In 2011 my wife (The Barcelonan Beauty) and I decided to take a trip to Europe. We set out for an enjoyable break from the daily grind back in the U.S. After all, it’s a vacation – a time to relax, right?
At least that’s what I thought.
It all started in Barcelona, where we stayed for two weeks (that’s where my wife is from and where my in-laws live). Our plan was to stay in Barcelona, visit her family, and head off to Andorra for three days, to be followed by a weeklong stay in Rome.
Andorra fell through because my wife’s cousin Edu (short for Eduardo) was plagued with a fierce cold after he agreed to drive us up to the Pyrenees Mountains, for some skiing and a nice spa day in Caldea.
Sure, I was disappointed, but it wasn’t too big a deal. At least not compared to the level of disappointment and frustration I was about to experience in Rome.
Her personal Reign Of Terror taken from the Power Brokers Playbook.
It’s important to me that you know I love my wife and she loves me. She’s a loving, compassionate, and (for the most part) tenderhearted person. I speak the truth when I tell people she really is my best friend.
But when it comes to traveling (be it to Rome or to Disney Land) my Barcelonan Bride makes Mussolini look like the Dalai Lama. Yes, when traveling, her absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And when she puts on her Dictator’s Hat, like she did in Rome, I’m sure to become a dissident. And that’s exactly what happened.
Here were the planks of her Travel Manifesto during her Reign Of Terror in Rome:
- Subjects must strictly adhere to the Rome Itinerary put together by Barcelonan Beauty. Variations from the formal Rome Itinerary will result in endless bickering and forced celibacy.
- Any purchases of souvenirs for the sake of enjoyment and remembrance must be approved by Barcelonan Beauty. Transactions that are not approved will result in endless bickering and forced celibacy.
- Rome Itinerary takes precedence over subject’s hunger, sickness, and general lack of enjoyment. Voicing concerns of any kind is punishable by way of … you guessed it, endless bickering and forced celibacy.
During our weeklong stay in Rome I violated all three planks set forth by the Barcelonan Beauty.
The benevolent and misguided tyrant that she became.
To her credit, my wife is an expert event planner and she did arrange the entire trip to Rome. But her itinerary was so rigid it was difficult to enjoy anything, and I loathe having to abide by rigid plans or itineraries of any kind – especially when I’m on vacation.
For me, relaxing means enjoying the moment and taking in all of the details of my surroundings.
In Rome, there are thousands of years of history staring at you, everywhere you turn. The Coloseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Piaza Navona, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Musuems… and it’s all so spectacular.
But I was miserable because I was against the clock the whole time.
At one point, I saw this awesome gladiator helmet that a street vendor was selling. I wanted to buy it, and I did.
The moment she saw the price she screeched, “Twenty euros!”
Here I was on a vacation, trying to enjoy the fruits of my hard work and she’s not having it. I didn’t hear the end of it for the rest of our trip. That’s because I violated Plank #2 of her Travel Manifesto.
But that didn’t stop me from violating the others.
When we first arrived in Rome, we had found our hotel and she was ready to hit the city immediately – that must have been on her itinerary. But I was starving.
We don’t stop at a local shop to eat (where you know the food is going to be awesome). What do we do instead?
To abide by the plans she made, we were to take a bus to our first destination (the Vatican Museum) and we would get something to eat there.
And more than an hour and a half later, I ate the worst reheated (by way of a microwave) linguine ever in my entire life – in Rome!
She agreed that the food was horrible, but it didn’t help matters when it came to her must follow itinerary. She pushed on, and pushed me along with it.
I complained and complained and she responded to my complaints as vigorously as I dealt them. As a true dissident, I violated Plank #3 of her manifesto – speaking out against her Ruling Power.
And later on during our trip I tossed Plank #1 aside when we visited the Coliseum. We were supposed to go through the guided tour together. But the moment I got my headphones, she went one way with her Audio Guided tour, and I went in the exact opposite direction. I veered from the itinerary – with a big grin on my face.
Lots of bickering minus the mandatory makeup sex.
To reiterate, my wife and I love each other deeply. In fact, this coming December 3rd is our tenth year anniversary.
And while we did fight a lot on our trip to Rome and didn’t enjoy as much intimacy as we would have hoped, we were still together doing our thing. In retrospect, I really enjoyed Rome and all that it has to offer and so did she. We still talk about it and will for the rest of our lives together.
Right before the end of our trip, we did manage to patronize a small little restaurant where I had the best Linguine Con Vongole I have ever eaten in my life – all arranged by my Barcelonan Bride.
– Meetch Martinez
Meetch Martinez is the founder of husband-ology.com. Married for nearly a decade, he’s learned (often times the hard way) how much work is truly involved in building a healthy, happy and rewarding marriage. With his psychobabble free, no-nonsense style of writing, he constantly contributes to the development of other peak performing husbands (as well as his own).
He enjoys writing about sex, conflict resolution, romance, finances, and everything in between – when it comes to married life.
@1000Fights A huge thanks to the Martinez for sharing their Roman Holiday! Check out Meetch’s Blog, it is a ton of fun. Would you like to share your couple travel adventure on our site? Drop us a line. We would love to have you.