Thursday, January 28, 2010

Honeymoon Hullabaloo

The big discussion this past weekend was about the honeymoon. Destination, dates, how we'll get there, where to spend money, what to do, etc. I have to admit that I had one of my least attractive moments in our relationship during one of these conversations. In my defense, I'm completely obsessed with travel and basically live for the next trip. And it just felt like what I wanted wasn't mattering to anyone and the honeymoon was the one thing I could be a spoiled brat about. So I was...

First, we started looking into destinations and it became clear that none of the places I'd suggested made sense from a weather perspective. They were either going to be too wet or too cold for us to really enjoy the beaches or travel around the towns. We're also likely to visit Australia/New Zealand in the future since MJ’s cousin lives in New Zealand. It's also easy to add Thailand/Bali onto a future India trip. So, we went through the list and Hawaii became more and more attractive. I finally caved into MJ and agreed that we would go there. Now, I know it will be amazing and I will eat my words, but it wasn't where I'd always dreamed of going. It's so typical - SOOO many people go there for their honeymoons (and I know you're thinking 'well there must be a reason for that...'). And it's not as exotic or far away. But, MJ is right - we'll get to do it in a way we'll never get to again and it has everything - amazing beaches, mountains, culture, city life, remote islands, romance, views, history, and (most important to him) volcanoes! His face just lights up when he thinks about going to a volcano. I think even if I didn't like Hawaii I'd have the time of my life going with oh-so-super-excited MJ!

On top of the destination discussion, I'd kept saying we'd use my miles to go first class. But, when we searched, we discovered it would take all of my Delta miles plus half my AmEx points. Now, this is exactly what those points are for and MJ never said we should use them, but I became really sad about it. Afterwards I realized I was more upset because I've gotten so spoiled with the constant influx of miles I used to get from years of traveling every week for work that this is a huge blow. It's also hard spending them all in one place when I've basically hoarded them for so long and almost never used them on myself. But, again, a totally bratty response.

As I mentioned before, I'd wanted a 3 week honeymoon, which got cut down to 2 because of the reality of taking time off of work. Luckily, the 2 weeks ended on Labor Day, so I figured we could get in like 16 days. But, as we started looking at flights, we discovered we really couldn't leave until 8/22 evening or 8/23 morning. Then, Maneesh realized he had a really close family friend's wedding this summer that he had to attend. The first wedding is July 4th weekend, which is a big family weekend (of my family) and he'd feel bad missing it. The other wedding (they were having two) is on 9/4. So the only option was to come back a few days early from the honeymoon to make it to the wedding. So... instead of 8/22 - 9/6 (which I begrudgingly had accepted), we'd only be there 8/23 - 9/3!! I realize that this is not a huge deal in the long run because it's still a whole 12 days and it will be an unforgettable trip, but I got really upset at the time. I have dreamed about my honeymoon my whole life and wanted it to last forever. I wish reality didn't get in the way!

Now I realize the last few paragraphs don't paint a flattering picture of me. But I'm including them here for two reasons: 1. I want to be honest to you, my dear reader, and that includes about my own faults. and 2. I actually learned from my bratty episode :)

I have spent most of my life taking care of myself. I decide what I want to do, rationalize it to myself, and do what I can to make it happen. Heck, at work, I only have to do the first 2 and then tell other people to do what they can to make it happen! LOL just kidding! So, if I want to go to Hawaii for 3 weeks, I figure out a way to go to Hawaii for 3 weeks. When I wanted to live in Europe for a year, I even found a way to get my company to pay for me to live there and travel back to the US every 2 months. But things are going to be different now. Not that MJ doesn't do every single thing in his power to make me utterly happy, but my decisions are no longer my own, they are "ours." I'm no longer the only person effecting my decisions or what I do. And, likewise, my decisions and brattiness affect someone else. (The fact that my bratty episode about using points made MJ say he didn't want to go to Hawaii any more was just terrible!)

These are probably obvious lessons to many of you, especially those of you who are married, but the actual living of it was new to me. MJ and I have been very happy together and have been very successful in balancing our needs in our relationship. But changing my long-awaited honeymoon plans to accommodate his real life needs and using my carefully harvested points on someone other than my family triggered some instinctual "I don't wanna!" reaction in me. And realizing I didn't have the power to change the things standing in my way was eye-opening. The whole idea of it being "our" decision was so new and different than it was when we were dating. We will no longer have the option of making decisions about where to live, what to do on holidays, when to vacation, how much to spend on a car, etc. independently of one another. All these decisions are now "our's," not "his" or "mine."

So, at the end of the day, we will be spending “our” points to spend 12 days in Hawaii on “our” honeymoon. And I’m honestly really excited and can’t wait to spend it with MJ :)

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