Today I got tested for COVID-19 and, while I had planned to bring a book to read while I waited, I forgot my book at home. Being too prideful to be one of those people who stares at their phone the whole time they’re in a line, I forced myself to stand for an hour and a half, noticing the things around me. (Phones have become our crutches; they help us avoid conversations with strangers in lines who could potentially become friends! They keep us from being in the here and now. Well, perhaps they keep us in the now, but not in the here. And while the elsewhere and now is also important, the here and now is vital. But that’s another topic for another post, another day.)Continue reading
Today I came to a realization: In a month, I will be thirty, and yet in 29 and eleven twelfths years, I have never been asked on a date in person. I have been asked out via phone call, Facebook message, text message, and dating app messaging. But never has a guy walked up to me and said, “Would you like to get dinner with me some time?” I always thought it would be great to be asked out in person. You’re in the same room with them and you can see their facial expressions while you realize that they like you enough to spend some time with you. After musing about my realization, I thought perhaps a deciding factor in whether or not I should marry someone in the future should be how he asked me on our first date. If it wasn’t in person, perhaps I should just say no. But that’s just setting myself up for life as a spinster whose best option is to marry foolish Mr. Collins, the man who somehow thinks condescension from a great lady is a thing to boast to every person in the room.
In a few weeks, I will be twenty-eight years old. Twenty-eight and still single. Always single.
So I took that courageous first step: I quit my job. I turned in my two-week notice and hoped beyond hope that I hadn’t made a stupid decision. I felt stupid walking away from a job without another one lined up, but I suddenly felt so very free to go for my dreams again, to be me – artsy, creative, unique, interesting. But unemployment is no man’s friend. Not only are you not earning money, you are stuck at home way too much, you have no money to go adventuring (unless, of course, your previous job was lucrative and you were a good saver), and you feel down in the dumps about your worth as a person. You spend so much time writing applications about how wonderful you are at everything, only to get turned down over and over again. It’s exhausting!
Last year, I said that I would write a post about Kenneth Branagh’s film Cinderella and I have not yet fulfilled that promise. The blog post I shared in my previous Cinderella post is so wonderful that I dug myself into a hole trying to top it.
If you haven’t already, you should definitely watch Cinderella. It’s a gorgeous spectacle, a lovely story, and will surprise you at how skillfully this well-known story is retold. When I went into the theater last year to watch this film for the first time, I expected to enjoy it based on the fact that Cinderella was my favorite Disney princess when I was younger. When I left the theater, my cheeks were tear-streaked and I felt a wonderful lightening of heart. I knew Kenneth Branagh was a good director, but after seeing this film, I am convinced I will like any film he has made or will make in the future. Not only was Branagh brilliant, but the costumes designed by Sandy Powell were beautiful, dreamy, creative, colorful, and a wonderful mixture of historical accuracy and artistic fairy-tale-story license. Patrick Doyle‘s music is a fairy tale in itself, fitting the film perfectly. His music nearly always sounds like it comes from a fairy-tale; his use of strings makes it magical. And then there’s Dante Ferretti, whose sets are exquisitely and expensively extravagant, detailed, and lush. This film is such a rich experience for the senses that it seems you can taste it.
Several months ago, a friend told me to listen to the soundtrack of Hamilton, the musical that has gotten so very much acclaim recently. And so about a month and a half ago, I listened to it for the first time. Boy! did my life change that day! I thought I would just be listening to another good musical, and possibly falling in love with it – the story, the music, the lyrics – as I have done with other musicals like Into the Woods and Les Misérables. I was wrong. I am now rather obsessed with this musical. So obsessed that, for a couple of weeks, I listened to Hamilton and only Hamilton on constant repeat. I have never before felt so emotionally connected to our founding fathers, or felt so proud to be a United States citizen. Actually, there have been very few times in the past that I have been whole-heartedly proud of being from the United States. Sure, there are luxuries and privileges that come with being a citizen of this country, but there are so many things I have not liked about it. There are still things I do not like about the United States: our rampant consumerism; our disrespect for nature and wasteful use of resources (which thankfully is lessening in some places, but could still be improved upon); and our “bigger is better” motto when it comes to things like food servings, vehicles, and campaign budgets… Just to name a few.