alex’s photo challenge day two involves taking a photo of something you like. as one might imagine, this was challenging for me, because i prefer talking about things i don’t like. but jared & i both made new year’s resolutions to try to be a little more upbeat & positive in 2012. we made these resolutions after having lunch one day in boston with a couple of folks that jared attended quaker youth activities with as a teenager. one of them told us that we should totally, definitely for sure check out this amazing stage production called “hadestown”. apparently some other woman that had been in the quaker youth circle with them had written it. it’s a musical that riffs on the whole orpheus & eurydice myth & takes it in this rock opera kind of direction. jared & i had in fact seen one of the first (& apparently) only actual musical versions of it right after we started dating. (apparently it is now performed as more of a concert than a musical. i don’t know.) we did not care for it. mainly just because we don’t care for musicals. i can’t speak to jared’s feelings, but musicals make me super-uncomfortable. all that singing & emoting & earnestness. plus anything that is too religious-y makes me cringe & while i know orpheus & eurydice are characters from ancient greek mythology, hades makes me think of hell & hell makes me think of evangelical christianity &…just, no thanks.
anyway, we were like, “oh…yeah…we’ve seen that, actually.” & the guy we were chatting with was bubbling over with enthusiasm & was all, “you have? oh my god, wasn’t it amazing! i am just so proud of her for writing this incredible music & telling this phenomenal story! god, it’s just the best stage production i have ever seen. did you love it?” we were like, “um…the costumes were…great. &…the sets were…very colorful.” i mean, i didn’t want to shit all over this thing this guy loved. that was created by someone that jared apparently knows from his teenage days. i know i don’t like musicals, i have never liked musicals, & so i am the last person who should be offering her opinion about musicals, & no one should really listen to me if i say i dislike a particular musical. & my exposure to this stage production or whatever it is now was as a musical, so obviously i was biased against it.
when we left the lunch date, i remarked that every quaker i have ever met is not remotely shy about being enthusiastic about the stuff s/he likes. save for jared. jared is like me in that he likes to make fun of everything. jared said he felt the same way & we started getting all neurotic (which is what we do when we’re not making fun of stuff) & wondering if people who are more expressive about their interests & passions are somehow happier, more well-adjusted, have more friends, are better-liked, etc. we decided to give this whole “talk about stuff you like/maybe don’t constantly condemn everything you don’t like all the time” thing a whirl. i know, it’s totally counter to the entire spirit of who i am as a person & what i have been writing about for at least the last fifteen years. but. maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.
i like bingo. i cut out & save all my winning bingo cards so i can relive the good times. actually, i don’t know why i do it. probably just because i’m a little bit obsessive. i’ve only been to bingo twice so far this year. it’s a lot of money to spend if you don’t end up winning anything. i usually spend $34 on cards. i only have to win one of the lowest-paying games to make all my money back & then some, & if i win multiple games or one of the higher-paying games, i come WAY ahead…but it is hard to justify dropping over $30 only to win nothing except for three hours spent in a room with a bunch of oldsters with their quilted bingo caddies & oxygen tanks.
the last time i went, i wound up sitting next to some woman, also alone like me, who would not stop mumbling to herself all evening. she kept muttering, “the next one is gonna be a B, i know it. probably B3.” then the next ball would be, like, N34. but that wouldn’t stop her from trying to predict the next ball, which was incredibly distracting. & not once in three hours was she correct. or even in the ballpark. she also kept saying, “ooh, my hand is getting itchy. the last time i was in vegas, i played the slots every time my hand got itchy & i won so much money. i always know i’m about to get on a hot streak when my hand starts getting itchy.” then someone across the room would call bingo & the game would be over. & she’d be all, “oh, i was so close on that one. all i needed was a B2, a N42, & a G56. oh, & an I13, & an O71.” i mean, come on, lady. if you were two away from the bingo on five of your cards, don’t you think EVERYONE ELSE in the room was as well? except the lucky duck that bingoed? get over yourself. & THEN. the last game of the night was the progressive blackout & the big prize was $1000. this woman is all, “oh, my hand’s getting itchy.” (try to imagine all of her dialogue in this raspy, toneless mutter.) “wouldn’t that be just like them? make me wait all night before i finally win something.”
WOMAN. you are talking about winning ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. are you seriously trying to COMPLAIN about CHOOSING to go to a bingo night & losing every game except for the very last one, which has a THOUSAND-DOLLAR JACKPOT? i would gladly spend three days in a sensory deprivation tank for a thousand bucks! bingo is actually fun–even when you lose! take your itchy hands & get out of my face! (she didn’t win, by the way.)
okay, i’m not doing a great job of talking about stuff i like. here are a few other things that shouldn’t provoke quite as much emotion: