Venus on Mars

Madame Mars 02

Posted in Author's Notes by janmillsapps on January 22, 2014

Is this how to become everyone’s favorite Martian?

I never imagined this would result from my becoming a Mars One Round Two candidate: I’m having an all-out, interplanetary identity crisis. As one of “The 1058” (it didn’t take long for the group to coalesce around this moniker, at least on Twitter), I find myself connected to a planet I never cared for that much (the aggressive male warmongering thing) and on the verge of having to prove my Mars-worthiness so I can claim the grand prize: one of four one-way tickets to Mars.

We’ve received very little information so far. Except for those who have revealed themselves on social media sites, we have no idea who our Round Two peers are, or what we will be asked to do. There’s talk of Round Two being played out a public forum; some say we’ll be featured in a reality show, possibly a space-themed survivor contest.

How do I win the Mars game? Should I get the planet tattooed someplace showy on my bod? Wear a Jetsons-style outfit? Re-brand myself as “Madame Mars?” Better hairdo? Better makeup? Better moves? Find someone who’ll give me “celebrity” lessons (do people really do that)?

And how do I become this public person and at the same time remain myself? Today I pulled weeds in the garden, cleaned cat poop from the litter boxes, shopped for groceries because we were out of onions and OJ, and finished my course syllabus for the semester that starts next week. None of that sounds remotely Martian, and yet I can’t shake the notion that my life has irrevocably shifted into another mode and that it will never again be the same.

Last week when I went to the doctor to get my Mars One physical (passed!) and the nurse asked me why I was here, I said I need this form signed so I can go to Mars. I got absolutely no response. I repeated the last two words with more emphasis: “TO MARS.” “Sounds like fun,” she chirped back before leaving the exam room (as if she’d taken classes on identifying crackpot patients).

The nurse was right. Life goes on. Nothing much has changed. I still need to teach my classes, feed the cats, water the garden.

I don’t have to answer all the questions, not now. Eventually some will be answered for me. The spaceship doesn’t leave for 10 years.


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