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We Will not Become the 'Waffle House Death Couple'

Marriage requires a lot of work and a little splash of spontaneity.

Last weekend, my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. Every October, I set a certain mental expectation of what it should be like. Flowers aren’t necessary, nor are chocolates or jewelry.

But year after year, I have this hope that we will do something memorable. Something spontaneous. Something different. Something special.

For our five-year anniversary, my hubby tried to surprise me with an overnight escape to Philadelphia. I was told I should pack a bag, dress to “go out” and be ready to leave by 5 p.m. It was our first getaway since our son was born. Very exciting indeed!

To put it mildly, the little getaway wasn’t quite as romantic as my husband had anticipated.

It involved us being first on the scene at a terrible car accident. Two hours later (and a lot of traffic on the Schuylkill), we ended up having our own car accident in center city Philly – a block from the glamorous hotel room he booked that ended up being a 10x12 box just big enough for a bed.

The bathroom was so small the toilet was nearly IN the shower stall.

It got better with a nice dinner and a morning trip to the museum, but certainly is a story to tell. It was our last big anniversary adventure.

Last week, I was watching “Up All Night,” a TV series on NBC about a couple that works diligently to keep their marriage vibrant and healthy, all while balancing their new life as parents and professionals.

This particular episode focused on them losing that “spark” that had once brought them together. They feared they were becoming the “Waffle House death couple:”

You know those couples at the Waffle House who just sit there in silence, reading their Pennysavers, chawing on bacon just waiting to die? – Reagan, Up All Night

It’s scary how fast it can happen once your lives become focused on children, household responsibilities, work challenges and other life demands. It takes real effort to keep a relationship exciting, which is why I thought I’d try to do something special for our 12th anniversary.

Just when we were about to head back to our regular "go to" anniversary spot (Thai Thai), I discovered an available room at the Landhaven Bed & Breakfast in Barto, Pa.

I knew my hubby would shake his head at the idea of spending money to stay overnight in a place we could virtually walk to, but “too bad” I thought.

In a matter of a few minutes, it all came together…the king suite with private spa bath and full farmhouse breakfast. And to top things off, a dinner reservation at the nearby Landis Store Hotel, a place to which we had never been.

I made him pack his bag and off we went.

It was a wonderful night of catching up over delicious baked Brie, fried oysters, scrumptious scallops and vanilla bean crème brulee.

We made some new friends – Ed and Donna Land – the owners of LandHaven who showed us extraordinary hospitality and shared a wealth of knowledge about travel and music.

It was an anniversary to remember and confirmed for us that sometimes we just need to make that extra effort to bring that spark back to the relationship.

TELL US: What have you done in your relationship to help keep the spark alive?

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