his coffee or a doughnut with his coffee. Did I mention that XFE doesn’t drink coffee?

Finally, his flight begins to board. Thanks to his ever-vigilant miles hoarding, he is upgraded and allowed to board in the first group. After wedging his suitcase in the overhead compartment, he settles in to his aisle seat, while the stewardess leans perilously over him and plays overhead Tetris with two other pieces of oversized luggage that ultimately will be gate-checked. Boarding continues, with XFE being whacked repeatedly by backpacks of disgruntled coach passengers passing him on their way to the back of the plane.

Upon landing, XFE will navigate the unknown airport to find the car rental garage and retrieve his lime green Chevy Spark which is a hybrid vehicle and as such, will shut off at every stop light. It also contains a GPS that is determined to drive XFE and his luggage into every available body of water along the route. There will, of course, be tons of traffic, lots of detours, and streets that are one-way between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 a.m. on all days ending with “y.”

XFE will arrive at the hotel where he will be told that yes, he has been upgraded to a suite, thanks to all his Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty, but his suite won’t be ready for another two hours. He’s welcome to wait at the bar. Or, check in to a smaller room and move all his stuff tomorrow morning before he starts his work day.

Continue reading Fantasy v. Reality: Work Trips

Infographic Monday: The Longing

My own personal Psuedo Househusband of Old Town, XFE is coming home again tomorrow and it is not a minute too soon. I’ve missed him terribly. There’s only so much remote control responsibility a girl wants before she realizes, there really isn’t anything good on TV anyway.

Where the heck is he??
Where the heck is he??

288 hours is a lot of time to fill without your best buddy/personal chef/sommelier/comedian/bill payer/grocery shopper/personal trainer/stylist/gossip sharer. There really isn’t one good, all-purpose word to accurately describe what XFE is in my world. Except, maybe, everything. Or, my safe spot. My home.

Maybe that’s why I keep engaging in the Inuit practice known as “iktsuarpok”: the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming. But in this case, it’s not just anyone. It’s XFE. I keep looking outside to see if XFE is coming.

The French also, predictably, have a phrase for how I’m feeling: “avoir le mal de quelqu’un” — missing someone so much it literally makes you sick. “Someonesickness.” I love that.

Ah words, they can be so clever. This infographic has some fun phrases that defy translation into English. Also: the delightful website, Better Than English, is an excellent diversion for occasions when one is flitting about restlessly, waiting for someone to come home.

11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures


The French also have a delightful word for what I anticipate I will feel when I rush home tomorrow after work and see XFE waiting for me: “retrouvailles.”  Literally translated as “rediscovery,” retrouvailles is the happiness of reuniting with someone after a long separation. Yep. That sounds right. Rediscovery accompanied by my co-captain for life.