Because E is ridiculously awesome, but especially so at work, they rewarded him. I am as shocked as you are–an employer recognizing that an employee goes way above and far beyond? An employer who says holy crap, dude, your sense of responsibility and commitment and dedication is magnificent, is inspiring, is beautiful to behold and we do not think that the money that we provide to you in the form of a paycheck is enough to acknowledge the fact of your awesomeness. An employer who says here is a bonus, because you deserve it and are very attractive and have many good qualities. Hooray!
E has been working his ass off doing wonderful things for his little company, and they said thanks with a very large travel voucher. You tell us where you want to go and what you want to spend it on–a hotel, a safari, airfare–and we will make the arrangements for you. It was both incredibly generous and incredibly deserved, and I was so proud of him, when he told me about it. “I am so proud of you!” I shrieked. “Where are we going?” I like to get down to business right away. I am very practical in that way.
Who says I’m taking you? E said. Because he is hilarious. And once I finished beating him with my shoe, we got down to brass tacks. We have a small but significant pile of money. How do we maximize awesomeness and minimize our own expenses? How do we spend this properly and to greatest and happiest effect? We decided that we needed to do something we would be reluctant to splash out on because it seemed too big a luxury or too crazy a trip. So, something international. A big city? A few days in London, a weekend in Paris, a flyover Amsterdam, a couple of minutes in Prague? I started to get excited about the idea of a romantic whirlwind trip to a place with cobblestoned streets and quaint old-timey street vendors selling authentic cuisines in a paper sleeve and maybe some accordion playing and picturesque waifs.
But our pile was not that large a pile, and the bags under my sweetheart’s eyes were large bags, and what he needed was not a weekend of running jumping climbing trees but of lying very still and Just Being. My baby needed a break. His older brother said, there is an amazing place in Cancun, right on the ocean. Seriously–you walk out the door of your little private cabana, and there is the ocean, right there. At your doorstep. And they catch your food fresh every night and prepare it for you and there are only three rooms and you are hidden away and you can snorkel and swim and it is paradise.
Paradise is way out of our budget, dude, we said. No way, his brother said. And he was right. For a week, seven days, we can afford paradise. Actually booking paradise was the trick. Okay, this week! No, sold out. This week? Sold out. This week? Sold out. Okay, fine–pick a week for us. The first available. And so we are going to paradise at the end of February, right when we are the most tired of winter and want it to be over, please. Cancun! The ocean! A week of reading and lying down and eating and drinking and scuba diving and reading and eating and finding other ways to occupy ourselves. E is very excited about the possibility of wrestling sharks.
He needs this vacation badly, and I am so glad to see how excited he gets, when we talk about it. Paradise, for a week. He deserves it.