And For Her Next Stunt . . .

The book was called First Time Around the World. As if there might be a second or third time I embarked on such a journey. I could barely fathom planning a year of travels, let alone actually making it happen, so once would definitely be enough for me.

Having lived with myself for thirty-six years now, I don’t think my love of “big” trips is a fad. “Maybe one day you’ll travel for a week at a time, like most people,” my mother said after I returned from my most recent travels. “Mmmm,” I responded, wondering if one week in a place would ever be enough.

It surely doesn’t help that I have a proclivity toward travel-based memoirs. And people don’t tend to write about their week-long sojourns. My heart speeds up when I head into the travel writing section of the bookstore. Tales of a Female Nomad, Vagabonding, One Year Off. On this balmy Saturday I spent more than an hour on a beach towel with my nose tucked into An Embarrassment of Mangoesa couple’s tale of their two year hiatus sailing the Caribbean. I read with great interest the money part–how they figured out what it would cost. But then I realized they took this trip nearly twenty years ago.

Speaking of outdated numbers, my copy of First Time Around the World is seven years old. Yes, me, the girl who loves getting rid of stuff, has actually held onto a book for seven years. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, though, I can now find more accurate figures for this supposed trip. And just today it hit me: the money my father has saved for my wedding could fund an entire year of traveling. One day versus an entire year. Need I say more? Yes. I probably need to say, “Oh Daddy dearest . . . about that wedding money . . . ”

I called him just now. “That would be a little drastic,” he told me.

But here’s the thing: I’ve got three years. I’m thinking a year around the world will be my fortieth birthday gift to myself–not from Dad, but from me. So my plan is to save that chunk of money.

Or I can look at it this way: I’ve got three years to convince my father that visiting places he’s probably never heard of is going to make his first-born a lot happier than spending all that money on a one day event that, most brides say, goes by so fast they don’t remember much of it at all.

The God Box

“What’s this?” I said, picking a book up from my friend Tara’s dresser.

“Oh — my friend gave it to me and Russ for our engagement. I haven’t read it yet though. It’s about a woman whose mother puts her prayers in a box, and the daughter tells about finding the boxes after she dies.”

I turned the book over and read the back cover. Then, I opened it up to read the synopsis on the inside cover. I put the book back on Tara’s dresser and filed away the thought that perhaps I could find time to read it in the next couple days — in between my duties as one of Tara’s bridesmaids.

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How many dates does it take to meet your husband?

“Have you read this book yet?” I asked the clerk behind the counter at the used book store.  I held up “Around the World in 80 Dates.”  “No,” she said, “but it looks interesting.”  I thought so, and for three bucks it was mine.  It combined two interests of mine: travel and meeting men.  I’m great at the former, and not so great lately at the latter.

The author had decided her husband was no where to be found in England.  So she e-mailed all her friends around the world (she was a travel writer) and asked them to set her up on dates.  And off she went.  She met him on date #55.  Fifty-five?!  I have to date that many men?  I had a friend who said it was twenty-five.  “Twenty-five from right now, or can I go back and count all the ones I’ve dated up to this point?” I asked.  “Oh – you can definitely count all the ones you’ve had so far.”

So yesterday I finally started my list.  I’m at twenty-three.  Well, twenty-three that I can remember at least.  And by “remember” I don’t mean their names necessarily.  There was the guy who lived on a golf course whose mission was just to impress me with his money.  I can’t for the life of me remember his name.  Nor do I care.  There was the bad kisser guy.  I do remember his name, but he first popped into my head as “bad kisser guy” so that’s what I wrote.  There was the guy with a very Irish name – but I can’t remember what name that was.  Daniel?  Patrick? Michael? Flannery? O’Malley?  Some combination of something like that.

Twenty-three.  So that’s just two dates to go.  Or thirty-two, depending on if I believe my friend or the book.  Two seems much more optimistic.  I’ll start there, and if I don’t find him by date #25, I’ll plan for #55.