It’s gorgeous out there today, so I’m keeping this short.
First off, welcome to November! No snow on the ground yet! (Knock on wood. Apologies now to all fellow Edmontonians if I jinxed us.) I feel like this is going to be a good month. A great month. A month of blogging in a timely fashion.
Admittedly, I’m not off to a fantastic start. In about 24 hours I am expected to meet at book club to discuss a novel of which I have read 40 pages. Despite T’s advice not to leave it to the last minute. Note to self: Always, always listen to T.
What I did read while on vacation, however, was this.
Oh, come on!
It’s all in good fun. Author Jennifer Cox preps herself to go on 80 dates with men all over the world -- it’s real-life rom-com! Exactly the kind of travel book I can buy into, because apparently I’ve become the most romantic person ever lately. All cuddly and smiley. Don’t worry -- I will get over it.
So, this woman went out there, into the world, to find her soul mate, on the theory we all spend so much time at work these days we take no time for romance. And any time we do take is from the seat in front of our computers. And why don’t we treat our love lives with the same focus and attention we treat our jobs? Why not be goal-oriented? Why not write out your relationship resume, then make all your friends set you up on a series of dates that really do take you hop scotching across continents?
Well, maybe because it’s a bit irritating. And crazy. And does anyone want to admit to being so obsessed with finding a mate? Not to mention, does anyone actually have time for this?
But the thing is, Cox comes across as super endearing (for most of the book -- towards the end, the inevitable happens and she starts to sound like one of your friends who Won’t Stop Talking About Themselves and you kind of want to toss the whole thing, content in the knowledge she’s content despite her bitching). And her dates are actually interesting. Some are completely over the top -- apparently men in every single non-land-locked place on earth think a romantic date involves a big… boat…. Others are brutally hilarious -- at one point, she finds herself getting a foot rub with a date when her masseuse discovers a disgusting wart and hacks it out mid-conversation. Yikes. I laughed out loud on the plane, couldn’t help myself.
And some of her dates simply aren’t dates. This saves the book, too, because at points you need a break to enjoy the scenery and pure quirkiness of humanity as much as she does. She spends a quiet afternoon at Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris, and has a fascinating conversation with a “love professor” in Sweden. She goes on a date with Romeo, and meets a man dedicated to a love long dead…. (sorry, but I thought it was super creepy)….
At times, her writing devolves into Carrie Bradshaw-esque questioning: “Clearly the Laureates were accomplished, unique people. But was being accomplished and unique at the expense of something more everyday and vital to our happiness? In short, to be a great idealist did you need to be pretty self-centred and emotionally unavailable? Were they just a smarter, more noble version of me: choosing a job over a partner? But since they were making the world a better place rather than writing about where to go on holiday, did that make it okay?” (p. 96)
But mostly, the book is a romp. A silly, easy-to-read, not un-educational romp.