Society & Culture

Uber Über Odor


My wife and I obey a simple rule regarding our leisure travel: She makes the plans; I follow them.  Since she enjoys researching hotels and locations, and my tastes overlap with hers, we find it easier for her to do all the planning without any inputs or complaints from me.  This system has worked well for the entire 16 years of our marriage.  I never grumble, and she gets to book the precise trips she most desires.  However, it has also led to my “learned helplessness,” whereby I no longer know how to book a flight, arrange a hotel room, or check in for a seat assignment.  This won’t be a problem as long as she’s alive.  But a recent incident scared me into the realization that even with her travel-arrangement expertise, serious troubles may still arise.

This past December we went to Florida for a week in which she played golf and tennis while I and my cancerous carapace, in order to avoid the sun, read books in the hotel room.  We had to meet at an NYC airport but from separate locations, a simple complication that suddenly induced panic in this learnedly helpless traveler.  Since I had not yet opened an Uber account, I asked if she could arrange for a car to pick me up at my office.  After shaking her head in disbelief...

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