You sit there, picking apart dumplings with your fingers, telling us about the kiss and what he was wearing and how it felt when he trailed his finger down your spine and we’re laughing because to us these are all insignificant little details. To YOU they’re the culmination of all you’ve hoped and worried and agonized over for months. And this one of those moments you now measure your life from. We all chunkify our lives – do this whole dividing thing. To use technical terminology.
Naomi will say: “Before Cody but after that thing with Justin is when I dyed my hair brown.” or something like: “I was wearing the red dress which I bought in Florida, the same time I bought you Ginny Weasley’s wand.”
I’ll say: “Yes, Aunt Amy had just died so I’d just gotten the teapot….” or “It was after France; Ced and I ambushed you and told you to get over that cad.”
We measure our lives by the dramatic events: the wounds, the triumphs. These moments anchor our lives and make them feel more solid. Your life becomes all about Before and After The Event. The Event provides a fulcrum around which you balance all the rest of it. (See Looking For Alaska by John Green.)
So a few months after your Mountain Top experience of a make-out, we’ll have other things that we put weight behind. Such as when you did that thing that you do when a guy starts liking you that you stop liking him. Or when I saw a baby sucking its thumb on the ultrasound screen. Or when you did four shots of gin in a row to exorcise some demons. Or the time Michael puked three times in Naomi’s toilet. Or when Noah and I stayed up to watch Duck Dynasty until three in the morning. Or when I tell you about the guy wearing the Rasmus shirt at that party. Or when you saw Wicked on Broadway and fucking loved your life for those two and half hours of bliss. (Side note: Wicked is basically the fucking best.)
And gradually, these markers will be replaced with new ones. And again, and again. In ten years, our events that we measure will be wildly different. The ones we held so sacred a year ago, or five years ago – the moments that made our life seem real – are fading. We don’t measure those anymore. They’re insignificant. And maybe that’s sad to forget why something meant as much as it to me way back then, but hey, I think this would be an appropriate time to use the phrase c’est la vie. Une vie folle.
My Big Moment of five years ago? I had a sworn-to-secrecy, passionate, fantastic, Grade 9 crush on this popular, charming guy who didn’t even know my name. I was Little Miss SAVE-THE-WORLD Christian. I overheard him say fuck. And it broke my heart.
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I don’t continue to measure my life from the time that guy said FUCK and I thought he was going to hell without me.