Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 16. I Have So Many Other Things I Should Be Doing Right Now

Namely, I ought to be reading/critiquing a particularly heinous dissertation and explaining to the author that phrases like "in spite of" and "however" should be used to express opposition, and saying, "Despite [a thing having nothing but negative outcomes], many people believe [that thing is ineffectual and bad]," just makes her look stupid. Alas... To escape the overwhelming tediousness that has become my job, I have opted to take a break, stretch my mind muscles, so to speak, and hopefully refresh them to be prepared for further reading and tutoring. Wahoo.

Here wo go. Today's assignment should be quick and easy enough. Write as if you were talking to a childhood friend and complete a series of prompts:

1. Do you remember the time we tried taking your dad's Percocet on the school bus, and then I, because I weighed about 100 pounds less than your dad, could barely speak or walk and got totally busted? We were so stupid. Why I thought I was so cool is beyond me. I could barely function - where was the excitement in that? Why would I have thought that slurred speech and a more or less complete loss of motor skills were things to be desired? I seriously could have died. What on Earth were we thinking? Better yet, why on Earth, after finding out what we had done, did my parents continue to let me hang out with you and even do so the very next day? Not that I'm upset that we continued to hang out; you were my bestie, my BFF. It's just that to the best of my recollection, I wasn't even grounded! At the time, I'm sure I thought I was awesome for 1) having the "guts" (read: ignorance) to take the pills in the first place, 2) not dying, and 3) not even getting grounded out of the bargain. Perhaps they were so grateful to have me alive and well, and they knew that I felt bad enough about it, that they figured the "bad trip," so to speak, was punishment enough in itself.

2. Do you remember the time we called Bender on B-94's Friday night dance party and actually got played over the radio? We thought we were awesome. Little did we know that hundreds of random callers are played requesting songs on hundreds of radio stations around the country every single day. In that moment, we were special. We were famous. We were important, even though we were only 14 and stuck at your parents' place with nothing but your dad's kickin' stereo system and $15 to order a pizza (from Rocky's, no less). I can't remember what was said, exactly, but I seem to recall that we offended Bender, perhaps telling him that he was mean or a jerk or something to that effect, and we thought it mattered to him, and we thought we were so clever. Ah, to be 14 and giggly and to think that your opinion is the crux of the world... the epitome of youth.

3. Do you remember the time we asked your mom if she would buy a rental property and allow us to move into it and live on our own senior year for our senior projects? Oy vey. Can you imagine if she had gone along with it? First of all, we would have killed one another. If there is one thing I have learned from the mistakes of those I know, it is that living with your best friend is sure to kill your friendship. Your roommate can become your BFF, but your BFF should never be your roommate. Being forced to share such close quarters, split chores and bills ... I have yet to see it pan out for a single person I know. Not only would we have stopped being besties, but we also would have starved to death and had to call CYS on ourselves. I bet we would have been able to count on one hand the number of times we would have done dishes in a given month, the number of loads of laundry we would have done in two. I shudder at the thought of what a sty that place would have been. I'm so glad your mom talked us out of that and allowed us to enjoy one more year of youth. After living on our own as adults for the last eight years, I'm sure we're both glad for that last year of unemployment, of free room and board, of gas money and date nights, and new shoes whenever we wanted them.

4. Do you remember the time we joined the pool for a summer? We got that family pass for your brother, you, and me, and we went almost every day. Your mom would come home on her lunch break, take us to the pool on her way back to the office, and come back for us at five when she got off work. We'd spend all day tanning, swimming, reading magazines, playing the color game and other dunking games, talking about which boys were the cutest. Remember how cool we felt when we got the coveted gazebo spot? Right there at the head of the pool, able to look down on everyone else and feel like we were the cool kids, whatever that meant. When you're in junior high, there are no cool kids. Everyone is awkward and toothy and acne-ridden and has a terribly unflattering hair cut. Except for junior high kids today. I've worked with some junior high youth groups, and let me tell you, those girls are intimidatingly cool. They dress like models, have professional highlights (remember Sun-In and mixing lemon and tea in spray bottles to try and make our own "natural" blonde streaks?), have cell phones with unlimited texting ... but they still have acne, and they still feel awkward, and they still get tongue-tied around boys. Where we had Hanson, they have the Jonas Brothers. Where we had Now and Then, they have The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same... and no matter what changes, I will always be grateful for that period of time where you were my bestie. LYLAS, Mic.

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