Over the past few months I have encountered a strange phenomenon. Whenever I went on a second date with someone, they would ask me to go away with them. A German guy asked me to go to Germany; a French guy to New York; a guy from Chicago asked me to Florida and finally, Sean asked me to Vegas. More bizarre than the fact that they all asked on the second date is the fact that I turned them all down.
As I sit here in Minneapolis, it is still only 28 degrees and there are patches of snow on the ground. Sean called from Vegas yesterday to tell me he was about to go sky-diving. I thought, “what the heck am I doing here? Why am I waiting out the drab winter and watching reruns of “Just Shoot Me” when I could be in Vegas jumping out of a plane?!?! Or on the beach in Florida? Or exploring Europe? What’s wrong with me?!”
I realized that I am a bit of a traditionalist. My response to these men wasn’t, “no way, never!” Rather, it was, “no way – you are a total stranger to me! I don’t even know you!” What kind of tramp goes away with a man she has only met twice? I’m a rather anxious person. I know if I traveled with a relative stranger, I would obsess over the expectations. What should I pack? Who is paying for what? How are we planning our schedule? What if I like to go to bed early and they are night owls? When I ask the men about their expectations they just tell me to relax and “go with it”. Then, I become anxious about the fact that they think I’m anxious.
I think there is also something to be said about enjoying the simpler things in life. If we go on a big trip on our third date, what do we do for our tenth date, our six-month anniversary, or our fourth year of marriage? In my mind, a second date should entail a picnic, or a kiss on the sidewalk while waiting for the cross-walk light, or a stroll by the lake. I don’t need to find myself at the top of the Empire State Building realizing that I don’t even know the guy’s last name!
Turning down these travel opportunities surprised me because I thought this was a lifestyle I always wanted. I realized that international jet-setting is still for me, but that I need to share it with someone who I know and care about in order to really enjoy it. Maybe in three months I’ll tell Sean how much I would love to see Italy. ;)