Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Eastward Ho!

Even though I said that I wouldn't leave Kathy for the 11 days that I'd take to drink myself silly sillier in London and Copenhagen, the idea never really went away. Kathy hasn't been discouraging my ruminations either, now that the gobs of hormones she'd been injecting into herself no longer screw up her mood, and the gobs of hormones the pregnancy is inducing have been providing her with relative calmness. In fact, she's said I could go to the Great British Beer Festival in London and the European equivalent of the Montreal gathering, taking place in Copenhagen the following weekend. Sort of a recognition that even though her opportunity to gallivant has passed for the time being, mine has not, and perhaps I need to get such things out of my system.

In Montreal I was talking with the two people who were present and who also planned to do both beer events in Europe. Both urged me to join them, and I listened -- Montreal was so much fun, and Europe would be the equivalent and then some. Besides, when am I going to get the chance to take such a trip again?! My window of opportunity for such things is closing -- I may be able to get out there in the future, but likely it'll be at least a few years.

With Kathy's blessing, I can go. The trip should be a blast. I've decided I'm not going.

I want to go, but I don't really want to go now, even realizing I may not be able to go later. I'm already going to Portland next weekend (not for beer, but I'll get an opportunity for that as well), and the Great American Beer Festival at the end of September/start of October. Also, at the moment it seems extravagant to go by myself on a European beer excursion -- I should be saving up money for parenthood (and the possibility of Kathy not working for an extended period), as well as spending some on house stuff we want to get done before any additions to the family arrive. Another reason is that non-stop beer tasting for over a week, while a delight for the palate, is quite draining (though I suppose I could abstain during the few days between the weekends).

But the biggest reason I don't want to go is that Kathy can't be with me. She can't get the time off, and even if she could, she wouldn't have much fun following me around beer festivities in which she can't participate. Last year I went to Portland for the Summer Gathering, stayed out there for an extra week to attend the Oregon Brewers Festival the following weekend, and made my way to and from Seattle in between. A lot of the time I had a blast, but a fair amount of the time I was miserable at being away from her for such a long time. That long of a time away from Kathy is just too long for me. There was a day I particularly remember when I was in Mukilteo, which is north of Seattle and right on Puget Sound. The weather was beautiful, the water was gorgeous, and the islands off shore lush -- it was a spectacular moment, and I felt empty inside because Kathy wasn't there to share it with me. We spent 24 hours in Copenhagen in the summer of 2002 and loved it -- if possible, I'd want to explore the city in greater detail, and maybe even go places outside the city, with her accompanying me. Sad to say, neither of us has been to London -- I want us to experience it together.

So I'm not going, and I won't regret my decision. But I am looking into a long weekend in October for the two of us to go to London together, a last romantic weekend for just the two of us before she can no longer fly.


Debbie D. said...

You're a good man Charlie Brown!

Mary P said...

Gee. Debbie stole my exact comment! You are a good man.

Thank you, too, for your most recent comment on my blog. Anything that I could say about the particular sentence that touched you would have a lot of emotional weight with my eldest daughter, and I just didn't want to risk hurting or offending her. But thank you.

Q said...

And so it begins, this early in the pregnancy ... the many little adjustments to your lifestyle necessitated by parenthood.

To wax philosophical, entering parenthood is like passing through a doorway. You leave something behind when the door shuts behind you; but you enter a new realm of experience with rewards (and heartbreaks) of its own.

I like a good beer, and frankly I envy your weekend in Montreal. But there's no doubt, the choice you've made on this occasion reflects a deeper or more substantive set of values, and points in the direction of a far richer life.