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Just a Guy Apart From His Wife (on Xmas)

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So, my first wedding anniversary is right after Christmas, and my wife and I will be on separate continents. We didn't plan it this way, but it turned out just as we planned.

Sad looking man using his phone


Bruce Sallan
: We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, so at least we have a couple of days of Hanukkah before we have to separate. I'm quite conflicted doing both holidays, but I've had to let that one go -- part of the compromises of marriage and a strong-willed, stubborn wife. Or course, I'm not the least bit stubborn.

My son's bar mitzvah gift was a trip to Japan, as he's obsessed with Japanese manga, is ¼ Japanese, and this was his fantasy. He's been studying the language via Rosetta Stone and can already ask "how much?" and "where is the bathroom," so he should do just fine.

My older son and I will be in the mountains, hopefully skiing, if there's finally enough snow. I don't like being separated on the big holidays, but the economics just dictated it this year. To do the kind of trip my son and wife wanted in Japan was just too costly for me to come along.

I won't declare that it was a terrible sacrifice making the choice for her to accompany my son, as I'm the more finicky traveler and I've been to Japan and Hong Kong before. Oh, we'll be apart for New Year's, too! They'll be watching the fireworks in the harbor in Hong Kong! Opening a bottle of champagne with my 16-year-old and his girlfriend is not quite the same as being with my wife, if my son will even be around me at all on New Year's. But, what do I know? I'm just a guy.


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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bruce Sallan December 23, 2009, 7:16 AM

So, here’s an update since I wrote this blog! My wife and son are having a FANTASTIC time in Japan. My son is in manga heaven - says he wants to work and live there (we’ll see, as he’s only 13). He’s already speaking the language pretty well, evidently! My older son bailed on coming skiing with me, at the last minute, so I’m alone up here in the mountains! He’s actually having a great time with his friends and some new music opportunities came up so I guess it all worked out fine. But, I miss everyone.

Denise December 23, 2009, 7:19 AM

Bruce - I think you should surprise her by showing up there on your anniversary! THAT is why “you guys” just don’t get! Love u anyway…

Wendi December 23, 2009, 7:23 AM

WOW I would be bummed too. For me it’s just not a holiday with my hubby. But I will say, try to spend some time with your son, but don’t expect to be with him the whole night. i’m sure you remember what it is like for a boy at that age, and New Year’s night is a special one. Grab a drink, something to snack on and put in a great movie, enjoy the fact that you were able to send your wife and son on their trip.

Sonnie December 23, 2009, 8:14 AM

I’m glad your son is having a fantastic time in Japan, his memories will be worth your alone time. Too bad you’re so far away, I would invite you over for some New Year revelry (truthfully we’re going to be a bunch of sticks in the mud and probably be passed out by 11).

thewildmind December 23, 2009, 9:07 AM

Ahhh, yes. The ups and downs to things. Sometimes really special things come at a cost to other really special things,events or people. It will be a “miss you” time for all but be very glad (I know you are) you have a wife that you love and miss during the holidays. Many out there won’t have even that this season.

Anita (England) December 24, 2009, 10:44 AM

What a great guy you are… As always, you put your children first. I’m sure your son will be, and is, most grateful. Will say, though, if he hints at a swimming pool being built, or having one converted, be very wary – it may be that he has an idea for a coi pond! Friends of mine loved the Japanese culture so much that they styled their house with that theme in mind. However, not happy with buying coi in England, they imported, ‘after a visit’, from Japan… I do feel for you, though, being apart at Christmas and on your first wedding anniversary… Hard! That is so you, though – selfless and very nice person to know. Good for you, Bruce!

Shannon Goldstein December 25, 2009, 8:13 PM

Well they always say the first year of marriage is the most difficult - better luck next year.

Bruce Sallan December 25, 2009, 8:42 PM

Gee, Shannon, with friends like you…lol.

Bruce Sallan December 27, 2009, 6:38 AM

Today is my first wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary honey! I’m glad you’re having a great time in Japan. The kimono you got “us” as our anniversary present should go well with the new flat screen tv I got “us.” Love you and can’t wait to have a delayed celebration in early Jan. Just holding you again will be present enough for me!

Linda Sherman December 27, 2009, 1:24 PM

aawwww. Thank you for sharing your anniversary greeting with us Bruce.

Please allow me to wish you both Happy Anniversary and many years to come of health, happiness and love.

The kimono will make a lovely wall hanging somewhere near the flat screen TV.


Anonymous December 27, 2009, 2:20 PM

Although you are apart for the actual Anniversary, that means you can have a celebration in person soon!

Bruce Sallan December 27, 2009, 3:59 PM

Dear Anonymous - that’s my plan! After all, it’s just a date - we can “celebrate” anytime!

Anonymous December 27, 2009, 4:58 PM

You could combine the presents by placing the TV behind the kimono, which can then wrap around the TV when you’re not watching it!

Happy Anniversary!

Bruce Sallan December 28, 2009, 6:41 AM

Dear Anonymous - why are you not giving me/us your first name? Usually people only do “anonymous” when they are being jerks with their comments and don’t have the courage to identify themselves even with a first name. You, on the other hand, are loving and I appreciate your positive ideas. Maybe we can use the kimono, first, as a blanket under which we cuddle, and then some? What do you think?

Loren December 29, 2009, 3:30 PM

Good blog! I read your column as well. I couldn’t agree more that it’s just not the same spending Xmas or New Year’s Eve with (for me) the 13 year old. While I am enjoying watching him have the time of his life and learning how to cope with the many little stresses of traveling, it’s just not the same. I miss you and even though we do have our differences that’s what makes it so interesting!:-)))

David January 21, 2010, 11:00 AM

Japan rocks! I lived there for several years in the ’80s — a wonderful time to be in Japan. Hong Kong is OK, I never lived there but visited several times during those years. I like that idea another person proposed in a previous comment — that Bruce could have perhaps showed up on the doorstep in Japan or Hong Kong on Xmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, as beau geste of a romantic nature!

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