Meet Mr. Matt Graubart: super hardworking, over-the-top planner type. He has endured my spontaneous naivety, and has routinely double-checked everything both of us has ever done for the last eighteen years. The man is consistent. He is a rock.
So I (very lovingly) did a thing to this poor, beautiful, dedicated man this past week that I thought was a really good idea at the time. Early this past summer, my Dad bought us tickets to see Bethel Music together with my brother and soon to be SIL. The show was about 2.5 hours away, so I figured, what the heck, why not make it a little getaway? We’ll just shack up in some super cool Airbnb for the night instead of driving all the way home, and feeling exhausted the next day. Matt was totally cool with this idea- at the time that I proposed it.
It’s October, and apparently this concert is happening on a Monday night. Monday is an awful, horrible, no good, very bad day in work-land – consistently. He has meetings on top of his meetings, and phone calls and planning sessions, and has just generally made it very clear to all parties that Monday is a very bad day. No big deal, right? He can just work a half day Monday or maybe a half day Tuesday, bring his computer – we’ll make it work. I am the optimist, in case you were wondering.
Except Nope. He can’t do that. He needs to work until approximately hop-in-the-car time. The ride isn’t a romantic reconnecting adventure because his head is borderline exploding as he envisions the thousands of work emails that are silently blowing up his inbox. We get all the way to the city with 30 mins to spare, find seats, worship our faces off, and have an all-around lovely time. So worth it, I’m thinking. This was completely worth it.
And then we round the corner to the parking garage and walk straight into a giant line of silly people who didn’t pre-pay for their parking ticket, Oooooh….. wait. We ARE those silly people. I actually flipped my hand nonchalantly at the pay window as we walked past it three hours prior. Silly, silly uniformed woman.
40 mins later we say thank you to the very nice man at the pay window, still in pretty good spirits. walk up to the 5th floor of the parking garage patting ourselves on the back that we’ve got a room a mere 15 mins away. Also at this point, my meat-loving husband is dreaming about burgers and beer at late-night local places. We turn on the car. We look around. And there’s nowhere to go. None of the cars in line to leave the parking garage are moving. They’re not even pretending to move. We sit in our parking spot for a solid hour. When we finally see the 1st floor and get our tired butts out through that ticket gate: lo and behold- 500 ft. from the gate is a local food joint. I kind of thought Matt might cry at this point. What is that, like bad decision number 417 on this trip? Eternal optimist that I am, I shake it off. And at this point in life Matt is a pro at just being along for the ride. Goodnight burger.
Twelve minutes later we’re finally at our Airbnb. I forgot to mention that on the drive down Matt informs me that, no, we wouldn’t be sleeping in and spending a luxuriously slow, sans children morning together overlooking the beautiful harbor and sipping our decaf tea – he has to be back at the office for a call by noon and he didn’t bring his work stuff home.
What in the actual heck.
So instead of sleeping, clearly I spend the next eight hours watching him dream next to me (trying not to hate his guts for being able to) while I hear weird noises and think about the three different James Bond-esque locks we had to work through to get up to this studio apartment (WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AROUND US?).
As is typical, morning washes away all the paranoia. The place is amazing. It is a sweet little studio apartment, overlooking the Baltimore Harbor, with an actual door to the roof right by the bed and a fireplace to boot. Stepping out onto the roof, with my tired hangover and puffy eye sockets, all I can think about was how almost-awesome this whole thing is – how there is so much freaking untapped potential for awesomeness in this adventure.
But that isn’t our story. This is.
Of course he went along with the whole crazy itinerary, knowing full well that it was not in the least bit realistic. But he chose to let me run with it, to let me nurse my fancies and chase whimsy and romance, because he always chooses me- even when it’s straight up inconvenient or I’m being borderline dangerous with my naivety.
Of course I planned and dreamed it out anyway, assuming that we’d make it work and find fun moments somewhere if it all went south. He always thanks me later for getting him out of his predictability shell and doing something unusual.
And that’s kind of the agreement we’ve come to. I make the fun happen. He double checks a bit along the way, and follows me smiling and shaking his head a little bit because we both know I’m sort of like an overzealous child on holiday.
I wish I could say something here like, “we made every single moment magical and full of life, and flirtatiously laughed like they do in McDonald’s commercials while waiting in the parking garage” But we mostly just ate leftover lunch snacks, pined for bed, and stared at our phones. I literally slept for more than half of the ride back and felt totally sad about missing that time with him later.
Maybe it’s having passed the decade mark of our marriage, or maybe it’s that he’s that same guy who’s name I used to write all over my brown paper-bag covered textbooks freshman year of High School, but even when things go bad, it’s still just actually good.
The truth is that there are WAY more normal-life days between the two of us at this point then there are big-billowy-romance type days. Somebody can’t find their shoes, I’m packing lunches, we’re stacking firewood, he’s creating happy chaos in the living room wrestling with the dog and the girls, the world is spinning, and it’s Monday again.
And when I’ve got ten quiet minutes on a roof in a new city, there’s nobody I’d rather be standing next to than Matthew Graubart.