Friday, May 24, 2013

I'll take Happiness Squared. In which I Accept a Surprising Proposal...

Bermuda.  I was there.  Last week, actually.  This was not your usual break away to escape the gloom and build an early tan to boast to your friends.  It was not a girls' trip to read chick-lit, drink frozen margaritas and eye up shirtless male travelers.  It was not a solo voyage to clear my head, fill my lungs and relax; or one to inspire the little grey cells, imprinting them with vision anew.  It was, in fact, a trip I cavalierly agreed to, going with someone I barely knew, just... because... he...asked.  No prior dates, no uncomfortable flirtation, just an invitation... to Bermuda.

Let me back was a cold January, I believe snow was on the ground and my fishnets weren't cutting it.  I needed a vacation, badly.  Recent relations had faded without feeling or fanfare; friends were largely unavailable to just up and leave and sally forth.  But then, this chap!   What a ballsy move to invite someone who, for all he knew, could have been a raving, bunny-boiling, non-armpit shaving weirdo.  I rather admired his savoir faire.  Lots of my friends said he was a decent fella, why not?!  And I spoke to a couple of pals who said they would take advantage of this great deal and we would go as a group!  TA DAH!  High seas and Sea Breeze(s).

So he booked, and I booked and... they didn't book.

Kinda, sorta interesting social experiment don't you think?  Can a girl and boy with a penis go away together?  Is that OKAY?

Apparently not, according to the flack I received.  Two people of the opposite sex can't possibly keep things kosher, can they?  What an interesting test, thought I.  So I didn't really let the lack of friends hold me back and I decided that this modern woman should and would go!  It could be Bon Voyage without Bon Vagina!

Flip through the next few three-ring circus-tour high-wire months, but needless to say talk of Bermuda and social activity did indeed bring us closer.  I really liked the Boyo.  And then... BERMUDA.

There is so much I could say about this small island: how I felt like a wide-eyed child to discover that over 500 shipwrecks fringe the coast; that the indigenous dishes were few and untempting—fish soup?  Anyone?  Anyone?; the Disney-esque, translucent aqua marine of the sea, too clear and too azure to be believed; the pastel hues of the painted houses peppering the hilly landscape; the fortifications on every corner of this much-invaded isle; the crystal caves pierced like a conjurer’s box with sharp stalactites and stalagmites; but you can see all that on the postcard, or the glossy brochure, if you care to look.  
Background: The Crystal Caves.  Foreground: 1980's Fame Retard.

I could tell you how I sailed there on a ship, alongside 2000 fellow passengers, enjoying nightly entertainment from Broadway Star, Liz Callaway, Las Vegas Illusionist, Jason Bishop, Bill Cosby entertainer-impersonator, not to mention the exhausting-to-watch singer-dancer cast from Blighty.  I was jazz-handsing in my sleep.  

Of course, the food was plentiful.  I think I feasted on more courses in 7 days, than I usually consume in 7 weeks, but all was sumptuous, unctuous, fresh and flavourful.  It was a gourmand’s paradise.  No, really, it was.  

But that's not what you really want to read about, is it?
I have been criticized before for being too public and too open, so I will seamlessly glide over the method and results, but this was my analysis: I think all opposite-sex friends or dating partners should go on a cruise early on in their acquaintance, because having to share a bathroom, that is about as big as my handbag, with someone who is not family or ultra close friend, will have major repercussions on the course of your friendship/relationship!  You have to share shit.

I can't imagine I am the easiest travel companion: I wake up early; I demand silence to write; I don't like it too cold; I want to go to every entertainment show; I don't want to lie on a beach; I want to run around the island and see everything, do everything, swim everywhere; and if I get the chance to see dolphin I will make you wait for hours in the rain while I watch them.  So it is truly a test for any sun-loungered male to join in and keep smiling.

Near Tobacco Bay, north on St. George, Bermuda.

And yet, said Bermuda Boyo, made the adventure so much more fun, by being there, always at the ready with a terrible pun, an equally awful joke, a witty commentary on odd sightings and sayings, "She has a smile in the face!"--the Captain's introduction about one of his crew, that Boyo repeated throughout the trip, making me snort with laughter.  Maybe I just love that someone over 35 would race me down 11 flights of stairs and slide down the banisters on the last flight to fall headfirst into the elevator door! ;)

I am an independent 33 year old woman and it’s an internal struggle to admit to needing someone there.  Not a need, I’m fine, as long as I have words I could survive as a hermit, but crikey life is more fun when you have someone to share it with.  (Maybe I need a dog.)  I am reminded again of Into the Wild the true survival story of Jon Krakauer “Happiness is only real when it’s shared.”  So maybe, if a problem shared is a problem halved, maybe happiness shared is happiness doubled?  Is there an equation to calculate one’s happiness quota?   If we all just shared a bit more, would we be happier?

I don’t know, I’m just trying to work it out and not sound like a Hallmark card, or a high Julie Andrews, but maybe there's truth in there them cliches?  I want to proceed through life on the path that is fun and exciting; that helps others most and hurts others least; a path where doing the right thing and the good thing are one and the same. 

Conclusion: I want to "race" to "adventure," to sweat through the foot hills and speed along the coast road.  I want to find the hidden bays, with rock pools teaming with anemones, starfish, crabs and green things that go "squelch."  It really doesn't matter if it rains, or if you are conned into buying the local tourist trap overpriced rancid cocktail, with good people at your side you will always be sure of someone to share with.  I suppose the difficult question is sorting the wheat from the chaff, and finding the most compatible peeps to adventure forth with.  I’m working on that, and I think I am getting there.  But a companion who likes to share appetizers and desserts, is always a good sign.