Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Following is another post from The Man, in honor of Mommy Points 100th post.
For me, personally, travel has always been an enigma. If I’m working, it’s part of the gig, and I’m able to enjoy per Diem and other sundry niceties. If it’s to visit family, I find that I often revert to the behaviors and mindset of the boy I was when living with my parents and sibling. Everyone has his faults, this is one of mine. Until I met, fell in love with, and married Mommy Points, I rarely traveled for fun, and certainly didn’t travel to the extent that we do now.
With perfect hindsight, I don’t think it fully dawned on me just how involved my wife was with earning, collecting, and utilizing reward programs and points. Her singular focus and control over this healthy obsession makes the number and quality of trips that we take extraordinary. Now that we have Little C, there are fewer romantic getaways and more child-oriented destinations, but the quality and volume of trips remains impressively high.
Off the top of my head, I’d say we take between 4 and 6 destination trips annually (MP could tell you exactly, by year, month, and location) and that at least four times a year we take advantage of hotel stays that are paid for with rewards and not cash. That is astounding to me. Sure, we have expenses here and there during each of these trips, but without her points prowess (I realize I’m bragging my wife up, here. Celebrate with me!) we would be able to comfortably afford one, maybe two significant trips per year, and even at that she’d probably get ear-fulls from me when we review our financial position.
Being the spouse of a points president, a Rewards Royal, a Gaia of Gifts (okay, even I’m nauseated now…) does make my travel life very easy, but there is no contagion that I’m aware of with the points bug. I do not devour travel blogs, I do not apply for bonus credit cards (but get my own ear-full when applying for non-bonus cards. Not advised, fellow Points-Anon members!) and I certainly do not lurk on travel forums, unless MP happens to get mentioned. Prior to joining Boarding Area, I participated in the logistics of her blog, building the cloud server, tying in her WordPress application to a mySQL database, provided her with site statistics, and protecting the whole stack from would-be nefarious types. I help track all of the points accumulation, allocation, and distribution. And lastly, I edit her posts when her joy and fervor of the points world gets the best of her, and she types “the the” out of sheer bliss.
I mention my participation not to do my own bragging (Hello, my name is The Man, and I know computers and stuff). Rather, I mention these things because what my wife is able to do for our blessing of a toddler, for me, her husband, and for the family, collectively, is simply amazing, and I want to contribute to the best of my ability. Sure, we’ll take a trip to go see the Chiefs almost every year. This could be perceived as “my” trip. But this year, we’re bringing Little C, because my folks are just down the road (half-way across Kansas, but the entire state is “just down the road”). Additionally, we have video of MP, as a two-year old, standing in front of a Notre Dame game on the TV, circa 1984, chirping “Dee Fence! Dee Fence!” Her love of sports is part of what drew me to her. So when she suggests another trip, and it happens to be to see the team with the best fans in the NFL, who am I to say no?
My point in all of this is that she does what she does for her family, selflessly. When I can contribute, I do so happily and with great pride in her. She’ll kill me for posting this, but last night, after an hour of perfecting her post, she lost everything. I was heartbroken for her, but to see her sheer sadness and frustration just crushed me. I was able to give her back much of the post from an auto-saved revision, and after rewriting parts of it, she admirably claimed that it was better than the first post, but witnessing her temporary deflation really gave me concrete insight into just how much this means to her. My immunity to it tempers her, to some extent (I can’t image if we both had the points bug… We’d take a layover in Omaha on the way to Brussels just for a 250 point Four Square check-in at the Chili’s Airport kiosk. Okay, I can imagine it, and it’s UGLY) but she has a gift of which I am so proud. She is honored to be a part of the travel community, and strives to make her contributions extraordinary. Her family definitely benefits, and I hope that in turn, yours does too.
Perhaps “immune” to the points bug isn’t the most appropriate description. My proximity to Mommy Points is analogous to more frequently ordering my steak “Rare” because I married a vampire. But the world she is giving to Little C, the world she gives to us, is contagious in its happiness, and viral in its value.
If you hadn’t guessed, these pictures are of Mommy Points as a child, cheering for High School Football.
Congratulations on your 100 post milestone, Mommy Points. Little C and I are very proud of you.