To Gifts and Long Distance Romance

Trinity College, Dublin
I love to peruse airport duty free shops. This trip was no exception. As I doused myself with the latest Chanel perfume, I sneezed myself into conversation with an Irish man and a Spanish woman.

He was helping her buy a present for a bloke that she met three years ago whilst she was traveling in Ireland. The Irishman commenced to tell me her story as she scanned the men's cologne:

She had spent four days with the bloke and then returned to Spain. Today, she is on her way to Limerick to meet him after all this time had passed. She thought he, the Irishman, would have an idea of a good gift for her long distance Irish lover. The Irishman pauses as he attempts to keep the story going.

“Wot’s‘is name, luv?” he asked her.

“Stephen”, she said.

I quickly chimed in, “No kidding! Me too. I’m on my way to Limerick to see Stephen,” I said with amazement.

We all laughed.

Since I had hours to waste until my next flight, I decided to pitch into the effort and help her find a good present for him.

My suggests were rejected, but I thought they were good ideas:

  • a throw away camera, greatly significant in case things don’t turn out, she can throw away memories that never developed; 
  • a clock, so he can remove the battery when she returns to Spain thereby stopping time until they meet again; 
  • a set of cute mini bottles of beer and she can say, “I brought you a little something.” 
Somewhere over New Mexico
Finally, after more than 15 minutes of us all looking around the duty free shop together, I turned to her and said, “You had three years to get something for him, and you’re only starting to look for a present now? Here in Duty Free?”

The Irishman looked at me, and then looked at her, “Yea, good point. Why am I helping?”

In our final decision as a team of gift hunters, we all agreed upon a lovely box of Belgium chocolates.




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