I heard this thing a bit ago that I’ve been telling people over coffee and salads and cupcakes and now, over a bit of computer screen. I was listening to a podcast that was called something like, “How to Be on the Radio and Make People Actually Listen to You.” (This was for class. I’ve not much of a radio voice; rather, I have a distinct voice, but that’s another blog post altogether.) Anyway, the man offering the how-tos gave multiple shout-outs to what he called “anecdotal people.” This caught my interest; I, after all, don’t love many things as much as I love a good story. “Anecdotal people keep us entertained,” he said. “They pay attention to the things that happen and make us want to hear about it.”* He went to on to urge journalists to seek out anecdotal people—something like 20% of the population—for the air, and I’d venture to say, for the television and for the paper. Stories, you know? And I suddenly felt so affirmed: All my life I’ve been telling stories about the mundane happenings that play out all the days long, boring people with tales about this moment that didn’t matter and that hour during which nothing really happened, and it turns out, I’m not alone. In fact, people on the radio want to interview me. Basically, anyway.
I started to think about this. I’ve developed this reputation since I was a little kid, detailing every aspect of my day to my mom over a bag of Cheetos on the way home from school. It’s snowballed into one of those family jokes, “Don’t ask Lindsey,” they say. “You’ll fall asleep before she’s finished.” It all comes from truth. I’ve never, ever been capable of just “spitting it out.” Details, people! The details make it.
For example, I could tell you about my week like this: “I got out of class early last Friday. I had a great weekend. I had a busy week. Spring Break is next week. ” Or I could tell you in a different way.
Last week, a whirlwind indeed, seemed like it might culminate in one such way we weren’t ready for again. We got out of school early with the threat of storms blowing across the sky, but the sunshine persevered. There was rain, but there were no tornadoes, and that made for some pretty gleeful Tuscaloosa residents. Well, I’m speaking for those of us in Apt. 1906, who spent our time eating cupcakes, folding underpants, and eating cheese and crackers.
I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of underpants. Twas more fun than any seven people could handle, truthfully. We took a break from all the laundry-doing to sit on the porch, listen to the rain, and pretend to be superheroes. It’s not a party until someone demands you spend the next 10 minutes flapping like Catwoman (I assumed, and perhaps wrongly so, that she flaps.)
(Notice the frequent appearance of Oswald the puppy. He’s a well-loved jolly good fellow.) Anyway, the rest of the weekend gave way to Saturday book shopping, Saturday evening quesadillas, Sunday afternoon naps, and Sunday night basketball games. It’s the sort of weekend you need to soften your soul and re-imprint your butt on your couch after too many days spent running around like the world’s going to collapse without you. (Whether or not it will is still up for debate. It would certainly be a less-awesome place without your most delightful face.) Anyway, the next week was The Last Week Before Spring Break. Professors around these parts seem to hold underground meetings to decide upon the weeks that would be best to demand the most all at one time. (You know when you see your teacher in Wal-Mart and said human grows really quite nervous and begins to stammer, “Oh, yes, just stocking up on deli meat and Q-Tips, hello!” Totally just came from one of those top-secret deals. Trust me. I’m a journalist.) So this week was sort of “cheese and rice!” for everyone, I think, but we made it out with skips in our steps, and we probably owe quite a bit of this jolliness to the spring that’s stealing our hearts, wouldn’t you say?
By 5 p.m. yesterday, I’d just about finished up the paragraphs that were to be handed over before spring break, and so my main squeezes wrapped me up in one of those we-don’t-have-to-do-anything-because-we’ve-been-doing-this-hanging-out-thing-for-so-long nights, and man, it was basically the best thing ever. I scratched “Make homemade popcorn” off my life to-do list (well, first I added it, and then I checked it DONE), slurped down a Frosty, and entained with tales about that time I got wisdom teeth out (I got out of the car at every stop light because I thought we were home. Classic, you know.)
That’s my story, see. Do you feel like you were there? I left some bits out. I didn’t tell you that I read Jane Eyre this week and lost every single goose I’ve ever possessed because it was that good. I didn’t tell you how we dropped half of the popcorn kernels on the floor (well, I’m still not sure how that happened.) I didn’t tell you about my dad visiting campus and happening to see the dorm I lived in freshman year for the very first time. Little details that colored my week splendid. Very splendid indeed.
Oh, one more thing: The guy at the deli gave me two pickles on Wednesday. I’m happy to know it’s obvious I’m a two-pickle kind of girl. Because I am.