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“I mean, the second Katie showed up it just all went to shit,” she lamented to Todd whose eyes were half-open while preparing for a post-brunch nap. He and John had declined the girls’ invitation to meet them at their spot and instead made their way to a Germany-style beer garden to watch soccer, drink steins, and eat bratwursts.
“Like, we get it, Katie, you already got married so you know everything there is to know about getting freaking married,” she mocked as Todd’s attention gradually wained while golf played in the background.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he responded slowly, all but asleep.
She aggressively flipped the pages of her new issue of Goop trying to distract herself from her aggravations. She admittedly knew that her champagne buzz was somewhat fueling her outrage but, at the same time, couldn’t get the thought of Katie downplaying her dress shopping out of her mind.
It wasn’t until she turned the page to an article that breached a subject she had thought about in the past but never took the final steps to make happen. Perhaps it needed the Gwyneth Paltrow stamp of approval, or perhaps it just wasn’t that good of an idea in the first place — staycations.
She had always wondered what it would be like to take a vacation in her own city. To get out of her bubble, experience new neighborhoods, tune out the noise and zero-in on the self-care she thought she deserved.
“Todd,” she said without looking in his general direction only to receive no reaction.
“Todd,” she said with a louder tone, now staring directly at him. “Sperry,” she whispered, “Go see daddy.” It was only after Sperry’s licks to Todd’s face that he awoke from his German beer-induced nap.
“Yeah, sure,” he said in a daze. “Wait, what’s that, babe? Get off the couch, Sperry.”
“Babe, what if we did a staycation next week?”
“What the fuck is a staycation?” he asked with somewhat of a frog in his throat.
She furrowed her brow before responding, “First of all, rude. Second of all, it’s where you just take a vacation, but, like, in your own city.”
“So we’d just be wasting money on a hotel when we should be saving money for a wedding?” he sarcastically shot back. “Uh, okay, makes total sense.”
Without blinking, she went from being fake-annoyed with his indifference and sleepiness to being actually annoyed with it. She wasn’t sure if she was annoyed by his sound logic despite being somewhat hungover and tired, or if she was annoyed because her daydreams of spending a weekend at a local boutique hotel went out the window without ever truly materializing.
“I… I don’t think you get it,” she noted (while also still not fully “getting” it herself). “It might be the perfect way for us to relax, focus on us, and talk about what we really want for this wedding.”
Todd finally knew he had to pull himself up by his bootstraps and have a legitimate conversation about the nonsense at hand.
“I, just, I don’t know,” he stuttered. “Can’t we just do this in the apartment?”
“No, Todd,” she shot back while staring at the pages in front of her. “Here, right here it says that in order to really get a new perspective, it’s valuable to change your surroundings if you’re really going to change your state of mind.”
“This sounds like something white people do to justify spending money frivolously,” he immediately regretted saying.
“Not to rain on your negativity parade, Todd, but this sounds like the exact thing we need. No wedding planner, no parents, no friends ruining what should be about us—”
Todd couldn’t help but interrupt. “Well if we want to do that, why don’t we just elope?”
It was like a lightbulb went on in his head. He said it as a joke, but in reality, he actually thought it sounded like a splendid idea. He wouldn’t have to deal with Timothée, traveling to Colorado, feeling the financial obligation to her parents. It was… perfect?
“Very funny, Todd,” she brushed off.
“Well, so much for that,” he thought.
But while he was lamenting the fact that he couldn’t easily escape an expensive and time-intensive wedding, she had already taken to her phone and queued up the HotelTonight app.
“Look,” she showed him. “They have a room at this boutique hotel for, like, $139 when it’s normally, like, $350.”
“Babe, I don’t want to bring you down from this idea but I just don’t want to do it.” His tone finally changed from annoyed and frustrated to simply pleading for some peace and quiet without this cloud hovering over them.
“Okay, fine,” she conceded. “We don’t have to do it tonight — we can do it next weekend.”
“I…okay, whatever,” he surrendered before shutting his eyes once again.
At that moment, she fell deeper into the wormhole. Not only did the desired hotel have a full spa, but they also offered complimentary in-room breakfast service if the room you selected fell into a specific tier.
Frankly, it was in a neighborhood they never visited. When you live in a large city, you often fall into routines that actually shrink the city down to something more attainable. The nearby restaurants, the parks, the shops — everything seemed to fall into a romantic category of “undiscovered.”
While she knew Todd didn’t want her to book the hotel, she also felt like his tune would change once they actually checked in and “checked out” for a Friday and Saturday night near their home. But while doing so, she also realized that the hotel simply didn’t offer the same rates for the week after as they did for that particular night.
“Oh well,” she thought while double-clicking her iPhone X’s side button to confirm the ApplePay payment of $350 (plus taxes). “He’ll thank me later.” .