Sunday, February 14, 2010

Disappointment and True Love

I'd been secretly planning a Valentine's getaway for a couple of months. I'd always wanted to surprise Nathan with a sneak-away-from-work, childless weekend in some jaw-dropping romantic setting. I found the perfect spot, even made reservations at the perfect restaurants, found the perfect attractions, dropped by my favorite gift shop to get the perfectly scented candles, assembled some perfect outfits (at my local thrift store ;o), and bought some perfectly romantic jammies (NOT from the thrift store - everyone draws the line somewhere- right?)

So last week, Nathan gets sick. He stays home from work, and I feed him Vitamin C and Zicam with hopes of having him well by the weekend. But the weekend brought a snowstorm and even the kids began the sniffles. But we decide to press on. After a few hours of driving through snow, we arrive at my selected destination, meanwhile missing our reservation at the fancy restaurant due to inclement weather. Oh, well. Walking up to the door, we chuckle to see the owners are members of the Optimist Club of America (this should be interesting, we think).

The room was upstairs, the ceilings were low, the room felt claustrophobic. I suppose charm might be an apt description if you were shooting for your great-grandmother's mountain cabin bedroom. We found it utterly depressing. The only thing missing was the mothballs. The bathroom was a veritable closet, closed with a outhouse-style door stapled over with burlap on the inside to prevent overexposure. We ran out of hot water, the shower head was rigged up with a twisted clothes hanger. Thoughts of that bubble bath surrounded by floating rose petals vanished when I saw the icky interior of what had been billed as a claw-footed tub (which was clawless, I noted) By the way, the next morning another guest on her first Bed and Breakfast excursion dragged me into her much nicer downstairs room to show off their modern bath and SUNKEN JACUZZI. So it was just our room, I guess. Our "headboard" was a set of old wavy-glassed windows that were definitely not energy efficient. We found Old Man Winter curled up on the pillows. So, we stuffed pillows against the glass and turned on the little heater (the one that could not be on when you turned on the bathroom vent, unless you wanted to find a breaker box somewhere).

Time to find a fine dining experience to redeem the evening. We found a close one online with decent local reviews. When we walked into the building, the lights were out in what may have been a nicer dining area. We were escorted to a back ex-office, with three other small wooden tables, an inflatable beer can and a poster of a scantily clad woman. We were handed a fine wines list and a menu with entrees in the $20s and $30s. They didn't take a drink order at all, so we inched out the door when we were abandoned. Cracker Barrel to the rescue.

The next night we DID find a cute coffeehouse in town, and settled down on their sofas in relief. Unfortunately within 10 minutes, there were two toddlers racing around the room. The parents even joked to us about our childless romantic evening being ruined by their kids (how considerate of them ;o)

OK, so I curled up in bed and cried last night. I cried in the car on the way home, and in the shower when we got home (their water was too soft to remove the shampoo from my hair, and I looked like a grease-head). I felt so childish, petty, irritated that all my plans had fallen through. And I still feel super-frustrated. God did pop in for a chat while I washed away my sorrows with the shower. He reminded me so gently (in His own special way) that marriage is about two imperfect people living by His power in an imperfect world. That our love transcends rose petals on the floor and candlelight. And perfect suites. And a sunken jacuzzi in the room BELOW US! ;o) Here's hoping your MARRIAGE has a wonderful year, even if your romantic expectations, too, were a bit high this weekend.


Liz said...

I'm so glad you shared . . .the shower is the perfect place to wash away your sorrows and tears. God speaks there too. Hugs to you!

Connie and Steve said...

Charity ~ Awww - I laughed and cried over your post (literally). This was definitely a Valentine's getaway to remember!