Surprise Revealed

Many months ago Martin asked me how I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday.

I don’t. I want to go somewhere far away and pretend it never happened.”

So Martin’s been plotting for a getaway — just the two of us. And in the last few weeks, he’s been dropping hints about passports, a long journey and a place I’ve never been before.

As our departure day has drawn closer, the hints have kept coming. But I’ve learned next to nothing and haven’t the foggiest idea how to pack.

This week after stringing together his cryptic clues (“we’re going somewhere without electricity”) and his vague packing advice (“no, nothing for the beach, it’s weather like here, but cooler”), I concluded that we were staying somewhere that might look like this:

Or maybe like this:

Or this:

And I was not happy. In fact, I was ready to kill Martin.

We’ve been married nearly 13 years, together for 17, and this is the type of trip he plans? For my birthday-we’re-not-celebrating-birthday trip?

You only turn 40 once… not that I want to remember it. I certainly don’t want to forget it while staying somewhere remote and chilly¬†without electricity.

I’ve been quietly seething all week. And growing a little despondent and anxious over packing for the dreaded vacation.

Which is probably why Martin asked me today, “Do you want to know where we’re going?”

“Yes, I do,” I said.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes! Positive!”

It turns out that some hints were a ruse to throw me off track. We do not need passports. We are not destined for some outward bound jaunt.

We are spending two nights in a dwelling without electricity. But it’s not a rustic hut in the South American jungle.

More details to come. But Martin lives to see another day. And I was able to start packing and check the weather forecast for our destination: sunny and warm.

We’ll finally crawl out of the four-day deluge and this sponge of a house…