So tonight after class, I decided to take the night off. It's been a long week filled with an expectedly intense amount of reading (I am a grad student, right? I live for it!) and job drama. Of course I thought I might further sell my soul to Steve Jobs and rent a movie off of iTunes, because you know after a week like this, the pajamas were on before my jeans even had a chance. But of course, Steve had it in for me, and I couldn't rent without an iTunes update, and that took 45 minutes, and then I decide I want to watch Mean Girls which takes AN HOUR to download. So I'm like, trying to unwind and of course after working today I have already gutted every newspaper and blog that I peruse for interesting snippets, waiting for the opportunity to chill out.
Left to my own devices, I might have done something productive like shave my legs or do homework, but no--I wanted to be entertained! And then I remember that for plane flights and whatever I subscribe to the This American Life podcast, which is of course, amazing. So I make my way all the way through episode #347, "Matchmakers," and at the end, sweet Ira says that the girl who just told this hilarious story has a forthcoming book about The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance or something or the other, and I'm like, nuh.uh. So of course I am googling right now to find out who this girl is and what makes her the authority on such things, especially as someone who survived many such a dance (bad grammar, I knows). What I found was the funniest thing I've heard in a while-- I think because it was so earnest-- this comedienne totally reached me. Click here to feel the love.
I'll admit, she left me with some deep and abiding questions about what people thought I was the year I dressed as a Q-tip. But what really made her act perfect was how validating it was-- just to hear, for once, "yes, this is ridiculous, but oh, how hard we try!" And it seems no matter how far away I get from those experiences-- those years in College Heights ward, those innumerable dances, the painful dates and planning so many of those awful activities myself-- I can't shake that they are a part of who I am. I am bound, in some way that I don't understand, to the sacrifices I made-- even when I didn't understand why I was making them, even when they became half-hearted, and even now as I cut my losses. It made me wonder how much you can really stop being who you were, even as I heave a huge sigh of relief that my future is free from ever having to see a thirty-five year old virgin dressed as a duck doing the Electric Slide.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for Mean Girls.