When I was a little girl I really bought into the future. My Mom adores science fiction and from the time I could hear she told me the tales of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Space wasalways drifting across the television screen, the backdrop of some weekly adventure like V, Star Trek, or Earth II. Robots whizzed across the pages of my childhood books, and later rolled clumsily across construction paper thanks to my crayons and determined fingers. I knew I would see the turn of the century, like my great grandmother Irene had in 1900. Somehow knowing the amazing things she had witnessed in her life--automobiles, flight, television, the moon landing--gave me promise of the advancements I would experience. I was going to mature into a young woman in the 2000's, and how far away and grown up that felt! Beautiful hair, ray guns, silver bikinis! I happily awaited my Barbarella futurewear.
The world I envisioned for my adulthood at the age of six resembled any episode of the
Jetsons. I looked forward to robots, flying cars, and casual space travel to moon colonies and the more friendly planets. Where other girls may have been whizzing their Barbie to her daily job in her pink car, I had carefully padded a shoe box with tin foil to serve as her space ship/time machine. My Barbie navigated the vast universe of my bedroom and greeted the My-Little-Pony-people and diminutive Strawberry-Shortcake-race with tidings of peace. She bravely faced the evil Grey-Cat-Under-the-Couch and played more quietly after her spaceship collided with The-House-Plant-That-Was-Overly-Top-Heavy. Like most little girls, my Barbie's exciting life mirrored my own desires for the future.
One thing I decided upon most certainly by grade school was my honeymoon destination. Ihad the perfect place picked out, it simply could not be beat for romance. A ski cabin in the woods? Bears. A train ride through Europe? Vampires. A sunny beach with warm surf? Sand. (I didn't know what sex was exactly, but I knew it happened on honeymoons and I knew from tv that it involved a lot of rolling around and kissy faces. Eight year old me watched black and white movie love scenes in the surf with more than a little skepticism). My perfect dream honeymoon location? The Moon.
I had it all planned out. After our wedding performed by a robot (I couldn't imagine peoplewould be police, teachers, priests, or any other childhood authority figures. A heavy dose of Terminator had warped my sense of the future slightly dark) we would board a lovely little ship bound for space. We would travel through a dark sky and glittering stars to the American Moon colony and take up a little cabin with a big round window. If we really had to, rolling around and kissy facing would happen after a dinner of chocolates and romantic ice creams. Afterwards we would stay up talking and laughing all night, and watch the Earth Rise together in the morning.
The future has arrived, and what a gloomy outcome. My childhood dreams couldn't have fallen further from the mark. Our generation put exploration aside to pursue adventures like 'the end of affordable healthcare' and outsourced technology in our ongoing chronicle: 'the destruction of all jobs'. Tonight Ryan put in 2001: A Space Odyssey. After watching it and talking about how wonderfully realistic all of the spacecrafts were I confessed the silly childhood dream I'd had of honeymooning on the Moon. I told him about the little room with a round space portal window, the Earth Rise, the whole story. "I don't know what I was thinking," I laughed. "Imagining we'd be on the Moon by now."
He wrapped his arm around me and said, "People usually celebrate anniversaries with second honeymoons. We can always renew our vows someday when we're older. We'll just go to the Moon then!" Ryan said it in his casual seriousness that makes the most insanevery plausible. And it struck me, that one of the best things about love is it makes you believe again in all the things you thought you learned were impossible. Love itself is one of them. When I was six I believed so simply that I was going to find a handsome, funny, intelligent, sweet, brave, great guy. He wouldn't mind that I was confident or strange, because he would be too. We'd build on each other's jokes. We'd go on great adventures and laugh ourselves to sleep every night. I grew up and the future wasn't what I thought it would be. I started thinking love had been one more fairy tale I had to grow out of. Then I met Ryan, and he was just what six year old me promised. Space Barbie couldn't have found a more handsome, funny, intelligent, sweet, brave, great guy. He's just as bold and weird as I am. Life came back around to tell me the impossible isn't, it's just worth waiting for. And Ryan kissed my cheek so simply and smiled about the Moon. So, heck, we'll give it another fifty years I guess and see what we can all accomplish by then!
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