Here we go.
Our flight to Turkey from Dubai was scheduled for 11:20 AM on a weekend morning.
Months previous I had signed up and paid for a 10K that was to be run the very same morning...starting, not far from our house, at 7 AM. The third and final in a series of races. I'd done two, wanted to do the third.
Now, with the flight secured, Mike couldn't believe I was even thinking about running before the flight and in that spirit gave me the my God, what DID I marry? look. No worries, I'm used to it.
Here's the math for your consideration:
Race starts at 7 AM. I run in it less than an hour, guaranteed, no matter how hot and humid the day. I hit the finish line and keep running through to the parking lot. 8 AM. No socialising whatsoever. Home by what, 8:15? Shower, despair of taking care of the sweaty race gear, but whatever. If everything was all packed and ready to go, the kids' clothes were all laid out for Mike to dress them...refrigerator cleaned out, I mean, what else would there have been to do? We'd still have a good 2 1/2 hours to get to, and on, the plane, right?
As it turned out, at about that hour I was still trying to find Eba the turtle, who evaded my efforts on her behalf completely and ended up having to subside on lawn and whatever vegetables the neighbors threw over the wall for her. I'd caught her the day before but then released her again when they weren't home to take possession.
Not being a dumb turtle and not wishing to be handled any further, she immediately went and buried herself somewhere and couldn't be found less than half an hour later. Mental note, next time, put her in a box or something.
So, a few days before the event, when I informed Mike that I still wanted to run the 10K which happened to be a few hours before getting on the plane, and he gave me the look throwing up his hands it total exasperation, (despite my setting out my reasoning in a thoroughly measured and reasonable way---geez, he is tough!), he told me to ask 10 people, of my choosing, mind you, whether they thought the idea was nuts. No person with any semblance of sanity whatsoever would ever think of, let along do such a thing, he averred.
So...I asked Graham. I figured that would settle it. A devoted runner, to be sure, but also someone who thinks that 'on time' is the same thing as 'late'. And Graham said, to my great surprise: yes, sure, I'd run it. Why not?
This was a bad thing for Mike's argument. Emboldened, I asked another friend and runner, Nigel, veteran of business travel worldwide, and he said: well, of course you should run it.
A nearby runner, overhearing the conversation, threw in her yes vote too. Hmm, perhaps I wasn't completely insane...
I went back to Mike. Predictably, he blew up, in that loving caring way of his. If I were an evil woman, I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching the vein on his forehead throb, but of course, having someone to torment isn't the reason I keep him around.
That's what we had kids for.
So, Nigel's wife got into the discussion and fired off an "are you INSANE?!" email to me so hard I heard it land in the computer and feared it might have damaged the hard drive.
This helped Mike's case. Nigel, undoubtedly under the tutelage of his loving wife, mentioned that it might be better to start the vacation on a more...er...cooperative note. Mike insisted I must have posed the question to my consultants in a leading way, a most unfair and undeserved assumption. I did no such thing, and even if I had, he set the rules of engagement.
In an attempt to be a truly good wife, I asked some of his coworkers what they thought over dinner, and under Mike's eye they uneasily gave their opinions.
So, the morning of the flight, I had made sure all was done that needed to be done, except for the turtle, which falls under extenuating circumstances in my book. Not my fault.
I got dressed, hopped in the Jeep, and drove out to the racecourse.
Now, here the more sensible of you are screaming at the computer, WHAT?! Are you INSANE?!
We have already established that runners in general are kind of nuts, so this should not really be a surprise.
Can you believe it?
I showed up in street clothes, just to wish my friends luck, and to cast a wistful look over the course, (oh, hell, it was a nasty hot, wet day anyway) and then I went home, unplugged electrical devices, poured away the last of the milk down the drain, and looked for Eba some more.
See? I AM a nice wife. Or nice enough for my nice husband.
So it was without causing Mike's head to pop off or having to leave stinky running gear to mold in our absense, that we headed out to the airport. Practically a goddess, here.
Confession time: what truly changed my mind was a friend to both of us who pointed out that there was an unpronounceably named volcano spewing ash and grounding planes, and that there would be plenty of people happy to take our places on the plane to Turkey where they could then catch a train to the rest of Europe. Not a time to mess with the plane folks, in other words.
So it turned out for the best that I hadn't run. Even after we were safely at the airport, teasing Mike about it didn't go over so well, despite the fact that he'd gotten his way. My teasing was poorly timed, pre-coffee, so that might have been a factor. Then, during the essential application of coffee to parental units, Bethy went a little wild and dumped her fortunately not-too-hot hot chocolate all over her sweatshirt.
I did my best to wash it out for her in the ladies bathroom, and then tried, without any noticable success, to dry it under a hand dryer. We chased that up by accidently leaving it behind on a chair where I'd put it in a pathetic attempt to dry it a little more. Mike, unaware of the laundry situation, took the kids to the pre-boarding area, and I was momentarily out of the picture while I ran back to the coffee place to try and find Bethy's teddy bear which she'd left behind...somewhere (didn't find it, I still need to call lost and found), then had to beg my way back through the secondary security again to go get the wet sweatshirt...
Ah, family travel. Nothing like it in the world.