Saturday, November 05, 2005

Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong

The last 2 weeks have been spent planning this awesome retreat weekend for my wife. It is hard work being a stay at home mom and I knew she could really use a break. So, I wanted to organize a time she could meet a friend lunch, read a book, sleep in w/o being awakend for a bottle, and take a bubble bath.

I spoke to a good many people I trusted in the planning of this event. I talked to my mom, to our friend Susie, to my female coworkers, and even a few other men. I found out what these women, would want and what to do to make this weekend the biggest sucess.

I needed a hotel room for the event, so I went to Priceline and booked a room. I got a room at Hyatt Regency across the street from Woodfield Mall. I decorated the room with amenities (M&Ms - Hot Tamales - Mentos) to make the stay perfect.

I had a sitter come over and off we went to dinner where I would spring the surprise of my intricately designed weekend. I even had a friend who was going to come pack a bag and have it waiting inside the hotel room when she arrived.

We decided on Stir Crazy for our meal. Got a table, had our drinks delivered, and went to the cooking bar to watch our stir fry be prepared. We returned to the table and began to eat, signaling the predetermined time to spring the good news.

"I had a reason for doing this tonight, I have a surprise for you." I began as she quit eating and looked up at me. "I thought you could use a weekend away from the girls to relax so I got you a room next door." I explained as the expression on her face turned from anticipation to horror.

"NO!!!!" she adamentaly exclaimed. My mind began to race. The idea of no had never entered my thoughts. I had prepared for every need, for every detail except the possibilty of a no. What did she mean, "No" I was wondering?

"Absolutely not," she began to cry as I continued to sit stunned by this completely unanticipated reaction. "I like our weekends, I like our girls," she stated firmly with a crescendo into another, "NO!"

I was ABSOLUTELY unprepared. I was shell shocked, with no capable way of responding. I mean, I wasn't going to force her to accept my gift. All this work had been meant as a blessing, but it would be no blessing at all if she was compelled against her wishes. Thoughts, considerations, wonderings if there had been missteps in my anticipation of the event raced through my mind. Every possible senario of elation at the news of the retreat surfaced in mind as a contrat to the reality that was a sense of utter disgust rather than celebratory.

I can only imagine, that being the waitress must have been an intensely uncomfortable event. Moments before we were laughing, talking, and sharing a sense of goodwill in our interactions together and with her. Now, there was enough tension built up at the table to crush an aluminum can.

I assured her that I was not mad (which honestly I was not. Dumbfounded and confused yes, but mad no) We had the food boxed, and we went to the mall to walk around together. After getting coffee from Starbucks, and a walk down the halls and around Williams Sonoma we found ourselves sitting together on a bench.

At this point in time, an hour has passed since the idea was first introduced. When we first sit together, her decision was unchanged. However, after time, talking, dealing with emotions, and explaining she began to buy into the idea.

After about another 15-20 minutes she bought into the idea and had become excited. We went to the hotel, returned home together to get some things the bag packer had missed, took the sitter home and returned her to begin her time of relaxation, renewal, and reading of Blue Like Jazz.

We met each other to workout today at Lifetime and she assured me she was having a marvelous time. She had spent a LONG time on the phone with friends and family. She had slept in and had enjoyed a lunch with a friend with no children interupting.

She is such an amazing wonderful woman. I honored to be raising a family with her. I love her 10,000 times more today than when we wed 7 years ago. It has been a blessing to me, to be able to give her this time of retreat from our two little girls. I am glad she bought in, got excited, and is enjoying this time specially set aside for her.

Well, one of the 2 little children left in my care is screaming because she is VERY TRIED and wants to read Baby Einsten, "Mirror Me." So I am off.

Fellow husbands. If you should desire to plan a surprise weekend for your wife, please consider the scenario where she is not excited. That advice would have been appreciated in advanced.

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