Heather Roth says sometimes the only therapy you need is room service and a game of naked backgammon with your spouse.
We’ve all heard the expression, generally directed at overly amorous young lovers, beaming with that optimistic glow as if the other might literally be magic. In my opinion, the term “get a room” is misdirected. The couple it should be directed towards is the middle aged married one, the ones being short with each other at the airport, lugging enormous amounts of crap like domesticated donkeys, the ones at the restaurant seemingly uninterested in one another and glued to their phones. The overworked, overscheduled, perhaps slightly over each other couple. The couple that is thinking maybe marriage therapy isn’t such a terrible idea? To them I say, save the $250.00 and instead GET A ROOM. The power of four simple, different, glorious, wonderful, hotel walls for one night can quite literally be magic.
For one, it’s physically away from your hectic life and home, the one with dishes in the sink, bills to pay, laundry to do, a broken fixture you’ve asked them to fix fifty times now damn it! The very thought of sex in your regular routine can feel like a taxing chore to add to your already way too long “TO-DO” list:
“11. Register for little league. 12. Pick up dog food. 13. Do Husband.”
What’s sexy about that?
“Date night” is always nice, but you’re only escaping for a few hours. That’s barely enough time to enjoy the over-priced bottle of wine, and if you’re anything like us, you spend half of the date going over family logistics because you’re so busy you’ve barely spoken to or seen each other for three days leading up to it. Then once you make it home, the over-talkative babysitter is an instant mood killer, and now you’re counting down the hours until you have to be up with the baby, or get little Johnny off to the hundredth birthday party this month, which of course you haven’t bought a gift for yet.
This leads me to the second, very simple, magical thing about a hotel room: Your kids aren’t there.
No Lego landmines or messy reminders of why your libido is zapped in the first place. No need to keep your voices down, or worry about being interrupted and scarring your child for life. There is no one who needs to be fed, changed, walked or pooped. There is just you and your spouse, stripped naked of all the other roles you now fill – mother, father, provider, heiny wiper. It’s intoxicating. You’re just two giddy teenagers with access to the mini bar about to go “all the way”. So, pillage that sucker, actually strip!
Chances are you started this crazy ride because of a very primal physical attraction to your partner in the first place. The business of life, marriage and children makes it easy to forget that. Jump on the bed, you don’t have to make it. Throw the delicious fluffy towels on the floor when you’re done with them. Go crazy, use two! You’re not washing them. Take time to look at each other and have a conversation without being interrupted. If your room has a tub take a bubble bath together. Remember what intimacy feels like. Pack something that makes you feel attractive, put it on solely for your spouse to take off. Go for a walk and then come back to the room and repeat.
Stay up late and play backgammon naked. Order room service. Then best of all, sleep in, snooze away in those crisp white sheets, free of dog hair or little feet that creep in and kick you in the face in the middle of the night. Order room service again, and actually read the paper like you used to do in your twenties. Remember that? Return home with a smile on your face like you have a dirty little sexy secret, because, well, you do. And in that act of intimacy and fun, you’ve probably connected more with your spouse and rejuvenated yourselves and your relationship more than one hour in a stuffy doctor’s office ever could.
I’m not suggesting marriage therapy isn’t valid. If there are bigger issues, I’m sure it’s quite necessary and helpful. I’m simply suggesting as a maintenance program, GET A ROOM, and may you never ever get to War of the Roses. I recently learned a little something about boats, so I’ll liken it to this…in order to maintain your vessel, every month you need to start her up and flush the engine, rev up the RPMs, and make sure everything is running properly so when you head into open waters you’re guaranteed smooth sailing.
If you don’t do this regularly, there’s a high probability you’ll break down – even in the calmest, let alone rough, seas. So – GET A ROOM and rev your engines. I’m certain it will prove invaluable to weathering storms in the unchartered waters of marriage.
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Photo: Flickr/Tela Chhe