Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cards in the Camper

A few nights ago my friend Em pulled out her family’s card games (they were tucked inside an old, metal Sesame Street lunch box) and we headed out to her dad’s camper. If you haven’t been in a camper in a while (I hadn’t) they’re pretty nice. This one has a full size bed, a fridge (not full size), oven (more like the little Princess Play Oven for kids), stove, bathroom (the whole bathroom is the shower!) and a sweet stereo system. We explored every nook and cranny and ended up fighting over who would get to move in there first. Imagine: no space, so you have to live with just the essentials. Imagine: trailer park life (so much blog fodder!). Imagine: you live in a camper (your coolness factor jumps 10 points or more instantly). Imagine: the bathroom, the WHOLE bathroom, converts into a shower, so cleaning is a SNAP! AND Imagine: your bed is not just in the dining room, it IS the dining room.

Random transition: have you heard that couples who do new things together have the same hormones going off in their brains as when they first met and fell in love? (if you haven't, then see this article from the New York Times, "Reinventing Date Night for Long-Married Couples" by Tara Parker-Pope, Feb. 12, 2008). I would call them New Love Hormones. What this means, is that no matter how old you are and no matter how long you’ve been married to the same person, you can still have that Newly In Love feeling (or, if not that, then at least the same hormones that you had when you felt that Newly In Love feeling). All it takes are new experiences. For example: you could move from a regular house into a camper. That would be a new experience. Or, maybe you try out a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Or, you let your spouse give you a ride through the parking lot in a shopping cart. Or, you visit a new town together. Or, you explore the town you already live in—there’s a lot more to see than you may think. (Such as the fence made out of bowling pins and other “found” items. Have you seen that one?).

I used to have a list of things I’d never done but wanted to do (it ranged from vacationing in India to trying eggs Benedict). Making that list was quite enjoyable and doing things on it was even better. When I was feeling stuck in a rut, I would check my list and inevitably, there was something new for me to do. (which is why, eventually, I had to get away from things like vacationing in India and focus on things that I could do in the city I already live in. Such as going to the top of the tallest building in town. Or visiting the quirky little museum downtown. Or riding a bus to the way south side. Or learning to knit. Or making homemade marshmallows. Or growing my own basil for pesto.)

I’ve decided that article about how to keep long term couples feeling Newly In Love works wonders for everyone (in love or not). Because, isn’t the world a more exciting place when you’re trying new things no matter who is trying them with you? And along with that thrill of doing something new, there’s something amazingly creative about thinking of all the things you have left to do in this life—talk about adding a little spice to your life. Imagine what it does to your perspective! Suddenly, the tire that just blew out is one more thing you’ve never done before, so you start to get a kick out of the fact that you are now stranded on the side of a road. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll think about waving at the passersby because, hey! You’ve never done that before.

1 comment:

jamila said...

Lu - how can I dream of writing when I read you? You're so good! I love the camper idea! If you and the Rock move into one, can I move in to the little overhang part at the front (if there is one)? I also love your to-do list. I think I should write one. Maybe you can come brainstorm with me sometime. You're terrific and I'm jealous that I didn't get to spend time with you this weekend!