On Friday morning, I found out that my girlfriend is forwarding to the next round of Mars One. The Mars One candidacy endeavor is choosing 24 (extra) ordinary citizens of the earth to colonize the red planet. The goal is set for ten years. Round Three has whittled its applicants down to 100 from over 200,000 forward thinking space lovers. This Dutch non-profit organization is working to perpetuate our species & raise awareness by advancing the human race to inhabit outer space. They're pushing the envelope. They're also pushing my patience, as she's in line for a "one-way ticket" to Mars.
When I first met Sue Ann, I think she mentioned outer space in her OKCupid dating profile. I specifically remember asking her if she was an "astronomer". Her ambiguous answer was "good guess". Ever east coast me thought she was an astronomer, or at least working in the space industry. Don't we all suffer from living in our own realities, expecting others to behave the way we do? To speak the same language? If someone asked me that question, and I was not an astronomer, well, I would have said so. It's important to pay attention to those small details when first dating someone. The Mars thing may have been a red flag for the average person, but not for me!
For the life of Riley, I can not remember if she disclosed anything about Mars One in the early days of our oh-so-slow courtship. Maybe she did, and the info went the way of much of my short term memory - details erased as a result of my pre-sober fondness for Xanax. Or perhaps the early info didn't register? You don't usually have to discuss permanently leaving earth as part of that early "let-me-get-to-know-you" story swapping dance.
We'd been dating for a few months when she received her Round Two acceptance letter. I do remember it was on December 30, 2013. It caused the biggest ruckus in my little world. As a person with an affinity for choosing unavailable lovers, this one took the cake (and I have been the queen of seven layer cakes). Mars? One-way ticket?? Are you f'ing kidding me??? Much energy, oodles of tears, arguments galore & the eventual surrender is what my process has been.
Part of the reason we traveled for two months, bucket-list style, is because Sue Ann is taking this very seriously, checking off her dreams one by one. Her project site 10YearsOnEarth is all about the things she'd like to accomplish & experience before leaving earth. It's a question to put out to everyone. What might you do if you knew you only had ten years left, on your planet, with your loved ones & friends? How might you spend your time? How different would your world look?
One thing she forgets is I'll be there, at the goodbye ceremony, with a lasso & a potato sack! Here's where speaking different languages lands in my favor. I confess my intentions, and she laughs. She doesn't think I'll actually kidnap her before she steps into any rocket ship and soars off to the land of deadly radioactivity, sub sub-zero temperatures, no oxygen, no sunshine, no food - 'cept some bugs and ship grown horticulture. She often invites me to come! I duly decline. Last night, she actually suggested I submit for the next Mars One go-around. When we were in Bali this past October, she submitted us for the Virgin Galactic Spaceflight trip, along with two of her best friends. Fortunately for me, the ship exploded and I was off the hook! Selfish, selfish me, not thinking of mankind, just my own happiness here on planet earth.