Making marriage work for the holidays
Rob planned an economical yet otherwise romantic honeymoon at a pair of Great Lakes bed & breakfasts – not the Presidential Suites but not the share-the-bathroom ground floor rooms either. He and Celia have had good sex from the start, but their communication hit a low point that first night. They recovered, and agreed that when Rob starts to babble about money, which he does automatically, Celia will say, “You’re doing that money thing again” to alert him both to his behavior and to its impact on Celia.
Celia loved waking up next to Rob. They had been home, in what had been Rob’s bachelor apartment, for three nights now following their honeymoon, having returned the Friday after the wedding. This gave them the weekend to begin adjust to living together, put away their few wedding gifts, and have sex several times a day before returning to real life this morning, Monday. But there had been time for more sex before Rob had to get up, and he was now in the shower. Really, if this was adjusting to married life, Celia was glad she had signed on.
Celia heard the plumbing squeak as Rob turned off the shower. The whirlwind of the wedding and its planning had occupied most of the autumn, and Celia was shocked to wake up in its aftermath to realize the holidays were here. Fortunately, her choir had been working on Christmas music since summer, so that was not an issue. But she and Rob had not discussed the holidays at all.
She had one idea she hoped would please Rob. She wanted to be in charge of buying and wrapping gifts for their families, because she enjoyed that anyway. But the part she hoped would please Rob is that they would sit down and discuss the gift budget, what to spend on each person. Then, they would have a conversation like Rob’s parents used to have, about why she bought what she did, what was on sale where, and all those little details his parents had discussed that Rob remembered with fondness.
Mom and Catherine were excited about having Rob and Celia, married, for Christmas. Mom was going to let them sleep in her room, since she had a bigger bed. Celia wasn’t sure how comfortable she felt at the idea of having sex in her mother’s bed, but she supposed they would adapt.
The bathroom door opened and Rob emerged from the steam, wrapped from the waist down in a towel. This was a view Celia liked though it made her want to pull off the towel and haul him back into bed, but she thought that might not be a great idea on a work day.
“I had an email from my Mom this weekend,” Rob said. A shower always woke Rob up and made him efficient and businesslike. “They’re having a 90th birthday party for my grandmother the day after Christmas. They figured it’s easier than waiting until her actual birthday, in January, since you and I and the cousins will already be home.”
How does Celia respond?