TRAVEL THERAPY #14:
The Blinders Come Off
In addition to forcing everyone to shed layers of clothing due to the oppressive heat of a New York summer, the city also removed my blinders on our most recent family vacation.
“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.” | NINA LACOUR
It was SO cool — a park FILLED with bamboo birdcages hanging in trees and elderly Chinese men primed for the next songbird competition. If I didn’t know I was in New York City, I would think I was smack in the middle of China.
When I turned around to share the whole experience with my family, my heart plummeted.
All three of them—including my husband—were all sitting on the curb, not paying a bit of attention to any of it. My heart hurt.
When they saw me looking at them, the belly aching commenced—”Moooooommmmmmm….LET’S GO! Enough pictures already!!!”
I’ll give it to them that it was hot. Sweltering, in fact. But, they had been completely spoiled over the last couple of days.
After coming on a food-focused tour of the city with my girlfriends awhile back, I couldn’t wait to come back with my family and gorge on ethnic food. Over the past couple of days, they had eaten pizza, real Chinese dumplings, and gourmet ice cream (AND played video games in our room) to their tweenage and teenage hearts’ content.
And, I can’t even get 15 minutes of feigned interest in an amazing little park??? To be expected, I guess…they’re 12 and 16 after all.
I was actually most disappointed in my husband.
He knew I had spent countless hours finding activities and restaurants that would excite our kids without draining our adult brains during this summer’s family vacation.
He knew that planning these amazing family adventures was, in fact, one of my biggest passions. I did it for both the family (to create special memories) and myself (to stimulate my travel-loving spirit).
Although amazing, these family trips were almost completely geared to the kids’ interests—and he should damn well know that by sitting there on the curb paying zero attention right alongside them, he was condoning their selfishness.
But, it went much deeper than that—he was also communicating his own selfishness.
While I looked at him sitting on the curb, in that quiet space before the belly aching commenced, the blinders came off and I saw something very scary—I was married to a man with whom I shared virtually no personal interests and a man who only showed passion when we were in our bedroom and he had a hankering for some physical contact.
I could have snapped pictures for hours in the Hua Mei Bird Garden. For a moment, I fantasized about being alone. But, there was no time for that—I had a family to relieve and a tour to take.