One is the Zoneliest Number

Our cross-country trip spanned 6440 miles-- kudos to the minivan-- and we spent over three weeks together, often in the car (22 days, to be exact) and my wife and I only got into one fight, which I think is fairly commendable . . . it was in Taos, on the plaza-- I got some iced coffee and my wife went to the bathroom, and both kids were with me, and across the hall from the coffee place was a high-end rock shop (they had a fossilized mammoth femur . . . six grand) and so we went across to browse, but we kept checking for my wife, so we could catch her as she walked by, but we somehow missed her and she didn't see us in the coffee shop and so she walked across the plaza and then all the way back to the car and then back to the plaza, and-- after checking near the bathroom and asking about her at the hotel desk-- we poked our heads outside and found her, in an irate mood, looking for us again in the plaza . . . and we argued about who was right: I said that you should never move from the original spot, and that's where we kept checking and we were very close to the original spot and we were totally concerned about her and I took umbrage at the fact that she was accusing us of just wandering away and forgetting about her because we were totally trying to find her (but we were also trying to look at high end rocks and fossils . . . and I didn't tell her this, but I was chatting with the shopgirl about the quality fish fossils we brought back from Byblos in Lebanon for a bit and that's when she probably walked past us) and her point, which was a good one, was that we should not have moved from the original spot and she thought we abandoned her and then she insulted my phone provider (Ting) because her texts and calls didn't go through, and I took offense at that as well, because my phone works just fine and I received a call from her earlier, from across the plaza, and after we said our fill, we didn't talk for twenty minutes . . . and we didn't even play the radio-- and the kids kept quiet too, probably because we hadn't fought all trip, and after we cooled off, we both agreed that it was a silly fight and Catherine said that I was totally right and she should have waited at the coffee shop and that my phone provider is boss and she's grateful for how much money I save the family and that she understood how alluring a high-end fossil shop can be . . . or maybe she didn't say those exact things, and I was smart enough to let the argument drop without trying to get her to say those things-- which is my usual mistake-- and then we were back in the congenial zone that comprised most of the trip, and the moral here is that I have a great wife who I get along with even in the most claustrophobic situations and that though we provide excellent role models for our children, it doesn't rub off on them in the least and they bickered at least once every twenty-five minutes for twenty-two days straight.

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