His and her holidays
HOLIDAYS are like a litmus test of your relationship. Really, it's that serious.
I once went, first-class, to Italy with a winemaker who drank and argued his way around some of the country's finest restaurants. We didn't talk the entire way home.
I've had great holidays with lovers, of course, as everyone has - remember? But it's the first one, before you know what type of holiday animal you are dealing with, that can be the killer.
This applies equally to women and men. Put a sightseeing nazi with a go-with-the-flow type of vacationer and it's instant trouble.
Schedules, budget and energy levels all have the potential to throw a spanner in the love works.
One person wants to stay in the backpackers' hostel, the other requires five-star linen. One person's idea of excitement is parachuting, the other wants to read a book by the pool.
With two weeks of holiday in April, Mr Big and I have been tossing around possible destinations.
He favours India. Too many innoculations, I said. Too hot anyway in April, he said. Maldives, I suggested. Not interested said Mr Big, ditto any other islands. Japan, I said. No, said Mr Big, Burma. No, I said. Just as the world seemed like a very small place, we settled on New Zealand.
Let's hire a car, I said, then we can stop wherever we want. Let's hire a motorhome, said Mr Big, then we can camp wherever we want. We could get one with a shower and toilet. Fourteen days in a motorhome, with a portable bathroom. No, I said. We agreed on the car.
Part of the reason for his enthusiasm for combined travel/sleeping vehicle is budget. One person is a little bit tighter than the other but I won't say who.
That said, having travelled all over the world for work, I'm used to a bit of luxury. Mr Big has stayed in accommodation in India where you had to squat over the toilet and sleep on used sheets. We could sleep in the car, he said. No, I said. I think he was just joking.
Apparently he's not joking when he says that he feels showers are only required every two to three days, not daily, on holiday, as we don't care what foreigners may think of us and they take up too much valuable tourist time.
"Same with love making - unless you're in Paris, that particular type of activity can remain at home and reserved for Sunday mornings and the like, a quickie is all that's needed when you're overseas - same reason as above; you're either trekking, getting from A to B or sleeping," he said.
And, as for dining out: "Eating out of a can is acceptable; even canned food that is meant to be heated can be consumed cold; it makes us adaptable and rugged and is akin to the pioneering spirit of our ancestors."
While we're on holiday behaviour, Mr Big also feels that the half-life for changing clothes extends in other countries; two days for undies, three days for socks; up to three days for t shirts (but on an odds and even basis i.e Mon-Wednesday-Friday as it gives them time to air).
Did I mention that I love to eat in nice restaurants in clean clothes after some consensual adult activity in a nice hotel?
I can't wait to go away. Two weeks of adult time. No work. A chance to get fresh air and eat good food and sleep in and fool around. Oh, that's right. Fool around very quickly.