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it takes a village

November 4, 2011

Ali is currently in Chicago.

You’d think that as a result of his departure I’d be rejoicing that I have sole custody of the remote and I don’t have to cook dinner. But I’m not because I’m still recovering from all that it takes to get Ali ready for a business trip.

Allow me to recap the night before Ali’s 6am flight:

  1. I spent 25 minutes strategizing, discussing and packing his carry-on.
  2. I engaged in the age-old debate regarding the price difference between taking a cab or parking a car at the airport (my car of course because he’d never park his own at the airport). I did this despite knowing Ali would ultimately take a cab. Because he always takes a cab.
  3. I made and cut a turkey sandwich into neat little triangles  in the event his Platinum Status didn’t come through for him and he tragically ended up meal-less in Economy.

    The bear and his wedding dress was Maya's helpful addition. Like I said...Ali's business trips are a collaborative effort.

  4. I assisted with a Search and Rescue Mission for a variety of chargers and then manned charging stations at outlets throughout the house.
  5. I had several useless conversations, including the following:
  • Ali: “What do I do if my iPhone alarm doesn’t go off ?”
  • Me: “Use my iPhone as a backup alarm.”
  • Ali: “What if AT & T has a nationwide blackout, both our phones go dead, and I miss my flight?”
It takes a village I tell you. I swear it does.
108 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2011 12:25 am

    Yay I’m the first to comment! I’m especially happy because this is now my favourite post of yours! Oh the levels I can relate on… My husband goes away for a week and takes his WHOLE wardrobe (when we both know he will stay in the same jeans and switch between two t-shirts, max) and the entire wardrobe must also be magically crammed into a tiny carry-on by… yours truly of course!

    • November 4, 2011 2:17 pm

      So I’m not the only one who packs her husband’s suitcase? I am both shocked and sympathetic my friend!

  2. November 4, 2011 12:52 am

    Boy, I wanted to throw a party the day my hubby switched the jobs and stopped travelling so much. All the packing that is involved…
    Maya’s contribution is truly sweet!

    • November 4, 2011 2:17 pm

      I don’t think Ali’s carry-on ever gets fully emptied…

  3. November 4, 2011 1:18 am

    your husband is HILARIOUS! if i had a funny husband he’d get many slaps on the arm…. i react that way to funny people some times.

    • November 4, 2011 2:18 pm

      I’m kind of laughing at the fact you slap funny people on the arm. 🙂

  4. November 4, 2011 3:23 am

    Too funny! Can you say alarm clock?!? What did we do before cell phone. I do understand that though. For 8 years I had a job that required I get up at 4am. I set 2 alarm clocks every day. If I have to get up for an early flight now, I set 2 alarm clocks AND the cell phone. But I don’t make Ralph do it for me. Ali is a big boy. He shouldn’t need so much help, but then Ralph is pretty much the same way only he’d have NO CLUE how to set the alarm on his phone!

    • November 4, 2011 2:19 pm

      Ali has no alarm clock. Per Ali “Who needs an alarm clock when you have a cell phone?” Hmmm…..

  5. November 4, 2011 3:37 am

    You are a better wife than I am. What do I do to help Marc get out the door for his trips? I say goodbye. That’s it.

    • November 4, 2011 2:19 pm

      Not sure if I mustered up the energy to say goodbye so you may have one up on me here Lauren.

  6. November 4, 2011 4:42 am

    I am sure there is wakeup facility 🙂 i usually ask them to call me at the time ..

    you guys have fun i see in the conversation maybe not at that moment but remmebering sure amuses you 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 2:20 pm

      Remembering sure does amuse me. Plus it makes me feel better that others relate!

  7. November 4, 2011 5:42 am

    I can’t believe all you do for Ali! If my husband goes out of town he is on his own. I figure I have my hands full with the kids and I may be a little bitter that he gets to eat at nice restaurants and stay at beautiful hotels – all without kids!

    • November 4, 2011 2:20 pm

      Ali just sent me a shot from the Sears Tower. If he wasn’t such a nice person I’d say he was rubbing his little trip in my face.

  8. November 4, 2011 5:43 am

    I’m waving “Hi!” to Ali from my condo behind the Hancock Tower! Funny you mention it…if there is a blackout, all my alarms and whatnot are on my cell phone or electronic. The only timepiece I have in my place not electronic is a battery operated wall clock. Hmm…

    • Ali permalink
      November 4, 2011 6:02 am

      Such a small world, I was just by Hancock last night.

    • November 4, 2011 2:21 pm

      I wish I could have seen Hancock Tower last night…

      • Ali permalink
        November 4, 2011 10:43 pm

        As much as you like the fall, last night was super windy on that street. (stuck on Tarmac)

  9. November 4, 2011 5:48 am

    Men and their silly questions! Hahaha 🙂

  10. November 4, 2011 5:52 am

    Hah! Amazing. That time AT&T did have an alarm glitch, my then-bf almost missed a flight to Hawaii for a trip he was taking with his mother. Don’t even get me started on that one.

    If my sister hadn’t texted me and woken me up, he would have missed it!

    • November 4, 2011 2:21 pm

      Hmm. So maybe Ali isn’t so out of line after all?

  11. November 4, 2011 6:06 am

    Too cute that Maya added her bear to Ali’s suitcase. That’s something I would have done when I was little!

    • November 4, 2011 2:22 pm

      Maya is the best. I don’t often say that but the kid has a heart of gold!

  12. November 4, 2011 6:30 am

    Haha! Oh, Ameena, Ali is SO lucky to have you around to care for him. I don’t know how exactly he would manage by himself – probably leave half his stuff at home and worry the whole time 😉 . I love Maya’s “addition” to his suitcase – too cute! The perfect thing for a little piece of home.

    I used to think I was the one to keep Peter on track, but now I think he’s the one who makes sure I’m in one piece. I formed this opinion after leaving the apartment one day without my keys, phone, wallet, or homework. I’m still not sure how I managed that one.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Ameena – you deserve it!

    • November 4, 2011 2:22 pm

      So Peter is me and you are Ali? Peter and I need to have a chat so we can commiserate. 🙂

  13. November 4, 2011 6:49 am

    I think it’s time to have Maya pack his suitcase and carry-on exclusively. I feel like she has a real sense of what might be useful while one is away from home. I still remember our Target sock-hunt, so pretty much every time we have to workshop one of Ali’s trips I feel like I’m in the trenches with you. As always, stay strong sister.

    • November 4, 2011 2:23 pm

      You leave the BEST comments Kat. You crack me up every single time.

      We’ll always have our Target sock hunt in Minneapolis to look back on. That’s not something most people can say…

  14. November 4, 2011 7:15 am

    Hahaha… very typical of man, isn’t it? They’re just clueless sometimes. I have a feeling Ali will not survive a day without his gadgets. On the positive side, you have the whole week to influence Maya about moving to NY soon!

    • November 4, 2011 2:24 pm

      I influence Maya on a daily basis…whether or not Ali is here! 🙂 18 days until NYC!

  15. November 4, 2011 7:31 am

    Ali is in Chicago? You should have totally come with him. We could’ve sipped wine & discussed the blogosphere’s finest! Luckily Carnivore travels every week so half his bag is already packed on any given day … In fact he helps me pack too. Of course, at the cost of listening to him brag about his Elite status 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 2:25 pm

      He helps you pack? My God…I can’t imagine Ali doing the same for me. Not in a million years!

  16. November 4, 2011 8:13 am

    You are a very patient woman indeed. I never could have endured such torture. I hope you can now settle into the sofa with the remote (and take out) and recover from any post-suitcase-packing stress. And maybe you could get Maya to rub your feet. It’s worth a shot.

    • November 4, 2011 2:25 pm

      I wish Maya was the foot-rubbing type but nope. I tried. I failed.

  17. November 4, 2011 8:21 am

    He’s got a point! 😉

  18. November 4, 2011 8:24 am

    I am the same way as Ali in regards to freaking out about alarms, flights, and parking. Generally, it’s a conversation I am having with myself and/or my cats.

    • November 4, 2011 2:26 pm

      I feel for your cats. 🙂 I can relate to what they are going through!

  19. November 4, 2011 8:52 am

    We are so alike. In my mind I go through so many scenarios and prepare for them. But I over analyse things to death and give myself a headache
    . Still, we are awesome wives ;D. We so look after our babies (husbands) no?
    *kisses* HH

    • November 4, 2011 2:27 pm

      I over analyze things but I’m considerate enough to do it in my head. Silently. Unlike my husband…

  20. November 4, 2011 8:56 am

    he did not say that. absolutely hilarious.

  21. November 4, 2011 9:10 am

    Bring an extra battery powered alarm clock as a back up..hahahaa..He’s so hilarious…a little bit forward thinker? Have a great weekend, Ameena! 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 2:28 pm

      I could buy Ali a clock but I know he won’t use it. That’s the bizarre thing…

  22. November 4, 2011 9:26 am

    Im exhausted just thinking of it. And you are much more patient that I would be… After the second time, I would just stop engaging in the conversation and make the excuse that I can only take care of me and the kids. Husbands need to take are of themselves.

    • November 4, 2011 2:28 pm

      No husband I know can take care of himself. Maybe Deena you are one of the lucky ones?

  23. November 4, 2011 9:29 am

    If my dad and your husband were on the same carrier, they’d be spending time together in the platinum lounge. He’s always flying somewhere. And I’m always hearing from my mom about the same kind of before-leaving issues, but not exactly. Since my dad is technically challenged, chargers and iPhones never enter the pictures. Clothes, however. Clothes are a major contention. Huge. You poor woman.

    • November 4, 2011 2:29 pm

      So what you’re saying here is that no matter how old Ali gets nothing is really going to change? 😦

  24. November 4, 2011 9:42 am

    I am lucky in that I have an internal alarm clock, I really do. I’ve never needed to set an alarm because I am a morning person and I guess just know when I need to wake up. I am like that with time too, I seem to always know what time it is. Good thing as half the time I forget to wear a watch.

    • November 4, 2011 2:29 pm

      I have an internal clock too. It wakes me up at 5 am every morning to get me to the gym. Even when I don’t want to go. Stupid internal clock!

  25. November 4, 2011 10:44 am

    Cooking I can do, cleaning I will suck it up but when it comes to packing for my future husband, I draw the line…packing for myself gives me enough tension!! Love your writing style, Ameena!

    • November 4, 2011 2:30 pm

      I used to say the same things Khushboo but somehow I’m doing everything I said I wouldn’t. Including picking up dirty socks and glasses!

  26. Piya Ganwani permalink
    November 4, 2011 11:24 am

    Haha ali’s what ifs are like my husbands!! And they ask like we have all the answers!!

    • November 4, 2011 2:30 pm

      Yeah, that’s the crazy thing. I have no answers!

  27. November 4, 2011 12:29 pm

    I really hope he brings you something fabulous from his trip. A hotel pen does not count 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 2:31 pm

      It’s not looking likely but I’ll keep you updated…

  28. November 4, 2011 1:01 pm

    In the midst of wracking my brain over novel writing, I needed this. You two have THE BEST couple dynamic. Seriously. I’m sure it’s entirely frustrating to handle a real child and an adult child daily, but you somehow manage to do it. Props to you! 🙂

    • November 4, 2011 2:31 pm

      You are writing a novel! I should probably be doing something productive like that instead of complaining about Ali. Again. 🙂

      • November 5, 2011 12:34 pm

        You know I love when you complain about Ali, though! And you’re being a mom…that’s already amazing. 😀

  29. November 4, 2011 1:33 pm

    Wow.. you’re a really good wife I must say. You do a lot for him, and he’s lucky to have you. I don’t pack my hubby’s suitcase so I’m definitely sending him this blog post to read.. else i’ll hear it… Ameena does this and you don’t.

    • November 4, 2011 2:32 pm

      Thanks for the kudos but I’m not really a good wife. A good wife wouldn’t bitch about her husband on the Internet every week. 🙂

  30. November 4, 2011 3:56 pm

    –My Goodness,

    You are a super wife…

    I’m not so much like that! HA HA

  31. November 5, 2011 3:19 am

    But what a happy village it is! 😀

    Can’t help laughing about worrying about alarms working. I remember once, when I was at UVA in Virginia, asking my Dad back in Australia to call me the morning of an early exam just in case my own alarm didn’t work. He did. Best dad ever.

    • November 6, 2011 8:46 am

      Your dad is amazing! I wonder if I’d do such a thing for Maya one day…or if I’d tell her to set 5 alarms and not bother me across the world 🙂

  32. November 5, 2011 7:31 am

    🙂 love these little love stories! because that’s what they are. How long have you guys been married?

    • November 6, 2011 8:46 am

      It’ll be 12 years next June. I can’t believe how time flies by…

  33. November 5, 2011 10:38 am

    I love cooking but I would do it a lot less if I didn’t cook for my fiance too! I could live on having peanut butter sandwiches for dinner!

    • November 6, 2011 8:46 am

      I’m not a fan of cooking and I’m just not good at it!

  34. Janelle permalink
    November 5, 2011 2:20 pm

    Why is it that females are thought of as the more dramatic sex? I find evidence over and over that it is the men…

  35. November 5, 2011 4:31 pm

    Hehe – to be a fly on your wall 🙂 It would definitely be amusing!!

  36. November 5, 2011 4:35 pm

    You pack his carry-on?

  37. November 5, 2011 4:35 pm

    I travel 60-70% of the time for my job! Most of it to Chicago. I have many travel shortcuts down to a fine art. But I still need to check my bag….;)

    • November 6, 2011 8:47 am

      I’m pretty good about fitting all my stuff in a carry-on. Last year I even did 10 days in Asia on a carry-on!

      • November 6, 2011 7:02 pm

        That would be impossible for me. You truly are amazing…

  38. November 5, 2011 5:48 pm

    Hahaha – we do the charger hunt before every trip, too 🙂

  39. November 5, 2011 8:20 pm

    Ameena, tell me about packing. When Quay Lo goes on a biz trip, I am the one who packed for him all these years but now he will try to do the packing himself. Know why? I am getting more forgetful and sloppy. Happened too many times, I forgot to pack his pants or underwear for him so he had to wear the same pants or underwear for one whole week, I don’t even know how he does that. Don’t say he can always buy new ones because he can never get his size here in Asia. Sometimes it can be an advantage to grow old and forgetful, one less chore to do! hehe…

    • November 6, 2011 8:48 am

      Your poor husband…the same underwear and pants for a whole week? I can’t even imagine.

  40. November 6, 2011 9:23 am

    You are a great wife, Ameena. My hubby’s lucky if I remind him to pack any essentials. The only time I help him pack is when I need to take up some room in his suitcase for my 4th pair of shoes. Other than that, he’s on his own. 😛
    Love Maya’s addition of the bear, so sweet!

    • November 8, 2011 9:45 am

      I don’t the words great, wife, and Ameena should ever be in the same sentence. I fear Ali would agree. 🙂

  41. November 6, 2011 1:52 pm

    This is the one post where my husband is you and I am your husband. I’m a terrible packer and I get super nervous about all sorts of things that will prob never happen (see AT&T outage). I love that Maya added her bear. Tell him to have fun in the Chi – have some decent pizza for me 🙂

    • November 8, 2011 9:45 am

      Come over Allison…I’ll show you how to pack like a champ. 🙂

  42. Sam @ Mom At The Barre permalink
    November 6, 2011 4:03 pm

    I love that you cut Ali’s turkey sandwiches into neat little triangles! So funny!

    • November 8, 2011 9:46 am

      It’s the little things that matter to him I guess…

  43. November 6, 2011 8:32 pm

    You are a far better wife than I will be. Pretty sure if my husband asked me to pack for him I’d pack something ridiculous just so he would never ask me again.

    • November 8, 2011 9:46 am

      I used to say the same thing! And now look at me.

  44. November 6, 2011 10:27 pm

    Love your blog! You are a great wife packing for your husband. I recently decided my husband needed to finally learn to pack his own bag. Needless to say when he arrived with no t-shirts or socks it was somehow my fault!

  45. November 7, 2011 5:01 am

    Ha ha ha ha, I love the tags! “It takes a village” indeed. Of course every piece of carry on luggage needs a bear, Maya is very astute.

    I’m lucky, my husband does his own packing and it is usually done in the hour before the cab arrives. Never ceases to amaze me how he does it.

    • November 8, 2011 9:47 am

      My dad does the same thing and my mom is still mystified as to how he does it!

  46. November 7, 2011 5:27 am

    Hahaha! Always plan for the worst case scenario…
    I’m half tempted to haul butt to California just to hang out with you guys for a weekend 😉

    • November 8, 2011 9:47 am

      You should! You could see us in action. It’s not as funny though…

  47. November 7, 2011 9:54 am

    I love her comment about “What if everything goes dead because of a freak blackout?” HILARIOUS because I usually say the same thing. Hey, you never know.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  48. November 7, 2011 1:31 pm

    You are SO good to pack his case for him! My husband’s trips usually involve rucksacks, barrack boxes and the possibility that he’ll return with a camel spider in one of them, so I tend to just leave him to it. But he always comes to me at the absolute last minute and asks me to sew a button back onto something, or scrub out his filthy combat helmet. It’s like having a third child…

    • November 8, 2011 9:48 am

      What is a rucksack? A camel spider? You’re packing skills must be in a whole other realm Wendy!

  49. November 7, 2011 5:57 pm

    Maya’s teddy is too cute. I did the same thing when I was little as my dad travelled all time.

    I think you and Ali should have a role reversal day where you make him pack your carry-ons, pick up your dirty socks (not that you would have them strewn around of course), cook for you etc and in return you could plague him with pointless questions. Would make for an interesting social experiment!
    In all seriousness I think it’s really nice you pack his carry on for him, such a thoughtful wife!

    • November 8, 2011 9:49 am

      That would be an interesting experiment for sure. I think that it would be the least productive day of my entire life actually. His too.

  50. November 7, 2011 7:42 pm

    Wahahaha! I seriously love you and Ali’s conversations. You can both be a muse to a sitcom writer. 🙂

    • November 8, 2011 9:50 am

      That would certainly solve my never-ending career dilemma!

  51. November 8, 2011 6:38 am

    It’s these thankless jobs that make us great wives and deserving. There are a million little things like this that I do for Shaune all the day but what does he get focused on? That he cooks our meals. Thankless.

    • November 8, 2011 9:50 am

      I wish I could stop focusing on the fact your husband cooks but I simply cannot. I am so sorry! It’s just so remarkable!

  52. November 8, 2011 8:26 am

    I am well aware of this village mentality. Though thankfully the Spaniard is well versed in packing (Thank God!) I know a woman who packs her husbands suitcase for every trip. Every ounce of luggage is handled by her. She even packs toilet paper for her husband because he is that particular. At least I didn’t see any Charmin in Ali’s bag. It could be worse. 🙂

    • November 8, 2011 9:51 am

      If Ali was THAT particular we wouldn’t have made it. Plain and simple! That woman is a saint!!

  53. Pankti permalink
    November 8, 2011 8:37 am

    You are a great wife to pack for him. But in my case, my husband thinks that he packs more efficiently than I do, so he would not even let me help him. When we fly to India for a month, we both pack our stuff but he is the one who makes sure we got everything that we need.
    Its hilarious but true, he keeps all kinds of alarms, and doesn’t even sleep if he has a doubt of alarm not going off….talk about OCD!!!

    • November 8, 2011 9:52 am

      Your husband and I would get along fabulously Pankti! He sounds like my twin – aside from the alarm thing of course. 🙂

  54. November 10, 2011 12:17 am

    I simply do not pack for my husband 🙂 He does all the hard work of collecting the chargers and putting is beloved blackberry to charge… i simply make a mental checklist of all things essential and ask him whether things are Ok or not…. the only real task that I do it to get him up so the alarm is totally my responsibility 🙂

  55. November 12, 2011 4:05 pm

    I must say that I’m shocked at Ali. And grateful that Derek is so fiercely independent when it comes to travel. In fact, when we go on a trip, he insists that I just lay out my clothes and HE packs everything (likes the puzzle-aspect? anal-retentive? control freak?) If you need help in the future, I’ll just send Derek over to pack for Ali (and hope he doesn’t steal the bear)

    • November 12, 2011 7:43 pm

      Yes, PLEASE send Derek over. We need to pack up for NY and then for Europe. We need all the help we can get.

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