An unexpected email landed in my spam box this morning, one that I would have deleted immediately if it weren’t that the economy’s so bad and I’m about to explode from cabin fever. It’s an invitation from Esprit to submit a “how we met” photo and story to win a free trip to Barcelona, Paris, or Berlin, including $1000 cash, half of which is in the form of a spending spree at the company’s flagship store in one of the aforementioned three cities.
I’m sure there are about 20 catches to this glitzy offer. And I’m even more sure that my average-looking husband and I will never make finalist level in a contest titled The Perfect Pair (seriously, it is, as if an attractive photo and a cute how-we-met story is the key to any kind of successful relationship — oh, wait, that must be what all those eHarmony advertisements are about) and requiring a photo.
But I have to face facts. I haven’t been overseas in nearly a year, which makes a record for the last 12 years. I haven’t been anywhere out of an hour’s driving distance since last October. Despite newspaper sections that love to tout cheapo weekends near home, and writers like me who muse on the possibilities of traveling in imagination or online, wanderlust is essentially a desire to wander. I desire, right now, very strongly, to be somewhere else. Somewhere new, where the air smells different, I don’t understand the language, and the landscape or cityscape is a brand-new feast for the eyes.
Right now, any of the above cities sounds pretty darn good, even if I’ve been before. So, yeah, I’m tempted. Who else out there is going to send in a cheesy story (and contemplate submitting photos of some other, more winningly attractive, couple) in a desperate attempt to subvert the economy and get the heck out of Dodge?