With such a title, I had high hopes of this book, and I was not disappointed. Very funny, while also very moving, it is a mark of a good storyteller when you see so much of yourself in someone else's story. And with my impending trip to Greece, I took quite a bit of what Ms. Newman wrote to heart: specifically not overplanning a trip, doing the thing that is meant to be done in the place that you are, and if at all possible, I will have a vacation romance...even if it's only in my head.
I'd definitely say this is a good "beach" read, but given that I don't live near a beach, and I do most of my reading in bed, it's good for that too. By all means, if you get the chance to read this, do so.
Vacation romances are so sweet because they're finite. Every moment together is one of your last. They're the one bite of dessert you're allowed on your big diet, the fifteen-minute nap stolen by an exhausted new parent. The world is a thing that exists only to tear the two of your apart, which brings you very close together. And the fact that you found each other at all, on this huge planet, in this Bedouin cave or that boat in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, feels like a miracle.
But regular relationships are going to end, too…even if it's when you're a hundred years old. Furthermore, life is going to end. (I'm tempted to say, "Life is going to end, man," because my reference to mortality makes me feel ridiculous. But it is, man.) And if you can somehow remember that all of life, and every relationship, is going to end, man, every moment becomes sweet. Every kiss could be your last, even thirty years into a marriage, even if you marry a much younger spouse who is supposed to outlive you, even if you Settle for Mr. Good Enough who you're sure will never leave you, even if you want for Mr. Movie Moment. It's all as fleeting as a once-in-a-lifetime weekend on an exotic island. The challenge is to hold on to that.
One of the more meaningful, deeper, and heavier moments from What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman.
Image via The Other Kristin Newman