The Man, Immune to the Bite of the Points Bug

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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.

Comments

  1. Dear “The Man”:
    I recently discovered your wonderful wife’s wonderful blog — and have become her 3rd biggest fan (after you and the cutest toddler I have ever seen, “Little C”). Her knowledge and wisdom (and her kindness in sharing that knowledge and wisdom) are a great help to countless people. Thank you for helping!!!
    Alan

  2. I enjoy these guest posts from this odd species that is immune to the points bug. It’s like hearing a white tiger speak.

  3. Thanks for sharing from your point of view. I loved your comment about “the the”. 🙂 We are all lucky to have Mommy Points!

  4. I think my wife first started coming onboard when we were dating (now 10 years ago). We drove cross-country, once in each direction, over a summer when she was working on the Left Coast and needed her car. We would normally just find an inexpensive hotel when it was starting to get late. But in a few places, notably cities we were going to visit, I got us free rooms at Hiltons, including some really nice ones.

    Oh, and I also flew us to Bermuda for a long weekend. That might have helped. 🙂

    Ike

  5. I find it’s actually helpful that DH doesn’t have the points bug but supports me in my (healthy) addiction. If we were both in the game, we might be working at cross purposes, both with silver status instead of using my Platinum for family trips. As it is, I am the CPO (Chief Points Officer) who does the research and manages all the points accounts for our family of 4 (and now my Mother-In-Law as well). My 4yo already has enough AA miles for a round trip reward ticket…now if only I could figure out a way to take advantage of those mega credit-card bonuses Citibank sends her and her 2yo brother about once a week!

  6. @Alan – Thanks! C is pretty darn cute!
    @Evie – Sounds like your husband is just as lucky as I am. Glad to have you reading!
    @bluto – I may change from “The Man” to “White Tiger Speaks”… Pretty catchy. 🙂
    @Jenny – We certainly are. I’m glad you enjoy my “editorials”.
    @Faith – Very! I worry that it is too saccharin, but it’s how I feel, and she needs to know how amazing she is.
    @Ike – Very nice. I’m getting hooked too, but have to keep up the image of being aloof and reserved. I don’t think it’s working.
    @Christine – Interesting that you should mention the MIL. MP does rewards management for her MIL, her FIL, her own parents, and an Aunt. It can be a full-time profession at times.
    Glad to see that there are others for whom altruism is second-nature.
    @Lauren – Thank you. Much appreciated.
    @Cindy – I tend to agree. 🙂
    @Bradley B – Thank you very much.
    @thegasguru – Precisely. Strikingly similar, no?

    – The Man

  7. Very well written! This definitely made me smile and I have to say that despite not benefiting from this blog in a financial or a traveling sense–I can see that it’s clear it helps many gain the most from what life has to offer (especially my family)…and THAT makes me smile.
    So do those photos.
    Keep it up guys.
    -Your sis

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