How can I show my wife that her travels will be OK?
September 29, 2008 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I need a token of love for my wife!

My wife is about to embark on a work-related travel binge, taking her to four cities in the next three months for two weeks at a time. She will have a total of 15 days at home between Thursday and the end of the year.

Sounds intriguing, you say? Well, not to her. She is petrified of flying, and she's a homebody who doesn't like to be away from her two cats (or her husband) for more than a day or two if she can help it.

We've got all the practical bases covered - anti-anxiety meds, books, magazines, city guides, all that good stuff. What I want to do now is get her a little something she can look at and hold that will remind her that I'm here for her if she freaks out, or if she needs comfort/solace.

I'm not talking about jewelry. I want to give her something small (pocket-sized) and not photographic or technological (she's got an iPod that I've put a lot of "our favorite songs" and pictures of home-type things on) - I want to give her a talisman of some sort, something that she can pull out of her pocket when she's having a bad day and think "yup, my husband loves me, this whole travel thing will work out OK". And I'm completely at a loss as to what that thing might be.
posted by pdb to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I was in a LDR for a little while. Right when he had to move to the distant city, he took the blanket he'd slept with for years, cut a little patch off of it, put it in a ziplock bag, and gave it to me. Sure, it was a little silly to carry around a piece of a ratty old blanket... but that wasn't what mattered. It smelled like him, it was tiny, and it reminded me of all the times that he had been sleeping with that blanket right next to me. It was sweet, and I appreciated having it.

If there is some item of yours that she clearly does (and will) associate with you being close by, that would probably be nice. It doesn't have to be completely useless to her -- if, say, you have a favorite T-shirt that she could wear as a nightshirt, or if you have a pair of strange socks that she could wear, or whatever.
posted by Ms. Saint at 1:05 PM on September 29, 2008

Something personal that smells of you is a good one. A small soft toy/teddy bear smelling of your cologne (or your body scent, by sleeping with it, if you have time).
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2008

first, awwww.

second. how about a watch or pocket watch that can display 2 different times? a bit unromantic (watches hardly ever are), but you could set it to the time zone she is in and the time zone you are in, and then she/you/you guys will always know what time it is in the other's location? i don't know if they make watches like this, but it is a suggestion.
posted by slograffiti at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

i know you said no jewelry, how about a st. christopher medallion? st. christopher is the patron saint of travelers. it might be a nice token to carry on her as a little reminder that you are thinking of her.
posted by netsirk at 1:10 PM on September 29, 2008

I gave my wife (we have a LDR) a small journal. On the bottom of each and every page, I wrote something about her that I loved. It was a big hit because every time she put in an entry, she was reminded of my feelings toward her.
posted by midwestguy at 1:11 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Go for a nice long walk, each of you find a nifty looking large pebble/small rock. Trade your rocks. Keep rock in pocket. It will be tied to a memory, and free!
posted by ian1977 at 1:16 PM on September 29, 2008

Engraved pill box for the anti-anxiety meds. An engraved heart for her pocket that she can rub, take out and look at, or just touch to make her feel like you are there with her.
posted by JAD'E at 1:19 PM on September 29, 2008

Write her a love letter, that she can re-read again and again.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:30 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was thinking of something similar to ian1977's suggestion; if you have a garden, I'd think a pebble from her own house would be particularly reassuring. (I have more than one interesting rock on my desk, some from my own traveling such as it is, and some gifts from my sweetie. They make good fidget objects, and hold lovely reminders.)
posted by epersonae at 1:33 PM on September 29, 2008

Get a small box. Write her a short note for each week, mentioning things about her that make you smile, things you've done together that have been memorable. Put notes in box. Tie a ribbon around it. Tell her to take one out every Friday (or Monday) to help get her through the week.
posted by routergirl at 1:34 PM on September 29, 2008

I really like slograffiti's suggestion with the watches. My SO and I are, at any time, up to three time zones apart, due to work and family, and I keep my watch at "his time" and everytime I glance down at my wrist I think of him and smile. Or loathe the fact that while I'm at work and it's 8AM, he is blissfully sleeping away 5AM in LA.
posted by banannafish at 1:50 PM on September 29, 2008

Voting for the t-shirt - I like stealing one of my SO's white undershirts to keep around when one of us is going to be traveling for a while; give her something you can infuse with your scent and she can then wear to bed/while lounging around her hotel room missing you and feeling homesick. Give her a fresh (freshly-worn) one each time she comes back, assuming the 15 days are in intervals between now and December. Would probably be nice if you coupled it with an actual gift so it doesn't seem narcissistic, and so she has some token to keep in her purse or pocket. Could that be an object that's yours, rather than something you buy just to give her? Maybe a nice keychain that you use or something else that's usually in your pocket?

Helps if your BO is naturally aromatic, like my SO! Otherwise maybe you can create the illusion of your presence with a dab of your cologne, aftershave, or whatever nice things you usually smell like.
posted by xanthippe at 1:55 PM on September 29, 2008

Write her a love letter, that she can re-read again and again.

And send letters to the places she'll be staying, ideally early enough so she has something waiting at the front desk when she checks in.
posted by inigo2 at 1:57 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

Get a small perfume bottle; small enough for a purse, and small enough to pass through TSA. Go scent shopping and find a special scent to fill it with. Tell her every time she's nervous, to smell the perfume and think of your love protecting her. Personally, I love the smell of cardamom, and keep a container of it just for stress reduction.
posted by theora55 at 2:16 PM on September 29, 2008

Wow, in describing your wife, you totally described me!

Not necessarily something small that she can carry around in her pocket, my whenever I travel, I take my blanket that Mr. Allstar got for me quite a few years ago. It makes me feel nice to snuggle with it at night in hotels, and to have it with me on the plane when I'm terrified we're gonna fall out of the sky. LOL.

You could also get her a small piece of Tiger's Eye (they come in small polished stones). Tiger's Eye is said to have protective properties.
posted by at 2:35 PM on September 29, 2008

something that smells of you, totally.

if she's bringing a laptop along, make sure you both have webcams so you can check in on each other at night and speak face to face—my mom lives on a different continent and it's really nice to be able see her face when we talk! ichat works perfectly if you've both got macs; if one or both of you have pcs, skype is great.
posted by lia at 2:37 PM on September 29, 2008

Seconding the idea of the journal. What about one of those Japanese-style accordion-fold Moleskines? You can make little notes or sketches or collages or whatever on some of the panels, and she can add bits during her travels on the other ones, and when she gets back you two will have a little memory treasure book that you wrote together.
posted by bluebird at 3:35 PM on September 29, 2008

Thanks for all the great ideas! Y'all have given me lots of great things to ponder...
posted by pdb at 3:35 PM on September 29, 2008

When I was in a long-distance relationship with my now-wife, then-girlfriend, I always liked when we'd watch the same movie or TV show at the same time and talk before and/or after. Anything that generates that sense of you being in the same place mentally/emotionally if you can't be physically in the same place can be a great way to get through it.
posted by anildash at 12:31 AM on September 30, 2008

Years ago, after I broke up with my fiancé he bought me a St. Christopher's ring. He bought it for me because I had journeys to go on alone and St. Christopher would protect me. It was inexpensive; he bought it at a swap meet. St. Christopher's ring were pretty commonly used as high school rings at Catholic schools.

I wore it for years every time I traveled. When I'd get stressed, I'd run my finger over the bas-relief. That ring still has a place of honor in my jewelry box.
posted by 26.2 at 4:27 AM on September 30, 2008

The rock from the backyard garden was the winner, and she's still carrying it. Thanks all.
posted by pdb at 9:32 PM on October 29, 2008

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