In case you were wondering.
My friend—we’ll call her Rita—seemed to think I was the right person to come to for relationship advice. She was looking for new ways to inject fun and spontaneity into her relationship.
“You don’t want to ask me,” I assured her.
“But I just did,” she said.
“You didn’t mean to. That was just a momentary lapse in judgment,” I responded.
“Come on—you always think out of the box. I need some ideas on fun. We’ve gotten so boring and predictable,” she whined.
I sighed. And reminded her of the time I suggested my boyfriend and I go on a mystery trip with another couple to flee from predictability.
I had arranged for a day trip and none of them knew where we were going or what we were doing. At the time, I lived in the city and thought a canoeing day trip was just what the doctor ordered.
Except we were in the middle of a slight drought. Which means the water, in many spots, was about an inch deep. I’m not always known for my practicality.
So, when my boyfriend and I were not arguing about who should be at the front versus the back of the canoe, we were arguing about how to heave the thing over our heads and trounce through inch-deep water until we could get it afloat again. We ended up paddling in circles because each of us was yelling directions at the other that were completely ignored in the resulting bedlam.
While the other couple laughed and merrily rolled along, we realized we were two alpha dogs in a relationship where only one belonged. The other couple ended up married. We broke up about a month after our water adventure.
“But the other couple got married,” she said.
“Yes, and I’m sure it was not because they realized their undying love via a canoeing trip,” I replied.
Since she was still persisting, I brought up the time I bought The Book of Questions, thinking my boyfriend and I needed to have deeper conversations.
Which resulted in a screamfest after his answer to would he stay with me if I were to be run over by a bus and paralyzed was—wait for it—no.
And we spent an hour—truly—with him trying to explain his answer and me sure he had misunderstood the question.
We did not break up at the time but are now divorced.
“Yes, but your idea could have gone so well,” she said. “How were you supposed to know he’d answer in a freakishly insensitive manner?”
I go to the ladies’ room in hopes of escaping her desperate optimism. When I return, she has the elderly gentleman at the table behind us and the waitress (who looks all of 20 years old) engaged in deep conversation about ways to spice things up. Really? Now what do they know that I don’t?
“You REALLY married someone who told you they wouldn’t stay with you if you got paralyzed?” asked the waitress, between chomps of her gum.
I guess a lot more than I give them credit for . . .