1. an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion

Edie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. After all their planning and strategizing? And now it was all coming to what?!

“Best laid plans,” she muttered, pacing back and forth in the master bedroom. “I am not letting this happen!”

“Eric,” she yelled down the hall.

“Yeah babe,” he called from downstairs.

“Would you come up here for a second?!”

After 40 years of marriage, Eric could tell when his wife was tense. By her tone of voice, he could tell she had passed tense and was now quickly accelerating toward fuming.

Before he’d even fully stepped foot in their bedroom, he hit the palpable wall of frustration. That vein he hated seeing–the one right above his wife’s left temple–was greeting him.

“What’s going on,” he asked, confused. The last thing they had discussed was replacing the deck out back, hardly anything worth stressing about.

“I just checked my phone,” she said, gripping her phone like it was a fugitive worthy of a hefty reward. “Our children just called us.”

Eric nodded, having learned to stay silent until his wife had finished her complete thought. It helped diffuse her anger–he’d learned that trick by the fourth year of their marriage.

“They want to come home for Thanksgiving,” she seethed.

So that was the problem. Eric finally understood. Their kids’ recent decision to actually come home and spend Thanksgiving with them was going to ruin the romantic cruise they’d been planning.

“We’re in our sixties,” she yelled. “Our children are grown and taking care of their own children, reaping all the mess they sowed with us; I think we’ve earned a vacation.”

Eric wanted to calm his wife.

“We can just call and let them know they’ll have to make other plans,” he reasoned aloud.

Edie knew her children, they would see their parents’ plans as vagary. For some reason children rarely saw their parents as people. Foregoing a Thanksgiving with family for a romantic cruise wouldn’t make sense to them.

“They’re just going to try and guilt-trip me about it and throw those beautiful, precious grandchildren of ours in there for good measure. You know how hard it is for me to resist those cute faces and chubby cheeks! I don’t understand why we couldn’t have had them first. Being a grandparent is so much more enjoyable…”

“Babe I’ll take care of this,” Eric said. “How about I run some hot bath water while you pick out a book to read while you soak? I’ll even throw in some of those calming oils you like.”

Edie nodded, tossing her phone on the bed before heading downstairs to grab her book and some chocolate.

Eric headed to the bathroom to run the bath water. He would call the kids in a little and explain things. They would be disappointed, but there was always the possibility of Christmas.

He emptied a box of lavender-scented salts in the tub and drained a small container of lavender oil for good measure.

With the tub full of hot water and bubbles, Eric left the bathroom to go call the kids.





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