Here's the good news! My husband and I were able to take a quick trip last weekend to the central California coast without the kids. Now here's the bad news! My husband was sick the whole time. He had the Mother of all Chest Colds, and it took away his voice (along with his will to live).

OK. May I just say that if you're super sick, the beach is a GREAT place to go. Nobody expects you to do much of anything at beaches, unlike when you visit New York City where you're supposed to go to a Broadway Show! The Met! Yankee Stadium! Liberty Island! Central Park! You are not allowed to stand still for a single second in New York, and if you do, then cab drivers are required by law (this is true, incidentally — you can check this out for yourself on to mow you down and dump your body in the East River.

In broad daylight.

So yeah. It pretty much stinks to have a chest cold and also laryngitis in New York City. Good thing we went to the beach instead. Except here's the deal. Even though we were with one another 24/7, I started to miss my husband. Have you ever had this odd experience? Missing someone who's right there in the same room with you?

I missed my husband because normally he's the Strong Noisy Type — not the Strong Silent Type. He's like an Italian character in the movies — all emotion and gesture. He lives completely out loud. With him it's a running commentary on EVERYTHING. Politics! The weather! Celebrity gossip! The kids! The dogs! Sports!

For instance, he'll turn on the TV and see a Broncos game being aired and suddenly he'll start up, saying how MUCH it bugs him that the corporate suits back East who make TV programming decisions just assume everyone in Utah loves Denver teams because, hey, WE'RE ALL OUT HERE SQUATTING WITH OUR SPURS ON TOGETHER.

Then he'll turn to the TV screen and inform the announcers that he hates the Broncos! And the Rockies, too! Which is why he's so happy that the BoSox beat them in the World Series! Except that he also hates the BoSox.

Then he'll spin an excellent demi-rant about all the Johnny-Come-Latelies who are busy scrambling aboard the Big Old BoSox Love Train. (Feel free to sing along: "BoSox fans all over the world/start a love train, love train . . .")

I'll admit that I've occasionally wished my husband would keep his thoughts to himself. Especially when I'm driving.

HIM: How about you get in the next lane over.

ME: How about I stop and you get out of my car.

At first when his laryngitis kicked in, I tried to have some good-natured fun at my husband's expense. "A penny for your thoughts," I'd say. Then I'd follow up with, "I can't hear you," or, "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

Watching him (try) to respond turned out to be only mildly amusing, however. Seriously, it would have been just SO much more fun to hear his opinions about all things California — which reminded me (not for the first time) how much I rely on him to entertain and enlighten me.

And how much I depend on him to be himself.

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