Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bandwagons

I submitted this essay to a few online sites, and was rejected from them all. One of them said "It sounds too much like a blog", so with that in mind.... I decided to post it on my blog. Enjoy!

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The lights finally dim. For a split second there is silence. And then, the screaming begins. I can’t help myself. A shriek erupts from my throat, framed by a grin I dusted off to use. The teenager inside has come out to play.

I will deal with the dichotomy later. For the next few hours, I am no longer a stay-at-home mother of three, burdened with a mortgage, meal time, and mold growing in our pool. I have my black t-shirt on, the one I wear only once a year. I have declared my intentions. I have leapt on the Twilight bandwagon, Team Edward all the way.

Remember the roller coaster? At long last I am at the front of the line. I climb down into the seat and fasten the bar too tightly. After the usual “Keep your hands inside the cart at all times” warning, I lurch forward. Inch by inch it crawls up and up. The anticipation builds. I try to prepare my stomach for what is coming. The cart is slowing down now, as it nears the precipice. Any second now, I’ll be moving too fast to enjoy it. Remember that feeling?

I try to quell my shrieking, and keep my hands inside my cart. I’m 36 for crying out loud. I take a brief second to recognize that, and choose to scream anyway. Reality doesn’t matter in this moment.

For, in this moment I’m here to see the next of the Twilight movies. Some close friends have rented out an entire theater and hundreds of us moms and teenagers go nice and early, as if the better the seat we have, the more devoted to the cause we are. One of my friends has taxing trivia about the saga and we try to answer for prizes. I eat it up. I jump up and down, going through the trivia line multiple times, acting less than half my age. But, I love it. Every part of it. I’m not there for the movie. The movie is the rest of the roller coaster, that fast 45 seconds that races by too quickly. I’m there for that initial climb: that anticipation.

I’ve counted down the days to this event. As I shove peanut butter sandwiches and juice boxes into lunch bags, I walk past my calendar and think, “Four more days!” Then, I make sure my kids are dressed appropriately and send them on their way. Living life in the present and looking forward to something are not mutually exclusive feelings.

I went to the midnight release of Harry Potter #7 at our local book store. What a fun bandwagon through Diagon Alley that was. I participated in all the games, applauded those dressed up in extravagant costumes, hung out with friends and soaked in the experience for all it had to offer. After it was over, I simply slept in the next morning. Not a steep price to pay for a truly unique experience. Sure, I had to do the dishes that next day, and mop the floor, and didn’t even get a chance to read the book for several more days, however, for those few hours, I was in another reality. I was carefree, in the best sense of the word.

There are so many bandwagons out there, vying for my frivolous attention. No one has the time or energy necessary to jump on them all, but I have learned to choose a silly few, grab hold, and live out loud. These superficial rides that just go around in circles can make life so much fun. To those who condescendingly label these adventures shallow and immature, I have one word:

And?

Life is serious all on its own. There is nothing silly about getting that phone call from a college roommate saying she has breast cancer. There is nothing frivolous about helping family members deal with job loss, divorce, or problems with children. Life will provide the drama, the tears, and ample opportunities to be mature and sensible.

I could wait until the hype is over; until the books are out in paperback and the movies are on DVD. But that is like skipping from Thanksgiving to December 25th. I still get Christmas, but I miss the best part!

So, I’ll continue to jump onto a bandwagon. Or two. Or three. I can keep my hands inside the cart and my scream inside my throat. Or, I can dust off that grin, take a deep breath, and Just. Let. Go.

6 comments:

Diana said...

LOVED this!

Red Seaglass said...

{this is Brooke} I love it Jennie! I agree. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I'm glad that our work for that event was so aniticipated, even if it was just for you, it was worth it :) xo

Liz said...

Jennie, I love it! You are an amazing writer. Keep going! Liz

Liz said...

Those last 3 paragraphs are wonderful! If you feel like rewriting it, I say start with those as your base. Still put them at the end, just work backwards so to speak. Of course, this is coming from someone who still can't decide which version of her song to use or exactly who her audience is.

Kim said...

Great job Jennie. I love your writing. I agree that some of those bandwagons are worth it, if only to have something different to look forward to for awhile.

madelinemarie said...

This post is great.
Doesn't even matter that I hate twilight, because I love bandwagons.
LOVE THEM.
You should have been at the Studio Tours in London. You want a roller coaster, blissfully happy, carefree and perfect day? That's the place to go.
Best experience ever.
I don't care if it make me sound uncultured and crazy - that day was better than the rest of the days combined.

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