Some people get a rush out of stealing. Others, gambling. Others, punching people in the face in a secret underground gathering full of white males who are upset that their millennia-old power structure seems to be crumbling on a microscopic level. What I mean is that everyone responds to risk in different ways, but that for some, the reaction is an adrenaline-infused freefall, a pinball-behind-the-eyes sensation that tricks one into thinking anything is possible, yes, this feels right, why not me.
For me, that rush comes from spending money. Not in a shopaholic sense – I actually feel physically ill when I spend over $100 on clothes or at IKEA – I mean in a big purchase, major savings spend kind of way. I don’t do things on credit, so when I buy the big things, I have the money to hand over and truthfully, I usually have to hold onto the desk to keep from feeling faint. It’s not something I was brought up to feel comfortable doing, so when I manage it now, I feel a forbidden tickle in my brain-heart, one that whispers seductively “you really shouldn’t be doing this but it feels good, doesn’t it?”
And it does.
This week I dropped a fair amount of money on 4 nights in the Caribbean in January. The timing couldn’t be worse for money reasons – apparently everyone else in the northern hemisphere wants to escape the winter, too (how dare they). But I work in e-commerce and it’s right after the busiest season at work for me, two straight months of 12-14 hour workdays and white-knuckle decisions that leave me denouncing capitalism and wondering if I could actually live in a yurt. Graham’s “busy season” isn’t really a busy season, per se, but Seattle restaurants are both prolific and, as a result, chronically understaffed, and as the mentions in Bon Appetit (!) continue, I imagine he’ll need a break, as well.
Also, in February, Graham and I will have been together for 10 years, an amount of time that seems both impossible and highly weird to me. Sometimes I can’t even believe I’ve been old enough to have been kissing boys for 10 years. Other times I realize that most marriages don’t last 10 years, not even the ones my friends were trying out back when I was getting divorced and telling me things like “it’s too easy to get divorced these days” and “my marriage will last because I’m willing to make it work.” To those people, the ones whose Facebook posts indicate they’re learning just how easy it isn’t to get divorced, I say “SUCK IT, NERDS.” I am nothing if not patient in terms of comeuppance so consider this my satisfaction at the condescending shit you said to me back in our early 20s.
But anyway, 10 years, not without some speed bumps and occasional thoughts of murder, but 10 years all the same. Worth a celebration, I think, specifically one on a beach with an open bar nearby.
I still have to book the flights, which I’m actually not as nervous about ever since I learned how much cheaper it is to fly out of Vancouver than Seattle. Apparently Vancouver is a prohibitively expensive city in which to live but it’s pretty sweet to travel from there, so even with the train to Canada, one night in Vancouver and traveling back to Seattle when we get back, that’s still cheaper than round trip with two stops apiece from Seattle to St. John. Plus, I mean, Canada in January, who can resist?! A Caribbean vacation isn’t a bargain any way you slice it, but I’ll take the small victories when I can.
After this vacation, we can sit down and make some decisions about how to spend all of our childless disposable income. Travel every year is an option (I still need my solo trip and still haven’t deleted my Iceland travel apps), as is really buckling down and saving to buy a house in one of the places on our shared Top 5 Cities For When We Get Priced Out of Seattle list. For as long as we’re still in Seattle, we can sell our junky separate cars and go in on one small one. The possibilities extending into our (gulp) late 30s are not endless but still not extremely limited, so we can see where we go from there.
Until then, Graham can plan on wearing a Speedo and his metal vest to the beach (the “Eurotrash hesher look,” he calls it) and I won’t and that should be a pretty accurate way of describing our relationship, even 10 years down the road.