I adapt well. Instead of dress clothes for a fancy restaurant, I go to the supermarket and buy shrimp and wine and cheese. Actually, there was no wine involved, but you get the idea. Instead of enjoying white, fluffy towels and smooth, cotton sheets, I found the air mattress and air pump, two sleeping bags and a tent. Instead of pampering my feet and hands with lotions and exfoliating, I put maggots and corn on my fish hook with my own fingers and dug my toes into gritty sand and sharp rocks.
My first clue that my husband was on vacation, was when we stopped in Troy to fill the boat tank with gas. Now, he is usually cordial and charming to old ladies, even more so since he works in the ER as a CNA, but this time was different. We had no more then backed the boat up to the gas pump and a old lady had her head poking around the back of the boat. While I went inside to use the restroom and Bruce pumped gas, she informed him that it didn't look like a good fishing boat and probably didn't have enough power for the job. By the time I got back outside, she was gone. I asked Bruce how he had gotten rid of her. He grunted a little then said something about ignoring her and letting her snoop. He had disengaged. Usually, he would involve himself in someway, mainly to be polite.
Lucky for Little Old Lady, I wasn't around when she said that about the boat not having enough power. That boat is so stinking powerful, I have to hang unto my hat most the time. I envisioned giving her the ride of her life and felt a small measure of satisfaction.
So, back to: What did I learn? When my man is on vacation, he is on vacation. This means he does not need to attend every conversation, that he will be at peace with everything, and that he will drive, fish, and meander as long as he pleases.
He does this without any kind of evil intention toward me or my plans. I can take it personal and get insecure about his lack of interest in my chatter, or I can choose to let him rest and learn to enjoy the non-talking section of the boat. For awhile, we sound like Phil and Kay from Duck Dynasty. I'll be chattering "Remember this?" "Remember when?" while hubby grunts "Hhmm" and "Yup", at all the appropriate places.
But what I really learned was this: My husbands love for me isn't connected to how he disengages while on vacation. He always loves me decently in his mind. That is a fact that doesn't change depending on how he feels about my chatter and other unwelcome ways. While I am tempted to read his actions in those times as unloving and thoughtless, he is just on vacation and wonders, "Where did that nice person I married go? And why is she mad at me?"
It did take me most of the trip to figure this out and during that time it wasn't so fun, but when I finally got the TA DA moment, it was worth the effort of trying to understand. Suddenly, it no longer mattered that we caught only ten fish and had pretty good sunburns. The sky was blue and the water turquoise. I had a gorgeous piece of driftwood smuggled into my backpack as memorabilia and had enjoyed plenty of rocks. I had plunged into nice, cold lake water several times and soaked up the sun afterward. Yup, his idea of rest and relaxation wasn't so bad after all. Now, if I can remember what I learned next time we go on vacation.