Bad Trips

“So why are we ok with this?” my husband asked me last night. By “this” he was referring to the dodgy room we were staying in for our lil’ romantic (pandemic respectful) getaway. We laughed and contemplated this question while perched gingerly on rickety chairs, drinking the awful, but blessedly alcoholic complimentary wine and willing ourselves to go nose blind to the smell – a musky top note of animal urine with an underlying hint of mold.

He wasn’t asking why are we strong (or stupid) enough to endure this, but more what sets us apart from the many other couples who would not be able to get past the immediate awfulness of this situation to find the fun and be ok with it.

I think we are ok with this disappointing shit hole for precisely the same reasons we have been ok with this pandemic. And raising teenagers. And caring for an elderly parent with declining health. And economic hardships and plumbing disasters and menopause. Because, in challenging situations such as these, we turn toward each other rather than against each other. I’ve been in that other kind of relationship too; the one where things go south with any kind of wrinkle in the plans and turn into a blame fest (You should have researched this room better! I can’t stay here! You’ve ruined our vacation!).

It also doesn’t hurt that we genuinely like each other and are pretty resilient as individuals (hard won through our share of bad experiences coupled with a healthy dose of introspection). My husband, ever the optimist, pointed out that we have learned some stuff here too – that we can have fun anywhere, that we can look for the good in any situation (stunning sunny walk on the beach prior to checking in to Chez Sewer in this case) and, this time at least, we don’t have to stay in a shitty situation. We both agreed we will just pack ourselves up, jump in the car and retreat a day early to our beloved happy haven home to continue our romantic getaway there. Minus the stench and cadre of aggressive black flies.