In case you didn't know, Michael and I have been on vacation the past few days. I had earned a trip to the Plexus Leaders Retreat AND tickets to Disney AND Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, courtesy of my amazing job as a Plexus Ambassador. We decided to make it a road trip to Orlando and back since we'd never taken a vacation together before, and also to stretch our 3-day trip into a whole week of fun and togetherness.
So here we are in the car on our way out of Orlando, and I just had this thought that you can tell a lot about a person by what it's like to travel with them, and also that I've really, really liked traveling with Michael. He's been pretty much fun this entire time, and given me about twelve different memories that I can't stop laughing about. Seriously. Well be driving along in silence, and I can't help it, I'll think about the Peoplemover escalator back at Magic Kingdom (you had to be there) and crack up laughing all over again. After this trip, I LIKE him more than I did before.
And that got me thinking of some other trips I've taken in my life with not-so-pleasant people and the vast difference between the two experiences, and then my mind went to thinking about when my girls grow up and get married and the kind of person I want THEM to take road trips with.
Because --- and I just had this revelation, riding along in the car heading North on I-75 --- the qualities that make someone a good travel companion also make them a good LIFE companion, so lest you think I'm just bragging shamelessly on my husband, there's a purpose in this list... Consider it an open letter to my daughters regarding all the qualities I want them to look for in the person they travel with in life someday. Dear daughters, please choose a guy like this one...
1. He's always, always friendly to everyone. He treats the parking valet like he's the most interesting and important person he's met all day. Waitresses, bellhops, random strangers on the elevator? He smiles and says hi to them all, then always tells them to have a good day when we part ways. From my experience as a waitress during college, I know that MOST people aren't that nice, and NICE words from a NICE person go a long, long way.
2. He always tips well. It goes along with being friendly and respectful to everyone. If someone serves you, show your gratitude. And if they serve you really well, bless them with a handshake and a 'thank you' and a couple of extra dollars. I was a waitress and I know that two extra dollars might not mean much to you, but it does to them after an hours-long shift spent serving cranky, rude, self-centered people. I love good tippers.
3. He always lets other people go first. This just happened... We were pulling out of the Waffle House parking lot, and he let a Tahoe turn in front of him with a wave. So. Nice. He always lets others on or off the elevator first, and on or off the Disney shuttle first. I love people who put others ahead of themselves.
4. And speaking of putting others ahead of themselves, he's let me choose the Pandora station this entire trip. It helps that we agree that 80s music makes the best road trip soundtrack, but still, I appreciate that he made a point of telling me I could choose the music, the a/c temperature, and where to eat breakfast in the mornings, among other things. Of course I try not to demand my own way ALL the time and to usually consider his feelings, but it's just nice to travel with a courteous person who cares about making this a pleasant trip for all involved.
5. He stood up to let older ladies have his seat on the Disney shuttle, every single time. Every. other. man. on every other shuttle SAT THERE and let the grandmothers ride standing up. Not MY husband. And that made me so incredibly proud. And also? I never opened a door this entire trip, or carried a heavy bag. I really love gentlemen with manners; they're so few and far between these days.
6. He's gone out of his way to let me do what I want to do on this trip. There were a couple of silly, frivolous stops I wanted to make (Orient Expressed in New Orleans, for one, and what man wants to go there?) and pictures I wanted to take that involved a detour and much time and walking and effort, and it was silly, really, but I wanted to do it, and he just LET ME without one single complaint or snarky comment. And if there was anything he wanted to do, I happily went along with it (his requests mostly involved roller coasters and steak, so it wasn't too painful) because in this family we treat each other like we want to be treated.
And last but not least,
7. He always wakes up happy. I'll be the first to admit that I do not, especially those mornings after we stayed up well past midnight and then had to get up early the next morning. He ACTED happy and cheerful and pleasant, even when he didn't feel that way, because he knows that moods are contagious. It's something I have to work on, myself, not letting my sleep-deprived grumpiness rub off on everyone around me, but I do so appreciate that HE makes the effort, and I'll try to do better. Thank goodness there's Plexus on those mornings.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to crank up the 80s on Pandora and enjoy the drive.