Last Sunday, as we were recovering from a wonderful week spent in Spain with some of our favorite people in the world (Ed, Cindy, Daryl, Tom) I was reading the book that Ed lent me and came across this:
“The things that we ought to care about in life have been overlooked. We think we ought to care about money, status, success and all the other markers of how the world sorts out its winners and losers. But, in truth, everyone knows that these are not the things that really matter. Instead, we ought to enjoy the only life that has been given to us, with its simple pleasures of play, laughter, music, games and fellow-feeling.”
That is so true. And given how perfectly our time spent in Spain with our friends illustrated this point, I was inspired to write a different sort of account of our trip. So instead of a story about the places we went and the things we saw, I’m providing you with a list of other things I know to be true.
Barcelona is a beautiful city, even in the rain. When traveling with a group, renting a house with a pool is the way to go. Sometimes the aquaduct is farther away than you’d think, in spite of what the map says. Made-up games are fun. Rules committee meetings for made-up games are also fun. Being in charge of taking minutes at rules committee meetings for made-up games is fun, too. If you put down your beer, the other team really should give you a minute to regain your equilibrium before recommencing play. That’s only fair.
If you broke a sweat crossing it, it wasn’t the Maginot Line. It’s easier to forgive your GPS for giving you bad directions if it has a voice and accent like Judi Dench’s. If no one catches you wandering around their estate and peering into the rooms of their house, it’s not trespassing. A cool guide is the difference between a good winery tour and a great winery tour. It’s not impossible to consume an entire bottle of Cava all by yourself. Getting used to eating dinner around midnight is not as hard as it sounds. If you download the movie, you don’t get that annoying anti-piracy message.
Rain or not, once you’re in the water, you’re wet, man. As long as it’s not the doctor who gets injured, it’s okay. A pretty girl looks lovely no matter what she wears, even when she’s “U.P. formal.” If you’re starting to have feelings again, it may mean you’re sobering up and need another sangria to keep your blood alcohol level at “ambient.” Pink Floyd and The Chipmunks are two separate groups. The Renault Megane Scenic is only a car for seven people if one of them doesn’t have any legs. You don’t need to care about who wins or even about sports itself to have a good time watching F.C. Catalonia play Argentina.
Putting tiny jeans on mi
ce would be a hard job. For it to be considered a long-term relationship, it has to last longer than stuff you have in your fridge. It’s a good idea to have fewer White Russians than you actually want. It’s totally possible to get a delicious, generously-portioned, three-course, gourmet meal for €18. Eighteen euros is worth somewhere between twenty and four thousand dollars. You may not think you’re the sort of person who would balance someone on your shoulders in the middle of an ancient Roman monument for the sake of a funny picture, but then again, you might surprise yourself. Good friends don’t care if you get defensive about Black Sabbath. A cookbook doesn’t have to be written in any of the languages you speak for you to use the recipies in it and for them to be delicious.
The rain in Spain falls where it likes, but it doesn’t ruin your day when you’re amongst friends. More pictures are at right, under “Photos.”