It happens every so often. A moment, however fleeting, when everything feels as it should. A brand spanking new job. An adorable exposed brick apartment. A prospect of summer romance. And a seemingly unlimited supply of iced coffee.
It is in that moment that I harken back to a much un-acclaimed film Girls Just Want To Have Fun, a 1985 Alan Metter masterpiece that put Sarah Jessica Parker on the map year before she would host the president for a fundraising party. SJP plays a rebellious Catholic school girl vying for a spot on DANCE TV!, an 80s version of the Ed Sullivan Show. Only one problem: Papa Bear does not approve, and so she does what any 80s cinematic teenager would do, she sneaks out through her bedroom window and practices in secret.
At one point, after she has nailed a particularly complex dance move and an absurdly handsome boy has kissed her, she pauses and goes, “I bet I get hit my a car.” She soon explains that things can’t possibly be as undramatic and serene as they appear. (Indeed she is correct. Fast forward to the climactic finale and encounter with Papa Bear.)
And her sentiment holds true for me, particularly now when my old health insurance has expired and my new one has yet to take effect. As Murphy once decreed, if there was ever a time I would encounter a speeding yellow taxi, the weeks in which I am without medical coverage and enjoying the next year of my 20something life would be it.
Mama B seems to share this same concern, as she has signed off of several calls with the words, “Do me a favor and don’t get hit by a car.” She, like me, is not an inner optimist. We fight our innate pessimism, often arguing we are simply realists… for whom the situation never seems to require a positive outlook. But, in truth, we are more of the neurotic Woody Allen Jew than the California Ray of Sunshine. And so, when things are as they should be, we get nervous.
My therapist, at this point in my entry, would ask, “And why do you think you get nervous? Why can’t you be happy being happy?” And so, to preempt this question, I have a prepared response: because this isn’t Hollywood; because in the world in which I reside I won’t ride into the sunset with the man of my dreams and an unlimited supply of trust fund money; because, G-d dammit, this is real life and shit happens.
But I am also the daughter of a seven-percenter, who has been given many an opportunity to shine and to enjoy the sunshine. And so, on this sunny Sunday afternoon, I am going to try to set aside my inner neurosis and love of ridiculous 80s cinema, and enjoy being a 22 year old on the verge of her 23rd birthday… one youtube mashup at a time.