Wednesday, March 27, 2002

I wonder why I never seem to retain the knowledge that a vacation involving family in some form or other is not a vacation for the husband. He is stuck hearing about ancient family history, dim family friends best forgotten, and sad little jokes as well as my parents' amiable and constant bickering with each other (which is strange to me as they never fought when I was a child, they were always such a united front).

I explained this to K., who was back again from the U.S. and staying in our apartment while we were gone before she left again on a jet plane this morning.

She told me that I shouldn't feel guilty about doing this to the husband.

"You moved to Sweden for him," she said. "I think it's a fair exchange that he puts up with your family every so often."

Which would be true if he didn't need a real vacation badly, complete with beach and sleeping until noon. Not to mention us needing a nice romantic vacation together. If only I didn't enjoy my family so much, I wouldn't be tempted by cottages on Lake Michigan and stone houses in Tuscany.

The Swedish word for the day is förlåt. It means sorry.

- by Francis S.

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