Contest: Tell Us Your Eat, Pray, Love, Drink Story
The film version of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love will hit a theater near you this August. In reverence to the goddess also known as Elizabeth Gilbert, Andi from Misadventures with Andi suggested this neat contest. I’m honored to be a part of it. More on how it works in a few lines.
First, some background. Andi, a devout foodie, represents the “Eat” part of this trilogy. Julie Roads of Writing Roads is a yogini who once lived and worked at Kripalu Yoga Center. Thus, her post is a Pray Story.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m love. Go figure.
And then we added this bonus “drink” post because we also have a friend named Anne Fitten, and we couldn’t leave her out. Plus she has this really cool site called Brewgasm that every woman ought to know about.
Today, the four of us bring you posts about what the words Eat, Pray, Love and Drink mean to us.
Now for the cool contest part. If you read and comment on all four posts, you will be entered in the contest. The prizes are four two-book sets of Eat Pray Love and Committed.
Leave a comment here about your Love Story. Then, travel over to Julie’s post and share your Pray Story. And then head over to Andi for an Eat Story. And finally to Anne Fitten for a drink story. Once you’ve left comments on all four posts, input your name, email address and URL (if applicable) into this form and you will be entered into the drawing to win.
We will use Random.org to select four winners. The contest closes at midnight May 31 PST. We’ll announce the winners on June 1.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!
My Journey to Love
Elizabeth Gilbert discovered love by traveling to another country.
I discovered it by traveling through time.
Elizabeth Gilbert found love in Indonesia. Her love came in the form of a hot Brazilian guy.
I found love in a bar in Emmaus, PA. My love came in the form of a tall, blond guy. I dated that tall, blond guy for three years, and then I married him.
Those were our Las Vegas years. In Las Vegas, nothing is what it seems and everything is a copy of something else. During the Vegas years, I only displayed my best qualities, and I copied whatever the tall blond guy liked. Case in point: I vividly remember Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason coming on the car radio. I said, “I like this song.” I didn’t like the song, mind you. I didn’t dislike it, either. But the songs I really liked then and to this day are songs that only seriously uncool dorks like me tend to like—songs like Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.
So I feigned interest in artists like Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morissette.
My husband, then my boyfriend, said, “I like this song, too.”
In reality, he liked seriously loud and raucous music by groups like Korn and Limp Bizkit.
After the Vegas years came the Vegas and Philadelphia years. In Philadelphia, people are known for their authenticity. For instance, in this city, people generally do not hesitate to tell other people to have intercourse with themselves. During these years, my husband did not hesitate to be himself, but I still hesitated to be me. If he knew the real me, he’d surely be disappointed, right? So I pretended to be the perfect wife instead, even though he did not pretend to be the perfect husband.
In 2004 we had a baby and birthed a bike shop. That’s when we entered the Chechnya years. This journey spanned three years and it involved me giving the idea of being a perfect wife the big fat postpartum finger. It also involved me planning my husband’s funeral with exquisite detail.
After the Chechnya years came the Mount Everest months. Thankfully, we took some sherpas (also known as marital improvement books) with us for that journey.
We reached the summit, and we renewed our vows. It was on that day that I thought our marriage had reached its peak.
I was wrong. We traveled to a lot of places after that, some of them memorable, some of them not so much.
Lately, however, we’ve been in a Canary Islands phase. It was during this phase that my husband held me as I cried big snotty tears. I’d recently made a decision to end a toxic relationship. I was still feeling hurt and bruised over the incident that had brought me to my decisive moment. I was also mired with obsessive thoughts about all of the possible horrific consequences that might take place once I put my plan into effect. During our Las Vegas years I would have kept such obsessive thoughts to myself, for fear they would scare my husband away. During our Chechnya years, I would have found a way to blame those thoughts on him.
But, here, in the Canary Islands, I just cried and bared my soul—in all of its imperfect glory.
“I’m so sorry,” I told my husband over and over and over again. “Thank you,” I said over and over again.
He told me that I had nothing to be sorry about. He told me that I’d already thanked him. He said that everything was going to be okay, that we would get through this together.
He listened. He supported. He cared. He loved.
If one soul can ever merge with another, then it happened during that moment of crisis, when I turned myself inside out and my husband loved me anyway.
Will Tahiti Be Next?
After 11 years of marriage, we’ve experienced so much, and not all of it has been good. I’m sure, after 11 more years of marriage, we’ll have traveled to many more locations, and some of them might look and feel a lot like Chechnya.
I’ve heard that most couples experience the Chechnya years—as we did—after 7 years of marriage or around age 40, whichever comes first. It’s then that they compare their spouse to other available options, and it’s then when the other options seem a lot more interesting.
Yet, I’ve also heard that few couples question their marriages after 50 or 60 years. Even if they had a Chechnya phase, few golden years couples regret staying married. This might be because the Chechnya years kill off all of the truly horrific marriages. It might also be that, after 50 or 60 years of marriage, most of the other options either don’t look all that interesting any more or have simply keeled over and died.
Or, it might be that after journeying together for this long, couples share a common language and history that binds them together in a deep and meaningful way. They’ve learned how to listen, how to support one another, how to forgive, and how to love. And, heck, they’ve already seen the Chechnya years. After that, even a cornfield in Kansas seems like paradise.
What’s your Love Story? Comment here.
Visit Julie’s version of “Pray” at Writing Roads.
Visit Andi’s story of “Eat” at Misadventures with Andi.
Visit Anne Fitten’s version of Drink at Brewgasm.
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.