The Envelope System: Marriage Edition
Angel and I have been apart much more than we're used to over the last few months--a total of about 7 weeks since August. Since we've been married, we haven't been through any long-term separations, the longest we've been apart has been three weeks. Most of the time, when we're not in the same place, it's just for a week or a weekend...but even these short separations aren't the most fun.
I got the "envelope system" that I use when we're apart from what my Mom did for all of us kids when she and my Dad left us with our grandparents for a couple weeks and traveled to Israel (that was something like 13 years ago now!). She had paper bags with dates written on the outside, and every day we got to open one bag, which always ended up being a treat that we got to share: sometimes a snack, sometimes a couple coloring books or a new videotape for us to watch. As a kid, I loved it, and, obviously, since I still remember it 13 years later, it ranks up among the top special treats of my childhood.
When I have to go away and leave Angel at home for whatever reason, I decide to apply the system my Mom used for us kids to give my husband a fun treat while I'm gone. I'll get a bunch of envelopes, either one for each day or one every couple of days, depending on how long I'll be gone and how ambitious I am, and I'll start filling them with things that I hope will make his day happy.
I look at his work schedule ahead of time so that I can plan treats according to whether he'll be working that day or not. A couple examples of what I've included in envelopes include:
1) KitKats, Reeses, or some other incarnation of his favorite candy.
2) $5 and a note telling him to go out to Culver's for a burger (this is particularly special because I neither eat nor encourage anyone to eat fast food. But sometimes the rules can be relaxed...)
3) A typical love note.
4) A photo of me, in case he forgets what I look like.
5) A to-do list (okay, okay, I know, that doesn't sound like a treat, but to-do lists are my thing, they're they way I am, and I will typically throw in a few fun activities along with reminders of things that he really shouldn't forget while I'm gone like paying the cellphone bill...)
7) A toy or treat for our cat.
8) Some other really random item that just screams "ANGEL!" to me when I see it. i.e. something involving LEDS, Balloons, fake snake....you know, the usual stuff.
I could use paper bags instead of envelopes, I just use envelopes because that's what I usually have in the house. It doesn't take me long to put envelopes together before I go on a trip, but it helps me with missing my husband because I feel like I'm still showing him love even from a distance.
And, for the record, so far I've noticed that candy, money, photos, and glowsticks get the best reviews from my husband. That probably reveals something about his personality. Candy>Romantic Mushy Stuff, any day of the week.
How have you said "I miss you!" from a distance?