Cleopatra and Marc Antony knew, so did Penelope and Odysseus

“I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to do.” “It’s too hot.” “What’s to eat?” “Do I have to get up now?”

A whiney child the day after school is over? No, only my husband, Bob, after a one-week vacation spent at home.

This year I decided to take two days of vacation to coincide with his so we could get some things accomplished. I have to say it was a learning experience. I can say categorically, without any hesitation,that I have finally found the secret to a long, successful and happy marriage — very separate vacations. There would be so much less divorce and matrimonial acrimony if couples obeyed this very simple rule: Don’t ever stay home together for more than a weekend.

Absence not only makes the heart grow fonder, it keeps the knives and forks from becoming weapons, too.

The two days of the week that couples are forced to be in duo quarantine are enough to make any couple happy that they had the time together, but not enough time to drive either party to violence. Two days, 48 hours — it’s just the perfect amount.

Because we mates enjoy the “what if?” game so much more than the “buck-up — this is it” game, two days is plenty of time to keep the fires of romance fueled. Then, when we return to work on Monday, that glow sustains us long enough for us to have Friday, and love, on our minds come the next weekend.

Epic couples like Cleopatra and Marc Antony and Penelope and Odysseus were aware of the value of long separations. Let’s face it, Cleo appreciated the times between wars when she and Marc played footsie at the palace, but really enjoyed the long campaigns when he was sacking Rome. And Penelope enjoyed her weaving so much more when she and Odysseus were apart, but oh that homecoming. Hey, 20 years is a long week.

So was I glad to get back to work on Monday? You betcha. Am I looking forward to this Friday? Without a doubt.

Will I make the same mistake next year? Almost certainly, because Not For Nuthin’ —not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but age makes the memories fuzzy.


More from Around New York