So one time I did this really weird thing where I took this little monkey doll with me on a vacation to London and Paris with my dad. And I took pictures of it everywhere. Just hanging out at the landmarks, soaking the cities in. And I really enjoyed it...okay, maybe this needs a little more explanation than that...bear with me here.
The summer of 2010 I had just finished my second year of college. It was a really weird, emotional time for me - lots of changes were about to happen and lots of things had already changed. My first two years of college were really rough - moving away from home was hard for me, the school and town wasn't where I wanted to be, I made stupid decisions, I felt disconnected from what I wanted for myself when I imagined what being 18, 19 and on my own would be like. So I decided to transfer to the University of Georgia, back to Athens, my home since I was five. I was so excited for the change, to go a bigger school and change majors, and to be back in the same place as my family and friends. But also-
-in the middle of my sophomore year, Douglas left for Navy basic training. We had only been dating for five months, but we knew what was up. We were really serious and we never considered not staying together. After basic, he moved straight to Charleston, SC for his training school. And shortly after that, I returned to Athens, GA, the place where we started our relationship and had spent all of our time together.
I visited him in Charleston as often as I could, and for some reason, I always carried this little stuffed monkey with me. My mom bought it for me one weekend the previous year when I was home from school. And Douglas took a liking to him. We always referred to him as if his comfort and opinion was a deciding factor in what we did. He was cute, had a funny name, and we liked to talk about him. Plus he has freckles like me. It was just one of those couple things - it makes no sense when I type it out, but that's really just what happened. It was a cute little thing we did together, and during the hard beginning of our long-distance relationship, I held onto it.
So shortly after I arrived back in Athens, I took my first trip to Europe with my dad. We went to London and Paris, and it was so exciting. I didn't see Douglas for awhile before we left, and because of his school schedule, we didn't know when we would be able to plan our next weekend visit. I wanted to still feel in touch with him during our trip since we couldn't have our usual phone calls. But a little more than that, I wanted to do something silly and kind of dumb for him (and for me) because the previous months had been so serious and filled with really big (and really adult) decisions that we made both together and alone. So this is what I did.
I thought it would be weird to carry him around with me everywhere we went on our trip. But I really liked it. And I thought people would be weirded out, but I don't think anyone really cared or even noticed because I guess people do much weirder stuff in public sometimes (although a few people weren't thrilled when I stuck him out in front of the Mona Lisa to get a good shot...too bad I guess).