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Role-Playing Road Trip Results in Romance

Dear Savvy Traveler,

In my sophomore year of college, I became infatuated with another student at my school in California. He was a theater major from Tennessee, and I was a music student from Alabama. While working on a college production, we became friends. Right before we left for Christmas break, he asked me if I would ride across country with him to help him bring back his car. I had a MAJOR crush on him, so of course I said YES.

Along the way, we put our acting skills to use. It began without any forethought. We would be seated in a restaurant and begin taking on characters, talking just loud enough so that whoever was seated next to us could hear. It was great fun to watch people begin to lean toward us to hear every word as the details became more dramatic. We created such a heart-wrenching story during one lunch that when we got to the cashier, we found the patrons next to us had paid our bill.

Always the meeting involved two lovers who had reunited over lunch or dinner and were catching up. Sometimes he was a pilot and I was married to a man I didn't love. Other times he was a highly successful magazine editor or an actor who had just landed a series and I was an entrepreneur.

The most fun we had was the night we splurged on a room at the Marriot in Albuquerque and dressed up like trailer trash. He sported greasy hair and a white t-shirt with cigs rolled up in the sleeve. I teased my hair and wore lots of makeup and tight jeans. We spoke loudly with exaggerated Southern accents and hung out in the lobby, bragging about how we were here on my "Daddy's credit cards." The concierge became very nervous due to an elite crowd that had arrived for an event in the grand ballroom! The more nervous he got, the louder we got! In the end, we confessed and he shared a laugh with us -- after the crowd had left.

The characters were always different but the message was the same: We were meant to be in love. And guess what? By the end of the trip, we were.




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