traveling in pairs.

February 25, 2013

amnh3494 amnh3553 amnh3543 amnh3570 amnh3572 amnh3541 We woke up Sunday morning to clean sheets. Clean sheets and the newspaper waiting for us. But somewhere between those clean sheets and morning paper something went wrong. Not terribly wrong or even very wrong at all. Some days you are just cranky.

You need to do something to shake the crankiness.

So, you ride the subway with your biologist husband for 40 minutes and you roam around a museum filled with models of enormous sea creatures and you feel better about the state of things. You take the stairs instead of the elevator. You park yourselves on a bench and observe tiny human animals mimicking their primate ancestors.

You stop for tea and split a treat. Then you buy another and split that, too.

You come home to make dinner feeling patched and restored and then you bark at each other again.

You take a few breaths.

One of you makes dinner, not two, and by the time that dinner comes out of the oven you’ve worked out the kinks again.

It’s tricky business, traveling in pairs. But those moments on the subway bench, the socked feet tangled on the couch, the taking the stairs two at a time, together: all of that makes any of the crankiness not matter so very much.

For you on a Monday morning: one of my very favorite essays.

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  • Reply Kate February 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Also what makes pair-dom difficult is cleaning. Should you divide and conquer or stay together and do everything faster? We divided and conquered yesterday and then yelled at each other. At least our house is clean!

  • Reply Chloe Moon February 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Beautifully written. I recently moved in with my boyfriend and I'm learning how much of a struggle it can be traveling in pairs too. But your 100% right…those precious moments where the love and comfort shine through are what's important! =)

    Ergo – Blog

  • Reply Rebecca Alexis February 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    so love the pictures and the story behind them. Life is a dance isn't it? It is better dancing with someone special but it is hard when you get your toes stepped on. bring on monday! xo

  • Reply Breanna February 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wow, these are words taken right out of my mouth. thank you for sharing and for the reminder <3

  • Reply Faith February 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    You beautifully captured how it feels to have an "off day" with your spouse/significant other. Getting out of the house is definitely a smart way to shake a foul mood or a strange dynamic, and I'm glad to hear that you worked through it! Off to read the essay now. 🙂

  • Reply Ginny February 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    It feels so reassuring to hear my own sentiments expressed so eloquently. Thank you for being so honest in your writing.

  • Reply Tidy-Up Gal February 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    very well-written. Must file this for future use!

  • Reply tinajo February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Love the photos – see what a cranky start can do! 🙂

  • Reply Mags Pomichowski February 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    The photos are beautiful and so is this post. You write really well and just what you conveyed here really resonates with me. Thanks for sharing and making me think a little about my relationship and that this is all jsut part of life and part of the process.


  • Reply Jennifer Allison February 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    true. and lovely…even in the midst of the tumult. thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Joan February 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, it is definitely tricky business. I was just over at Dash and Bella. Same subject, different words, but you both imparted understanding. Lovely.

  • Reply Caitlin February 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    LOVE this post! And your museum pictures are so beautiful and unique, what a great perspective!

  • Reply ashley maureen February 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    this is so beautiful, and so true. the ability to work things out in such a way (or any way, really) is a blessing… and a learned craft.

  • Reply alexandria February 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    What a sweet and true post. Somedays are a bit off, but I love that you guys made the best of it anyways.

  • Reply Missy February 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    living with someone in a small space is SO hard, well living with someone in general is hard. Great idea to get out and do something that is a passion for one half. The jellyfish made me laugh, they are my nemeses (I want to say nemesi).
    Happy Monday, I'm enjoying your blog~!

  • Reply M.G. February 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Your blog is a great source of inspiration for me – for its practical advice as much as for its poetic/aesthetic take on the every day.
    So I doubly like this post because of its sincerity and accuracy about the little hardships we face every once in a while, and of the beautiful essay you linked at the end. I am very tempted to link it on my own blog now…

  • Reply Milynn {Love + Whimsy} February 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Erin, I love this post, it is so true. beautifully told tale indeed!

  • Reply Trish Austin February 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    This is Beautiful . . .

    thanks you.

  • Reply Caroline | Wild Folk Studio February 26, 2013 at 12:27 am

    well, this is just what i needed to read this evening. thank you. as mark and i prepare to move for the second time in 3 months this week, we can get a bit cranky here and there.

  • Reply Mary February 26, 2013 at 2:31 am

    You are so right on here! 🙂 My husband and i have been married 22 years, and it hasn't been all champagne and roses, but the beautiful moments, (and there have been far more of those than ones not-so-nice,) make it soooo worthwhile. Traveling in pairs isn't easy, but it's wonderful!

  • Reply Tiffany @ Savor Home February 26, 2013 at 2:55 am

    So beautiful and so true!

  • Reply dervla @ The Curator February 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

    Ha love this and those photos are gorgeous. Sometimes it helps to take a day to travel alone and then come back together as a pair at the end of the day. Those days are needed, too.

  • Reply rachel February 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Lovely post, lovely essay.

  • Reply Julia G. February 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    haha it's like you've been stalking me. Can definitely relate.

  • Reply Colleen February 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I needed this. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply IndiaMorgan March 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Maybe my most favorite RMTL post ever written in the history of it's words.

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  • Reply Ljs May 8, 2018 at 7:23 am

    I’m a recent follower and have been roaming through your posts, hence this comment on your almost ten year old post. Thank you for your wonderful writing. And introducing me to The American Scholar through the essay link and the writer. This made my day…my week. Hope yours is great as well.

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