I absolutely believe in signs.
Not necessarily booming voices from the sky or grilled cheese sandwhiches bearing the images of saints. But I do sincerely believe that the universe is capable of registering its approval or disapproval for a course of action one has decided. Have you ever been walking down the street feeling full of yourself, practically prancing with self-importance from acing a tough assignment or looking especially good, only to trip over something you didn't see because you were strutting? That's the universe telling you chill out; you're not THAT great.
Walking to yet another first date last night, I decided that if this one didn't go well, I was done for a while. After Snooty French Guy, Alcoholic Guy, Only Talked About His Marathons Guy, Homophobic Episcopalian Minister's Son Guy, Insane Tattoo Guy and the rest of them, I'm. Just. Tired. I simply cannot have any more boring first date conversations with strangers. It never leads anywhere and I don't see my friends enough as it is. I'd much rather hang out with them than some random dude who has the potential to turn out to be a huge troll.
"But EJ," you say, "couldn't he also turn out to be a fascinating, kind, brilliant individual whom you would wish to date for long periods of time and have phenomenal sex with?"
Touche, dear reader. Perhaps you are right. Still, it's time to start focusing on the "have realistic expectations" part of my New Year's resolution, not the "keep eyes open for something extraordinary" part. The latter should be merely a reminder, while the former is an operating philosophy.
So, as I'd somewhat expected, last night was a bust. I can deal with a Bush administration employee, a guy who isn't over his ex and a guy who is still shell-shocked from Katrina. However, the combination of all three traits in one individual is too much for me. Thank you, I'm sure you're a good guy, but no. Nonononono.
I woke up about 8:30 this morning, freakishly early for EJ on a Saturday, filled with a renewed sense of purpose. Do I clean my car, which I've been putting off for about a year? Do I finally finish reading Sense and Sensibility? Do I go to Eastern Market in my fuzzy new purple fleece and buy overpriced organic vegetables for an exotic homemade dinner?
I never wake up with energy, especially so early, and was a little freaked out. I surfed channels for a bit to warm up to the day and HOLY CRAP. There it was on one of my kejillion movie channels: The Legend of Johnny Lingo.
Johnny Lingo was legendary at my high school. They would announce Johnny Lingo Day over the PA system with the kind of gleeful voice that's usually reserved for announcing state football championships. Johnny Lingo is a really goofy Mormon-financed movie about Johnny Lingo, the greatest trader in the South Pacific. He leaves his island to go make his fortune, but first promises that he will come back for Mahana, the plain and poor girl who nobody wants to marry. When he does come back, he is rich beyond anyone on the island and he pays EIGHT COWS to marry Mahana. Suddenly *POOF* Mahana brushes her hair and smiles, and she's GORGEOUS.
Every student had to take a state-mandated health and well-being class as sophomores, and every class watched Johnny Lingo. Since it was one of the few universal experiences for every student in that enormous suburban warehouse, it attained a legendary status, even though the acting is beyond wooden and the production values are comparable to the home movie versions of fairy tales my cousin Katherine rewrites so that her largely stationary infant daughter plays all the main roles. Johnny Lingo is supposed to be all about self-esteem and having inner strength and goodness, and in turn bringing out the best in others by having faith in them.
This morning, watching this movie with twentysomething eyes, I could not BELIEVE that they showed this crap to teenagers. Basically, it's saying that Mahana needs a man to believe in her in order to bring out her inner strength and beauty. But what would she have done if Johnny Lingo had met a hotter island girl while trading seashells, or gotten eaten by a shark on the open seas? Was she just supposed to sit around and wait for a guy to give her father a bunch of cows before she got her shit together? If they really wanted to have an inspirational movie, maybe Mahana could have gotten off her ass, caught some fish and run a goddamned comb through her hair while Johnny was off sailing (and do not even get me started on the idea of navigating the Pacific Ocean in THAT handmade canoe).
Like eighty percent of what I learned in high school, Johnny Lingo is irrelevant bollocks. What are the odds that it would be on TV this morning, this one morning that I happened to be awake before noon, after making a resolution to myself? Signs, dear reader. Universe is full of them.
And damn if I'm waiting around for someone to pay eight cows for me.