Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller use this space to offer their views on everyday issues.
Callie and I took our first flight together last week. We, along with colleague Matt Sanders, went to Pennsylvania to observe another newsroom.
The trip revealed many things about our business and many things about our relationship.
Stroudsburg, Pa., is a beautiful town. The business district has a great streetscape with brick sidewalks, old-fashioned street lamps, little niche shops and pubs, an active place where we could have spent time browsing and walking.
But, alas, we ended up at Kmart looking for socks. Callie packed for me. When she found out she forgot to pack her own socks, she conveniently stole mine. Of course this reminded me of the time on a trip when I borrowed a pair of Callie's silk pajama pants. This time, I told my cute and talented wife there was no way I was wearing dirty socks, and we found a nice pair of gray socks that are supposed to help eliminate foot odor. What a trip.
Another thing I learned about our relationship is how fearful Callie is of hotel front desks. Twice we needed directions to go somewhere. Another time Callie needed bandages for her blisters, and another time Callie needed something to cut the tags off her new shoes from Kmart. Guess who ended up hauling his sockless butt to the lobby? Yes, that would be me. When I protested about taking her shoes up to the desk, she claimed I was giving her a "hard time." So I ended up using my teeth. I really didn't want to have to walk down to the lobby to get the tag on her shoes undone.
The last thing (or at least the last thing I can recall at the moment) that we learned about our relationship is how much we missed our baby boy. This was the first time away from Dawson, our 7-month-old. Don't get me wrong. We enjoyed our sleep. But we missed him from the first night. By the time we got on the plane back toward Cape Girardeau, we were anxious to be reunited with our son. We, of course, missed my 10-year-old son, too. But I have become accustomed to not seeing him for several days at a time. His mother and I divorced when he was only 3. I thought leaving behind the fussiness and dirty diapers would be a vacation. But my heart just doesn't feel right without him. Knowing how this feels, if only for a few days, makes me understand and appreciate more the sacrifices our military men are making these days. God bless every one of you who have had to leave little ones behind. I hope you come home safe and soon. And I hope no one is stealing your socks on your travels.
We should debate the word "steal," I think. After all, is it stealing if the item in question has been complained about relentlessly? I can't count the number of times Bob has complained about the socks I buy him. That's because those complaints are all tied up with the complaints he makes about not having enough socks.
So for Father's Day, I went on a mission. I stocked up on socks. Lots of them. In a variety of sensible colors. All of which, Bob announced upon opening them, were the wrong kind. These make my feet smell, he said. Yeah. Right. It's the socks.
So when I tossed one of those pair in the suitcase for this trip, I figured they were fair game. He doesn't like that kind anyway, and my feet do not stink, so why shouldn't I wear them?
Next Father's Day, I'm getting him some sort of shoe potpourri.
Callie Clark Miller is the special publications managing editor for the Southeast Missourian and very succinct this week. Bob Miller is Southeast Missourian managing editor who might have socks if he packed for himself. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.