Last week, in my teenage angst, I was invited to a meeting with this super-elite writing group. Okay I perceive it as super-elite, because the group is comprised of people I perceive to be super cool. As per this perception, the invitation made me feel super cool. So I wrote this up this piece for the meeting, thinking I was pretty witty. But then the weather turned. Literally, there was a blizzard. That's not a metaphor for my self-esteem. Anyway, I didn't go to the meeting - also because I was tired, and the first thing to go when I'm tired is sociability - and I didn't present my piece. So I've been sitting on it for a week. So here it is. It's not my favorite, but it actually happened and, you know, that makes it kind of awesome.
My Five Second Relationship
As a child of the nineties, my life has been largely ruled by Romantic Comedies. Staples of our family viewing were While You Were Sleeping, Father of the Bride, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle. Men like Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, and Steve Martin – the father though he was – have bled my romantic expectations to the point of death. I have though, seen these movies so many times that if a real life experience mirrors a scene from one of those movies, even slightly, I will carry it out to completion, leaving anyone in my sight line confused, but admittedly entertained.
A few weeks ago, my mother and I were dropping off the recycling. The reality of living in a city without curb side recycling is that you have to gather your cardboard and your tin cans and physically take it to the drop off. I’m certain we all carry through on this mandate because of our “killing-the-earth” guilt complexes. This guilt however enables a sort of superiority among those at the drop off. It’s a weird measure of connection and community knowing that you have all done your part to ensure the renewal of these resources. You are all awesome.
In emptying a box of cardboard into the bin, a beautifully bearded, plaid-shirted hipster caught my eye. He gave me a knowing smile and in that moment, I did know. I knew our lives would be beautiful. We would shop locally, buy organic or grow it ourselves when the weather was nice. Our house would be filled with beautiful things, old or new; we wouldn’t care, as long as they were filled with memories of love and togetherness. And we would tell the story of how we met, saving the planet, to our children, and their children, and our friends and their parents. Everyone would know the power of working toward a better world. That power is love.
And in that moment, as our boxes emptied of paper and I continued to imagine the beauty awaiting our togetherness, he turned and walked away. My eyes followed as he headed back to his car – a hybrid, I’m certain. There waiting for him, was an equally perfect, beautifully dreaded, plaid shirted hipster-ess, and then I knew; the fantasy was over.