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Friday, September 14, 2012

How to tell your wife that you're going to Autodesk University?

It's that time of the year again... Al of us BIMnerds praying to the BIMgods to please please please let us be able to go to Autodesk University. This year, my prayers got answered. I'm going...My very first visit to the US and to a conference of this magnitude. I'm so psyched I can hardly sleep. Which reminds me I need to ask my wife if she can make me a countdown calender just like the ones she makes for our kids before big events (birthdays, holidays, santa claus, that sort of thing). You know, the ones that let you cross of a square every morning when you get up.
But enough about that. My wife and I have been together 7 years now and not once did we not start the night in the same bed (I get kicked to the couch sometimes if one of our kids has a bad dream and needs to sleep with mom... Like that's not traumatising for me!). So how do you tell her that you'll be hanging out in the gambling capital of the world, unsupervised, for almost a week, leaving her alone with our four kids?
Maybe you're one of those lucky guys who can just lay down the law: Woman, I'm going to Autodesk University. Now get me a beer!
But, as we all know, these are just fairytales. Try that and she'll probably just clean you out during the divorce. So you need a different approach. I can tell you this: it boils down to a long-term plan of attack, miticulous planning, and spending some serious money. Here's how I did it:

1. Recon
AU always is in the end of november. So what's the first big day before that? You know, her birthday, the day you two met or, in my case, your wedding day? And what's the big day before that? (her birthday). For me, her birthday was the time to place the first strike. Our wedding day, today, is the endgame. Now here's the deal: the few big days before the day you place your first strike, you need to LOWER the standards. You know, "forget" mothers day. Buy your valentines day flowers 5 days early and don't water them so they kinda fall apart if she takes the cellophane off. That sort of thing.  Maybe get her a new toaster for Christmas or something, be creative! (not too much though, or you don't have to ask her anything anymore)

2. First strike
At first strike, you get her a beautiful dress. Not something you pick up at Walmart! If you're serious about going to AU then PAY UP. Sweep her off her feet. Shouldn't be too hard considering the presents you usually give her... If you have no idea what she likes you
a. Are a moron.
b. Can ask her friends to help you out.
After this, she will realise you still love her. And you're not a complete idiot. And that she ows you, because after the last few (delibirate) disasters she just bought you a pair of socks for your birthday.

3. Plan the endgame
I chose our 5th wedding anniversary as the endgame. So my plan is to make my wife feel like cinderella all over again.
- Same wedding car and driver as 5 years ago: check
- Same wedding bouquet as 5 years ago: check
- Same restaurant and menu as last time: check
- Her mother-in-law safely on holiday in France: check (granted, you don't have much influence on this one, but for Gods sake: don't tell them about your plans!)
- Babysitter: check
- Stashed your wedding suit at your parents' house: check
- Crushed her hopes of going out together by faking a big client meeting which will keep you away from home untill say 9pm: check (I know, it's harsh. But you can't have them running around making their own plans)
- Find out how you can use Teamviewer to access your home pc from your tablet so you can start playing your wedding song by the time you drive up to the house: check
- Get champagne, 2 glasses and make sure you can drink some champaign at the place you took your wedding pictures: check

4. Endgame
This is it... Don't get nervous, just breathe... and breathe...
It's all about planning really, so start early. I am writing this sitting at my parents house waiting for my ride to pick me up. I have to wait 90 more minutes or so (which is why I thought I'd share this with you). If everything goes as planned, this is how it's going to play out:
I roll up to the house at 16:30. If all goes well my wife is standing before the front window trying to figure out why our tv just switched from Tom & Jerry to playing our wedding song. My guess is she'll call me. But if not, there's no way she's going to miss me. Off course I take her by surprise so she has exactly 30min to get dressed (O dear, what to wear? Well, how about the the dress I gave you for your birthday... Pieces falling together now?) before we're off. About the same time, our babysitter arrives to take over dinner for the kids. We go to drink some champaign by the castle we took our wedding pictures, we drive to the restaurant which is dead center of our town. We got married in a Citroen DS Traction Avant, the Wedding Car amongst wedding cars (no, not some cheap-ass white limo!). I even have the same driver as 5 years ago.
So we're pulling up to our restaurant in this classic car where she will be welcomed with all the egards possible, just like five years ago. Can it get more princessy? That's what I thought. We wine and dine with the same menu we did back then, and then we go home. After all this, just as she starts to fall asleep in my arms, happier and more in love then she's been in years, and willing to forgive me for every stupid thing I do the next few years, I will whisper gently in her ear:

"honey, I'm going to AU this year..."

See you all there!


  1. Now hope your sister on Twitter won't spoil it! Happy aniversary, little brother. And I'll give you a complete list of Apple-related items to bring me back from your trip.

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