Fifteen years ago today, Charlie Case and I paid a man $50 cash to marry us. I still think it was a pretty good ticket price for this adventure.
I’ve been thinking a lot about adventure lately. Last month, I heard Sally Hogshead speak on the art of fascination. She tells a great story about choices. She was talking about marketing, but really, she’s talking about how to set your frame of mind for life.
She was at Epcot, about to board the ride Mission: Space. Every passenger had to choose if they wanted an orange ticket or a green ticket.
The orange ticket was the “very exciting ride.” It had all sorts of stark warnings and danger messages. The green ride was just a ride. It had the standard warnings, but really no big deal. Everyone in the orange ticket line was excited. They were taking pictures, texting friends and updating Facebook and Twitter. They were going on an adventure. The people in the line with the green tickets were just standing there. Nothing happening to them was worth writing home about.
Ready for the punchline? It was the exact same ride. It struck me pretty hard, we’re all on pretty much the same ride. We all have to buy groceries, do laundry and clean our bathrooms. So why not pick the orange ticket?
I’ve long advocated picking the bracelet. I’ve come to believe picking the orange ticket is just as important. Pick friends, partners and a community who make you laugh. Enjoy the time your waiting in line. Hold each others hands when you’re scared. Tell stories to your fellow travelers. It just makes the whole trip better.
For the past 15 years, I’ve been on the orange ticket ride. I had some pretty strong warnings about getting married when I was 21. We were cautioned about many potential dangers and pitfalls of marriage. We have absolutely made mistakes. But we’ve held each others’ hands through some scary stuff, and we’ve laughed. A lot. That’s about the best you can hope for.
The thing is, to anyone looking objectively, we’ve got a pretty ordinary life. But if you ask me, we’re having a fabulous adventure. We might just be the richest people in town.