Otherwise-Sensible Mother Sleeps with Strangers, Endangers Young Family
Columbus, OH (AP) August 4
If sources are to be believed, Columbus resident Marla Taviano and her family have accomplished a feat that, to our knowledge, has never even been attempted by another human being (for obvious reasons).
From August 1 last to August 1 three days ago, this adventurous five-some visited 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks. (No, this is not a misprint.) Over the course of a year, world-traveler-wanna-be Taviano, her husband and their three young daughters drove from New York to Florida to Texas to California and 27 states in between—a whopping 22,000 miles—to “visit animals that hail from all corners of the globe.”
But folks, that’s not the half of it. Instead of taking the conventional (read: normal, rational, reasonable, safe) hotel route, they stayed in the homes of 31 different families. And here’s the clincher: 17 of those families were complete strangers that Taviano met online.
Why in tarnation this seemingly-normal, law-abiding wife and mother compromised her family’s safety and well-being by entering the homes/eating the food/sleeping in the beds of random persons she met through her “blog,” we may never know.
When asked this very question by the Times’ own Harper Hooper, Taviano tempered her response with what can only be described as a smirk, “I didn’t fear for my family’s lives for a minute. Quite the contrary. We met some of the most incredible people, and I’m totally convinced that God himself orchestrated every last bit of it. I could write a book about the amazing, gorgeous, generous, fabulous people we’ve met in the past year. Were our tactics a bit unconventional? Sure. Would we have had the guts to attempt something like this five years ago? Heavens, no. Call us crazy, but we’re not certifiable.”
Most would beg to differ. When asked if she’s been hiding under a rock, oblivious to recent reports of internet stalkers and pedophiles, Taviano replied (with her customary smirk), “Oh, I’m not discounting all of that horror. Not for a minute. Those stories are sickening and heart-wrenching. The internet gets a bad rap for that very reason, but there’s this huge positive side to the world wide web as well. Communities of people sharing their lives with each other, offering advice and encouragement, living out their faith together, becoming a part of each other’s stories…”
But surely she can’t insist with a clear conscience that there was no risk involved in what she dragged her poor, helpless family into.
“Well, of course there’s risk,” Taviano smirked. “There’s always risk when you step out into the unknown. But what kind of life is a life without risks? And I was confident that I knew the hearts of these families and that their motives were pure, even if we’d only ever met online. I’ve found the internet to be a beautiful place. The friendships I’ve formed through this medium are ones I’ll treasure for a lifetime.”
Despite the absolute absurdity of her claims, Taviano spoke with uncanny conviction. Could there possibly be some inkling of truth to what she’s saying? The Times has its top reporters on the case even now. Is Taviano just an out-of-the-box thinker? Or, as we suspect, another nutcase off her ever-lovin’ rocker?
To be continued…
Marla here. I’m supposed to be blogging today about “something non-fiction.” So I decided to show instead of tell. The newspaper article above is made up. Except it’s not fiction. Because the whole 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks thing is true. So whatever that’s called. Creative non-fiction perhaps? Memoir-with-liberties? Anyway. The rest of the story coming soon to an e-book near you.
The Moral of the Tale? The best way to keep your non-fiction as interesting as fiction = live a story worth writing about.
I’m dying to know: what adventures have you lived that you’re hoping to put into words?
Post Author: Marla Taviano
Marla Taviano—a lover of words, Scrabble tiles, and giraffes—dreams of traveling the globe with her web-guru husband and their three young daughters. The author of six books, Marla writes and speaks on enticing topics like sex, loving the poor, and how to visit 52 zoos in 52 weeks on a shoestring. Her heart breaks for those in poverty/slavery around the world, and she wants to use her platform to ease their suffering. Marla lives in Columbus, Ohio and met her Wonder Agent, Rachelle Gardner, at a Starbucks by the Denver Zoo in 2009.