Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Difference Between My Husband and Me

Recently we took a trip to Branson. We take a lot of trips. In 2004 we went to Thailand to visit our former foreign exchange student. With us was our 2003-2004 foreign exchange student, a young man from Denmark.

While we were on the Branson tour I heard my husband telling the story of our flight to Bangkok to some of our fellow tourists. It occurred to me that if you want to know the biggest difference between my husband and me, you can listen to each of us tell that story.

The way my husband tells the story, we got to the airport in Narita, Japan and waited for our flight to Bangkok to be called. And waited. And waited. Every time we asked for information about the flight, we were told an announcement would be made soon. Finally, an announcement was made. The flight had to be cancelled due to mechanical difficulties.

At this point my husband will add that there had been other flights leaving for Bangkok, and if they had cancelled the flight earlier, we could have been on one of them, but by time they told us, all the other flights had gone, so they had to put us up in a hotel until the next day. The three of us were dressed for the weather in Louisiana (mid-80’s) and Bangkok (low 100’s). The night temperature out there in Narita was 40 degrees. Then when we finally got to Bangkok, our luggage wasn’t there and we had to wait until the next day for it.

All of that is true. Most of that would also be in the story as I tell it. However, the story as I tell it includes details he leaves out.

The airline put us up in the Narita Hilton, a hotel we would not have been able to afford on our own. The break in our travels meant we got to take a shower and sleep in a bed for the first time in something like 18 hours. We were also given vouchers for a phone call to tell our friends we wouldn’t be arriving until the next day, and for dinner and breakfast. So as I tell the story, we got to eat real Japanese food in real Japan. The hotel also had a beautiful garden, and on the way back to the airport, we saw cherry trees in blossom.

Garden at the Narita Hilton

Furthermore, we snagged business class tickets for the six hour flight from Narita to Bangkok. As compensation for our being inconvenienced, we later got three $200 vouchers for future flights, which we used on Memorial Day weekend to go to St. Louis for the Louis and Clark exhibit I had been hoping to see.

It is only next to my pessimistic husband that I look like a sunny natured optimist. My husband’s ability to feel aggrieved, however, accounts for the business class tickets. When we got to the airport, we were told to wait by the ticket counter for an airline official who would give us our tickets. John, being fed up with the whole situation, looked over at the counter and saw a clerk at the business/first class counter. He politely explained our situation to her, she said “I can find you tickets”, and gave us not only the tickets for the flight, but passes to the business/first class lounge as well. If he had listened to Little Miss Look on the Bright Side instead, we would have had another hour of waiting in the waiting room for the flight and six hours of being crammed into the cheap seats we had paid for.

So if there is a moral to this story, it’s that we are good for each other. Hubby benefits from my relatively more optimistic outlook on life, but I also benefit from his capacity to feel righteous indignation and act on it. 

Still, whenever I hear him tell the travel story, I wonder if we were on the same flight.

Elephant Ride in Thailand


  1. I just read this for the first time.
    Are you me? Is your husband my husband?

    1. I hope not. That might make one of us guilty of bigamy. :)
      So you're saying this sounds familiar?