“Where will you be spending the holidays?”
It’s a simple enough question we’ve all gotten this time of year.
My complicated, yet honest answer is, at the time of writing this column, “I don’t know.”
It’s not a result of procrastination or lack of invitations. Rather, it’s a by-product of the big thing I did in 2012: got married.
You can file this one under, “The Things We Do for Love.”
After, God and his family, my new husband has one big passion. He collects frequent flyer miles. No, not in the old fashioned way of actually getting on a plane and traveling. Thankfully, his job doesn’t require a lot of that.
Sometime, not too long after we started dating, he discovered the world of gathering miles through various promotions, mainly credit cards. It’s a game I was only willing to watch because we both have great credit and always pay off every penny on every card every month.
It started with his applying for a couple cards that had huge frequent flyer bonuses. It has grown into full-on obsession that involves multiple cards, spread sheets, and specific instructions on how to spend money.
“If I manage the process, are you willing to do this?” he asked me. It was actually one of his questions as part of our pre-marital counseling. It gives him such joy and he really does handle the whole thing, so I said, “Sure.”
And so my wallet looks like the stacks at the New York City library, only instead of books, there are credit cards. If it’s Tuesday under a full moon, I’m to buy groceries with this card because we’ll get five times the points per dollar. Friday with a special promotion under way? Better use this card to buy gas. And it goes on and on from there. Buying things in a brick and mortar store makes him itch. “Do you know how many more points we could’ve gotten if you bought that online?” he’ll point out. And cash? Forget about that. I think if I spent cash the whole marriage would be annulled.
The punch line of his obsession is, of course, that he’s doing it for us. Our belated honeymoon will be to Hong Kong and Thailand later in 2013. First class all the way.
Anyone who has tried to use their frequent flyer miles knows it’s not easy. Talk about overcoming obstacles. My husband booked the Hong Kong trip 10-months in advance staying up countless nights to patch the whole thing together.
He reads a ton of blogs and Twitter feeds on all this and recently learned a little trick — the airlines open up award travel at the last minute. And that is why I have no idea where we will spend the holidays. It’s my job to have the bags packed, book the pet sitter, and be willing to take a last minute adventure.
Sometime in the couple days before Christmas, the husband will spin the wheel, checking blogs, Twitter feeds, airline websites and figure out the best place we can go.
It’s not a life for everyone. Some days it’s enough to make me blink. But a guy who spends his every free moment focused on the providing adventures for his family? In my world, as the Master Card commercial says, he’s priceless.
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