Terra’s Second Wedding

One day, Scott decided to join the Navy, in part for money and health benefits, especially for Terra, whose insurance blows and is a walking example of why we need things like the Affordable Care Act. I believe that in the past four years, she’s been dropped without warning or for no reason twice. They’ve refused to pay for numerous medications and procedures because they say she doesn’t need them, despite her doctors saying otherwise. Because that makes a lot of sense. Lets not listen to the doctors seeing her and treating her–lets allow people trying to make a profit off of illness overrule them. These things they said she didn’t need? An EpiPen, which could basically save her life in case of a terrible allergic reaction; an MRI needed to diagnose a potentially serious medical problem; and most recently, medication to clear up a sinus infection gone terribly awry. So the benefits–once she works out how to actually use them–will actually be quite beneficial to her.

But she still wasn’t totally okay with–and I don’t blame her at all–was him enlisting at all. She didn’t want him to go, even though the Navy is one of the safer and nicer branches (“He’ll eat like a king,” my dad says). She begged, she pleaded, she even cried in front of him–and Terra and I both hate crying in front of people, even our “boy toys,” as she calls them, to the point that you should be honored to witness either of us doing so–but he was persistent and she gave in.

Now, at one point in college, Scott called off their original engagement, dumped her, had some fun with a few other ladies (for the record, we’re able to laugh about this–hard), Terra dated Shawn, then Scott admitted he really just got scared, messed up, and wanted her back. Of course she was all for that. She didn’t just give in to him immediately and easily, but she technically dumped Shawn to get back with him. Naturally, being her roommate and one of her best friends, this meant I got to do lots of consoling for Shawn, which culminated in an interesting night in which he didn’t actually know for sure Terra and Scott were back together and said, “She’s probably talking to him right now” while he was in the damn dorm a few feet away from me. I told Terra she had to tell him ASAP. Awkward. Thanks, guys.

So, at some point after they’d been getting back into things and had given it some time, Scott proposed again. Obviously, shipping off to boot camp puts a damper on big wedding plans, so they went ahead and made it legal in a shotgun wedding with their families.

Apparently, if you’re legally married and your priest is an asshole, he can remove you from teaching Sunday school until you get married in the church. Down to just a few months before Scott had to go for his training, they were scrambling to get married in the church, too. And when the priest found out Scott wasn’t actually Catholic, he stopped communicating with Terra about marriage prep and the wedding. He didn’t say he wouldn’t or couldn’t do it–he outright stopped responding to her numerous e-mails. Cue Fr. Bob, the Punk Priest, who’s awesome and accessible and a good guy to turn to in times of crisis (in fact, I nearly approached him for some guidance of my own, but I’m shy and he was busy and so I just let Mr. Mac’s sweet e-mail make me cry instead). He met with them, told them what needed to be done, and helped them do it.

They squeezed their second shotgun church wedding in just days before Scott left–the wedding was Saturday, he left the following Wednesday. It was small, just like the first shotgun legal wedding, but I could actually go to this one, so Paul and I went. Her friend Gemma, her boyfriend, old high-school friend Rachael, Terra’s mom, and a friend of Scott’s were all there, too. It was so quick and so small that extended family knew but wasn’t really expected to show up or formally invited, but they apparently all forgot that and were pretty terrible to Terra in the days after the wedding, saying things like, “Thanks for inviting us. Have a nice life” and some other comment about “those people” in her pictures. We’re just her best friends who were able to go, guys. Thanks. Way to treat a newlywed, by the way. Not even her own brother went because he couldn’t get off work. She’s hoping to have a big, fun wedding when Scott’s home, or as she puts it, “When the Navy says I can.”

It was a nice, short ceremony that got right to the point. I like those. If I had my way, my wedding ceremony would be like 15 minutes with a party lasting as long as everyone can physically party, but if I marry Paul, ain’t no way that’s happening. Basically, the priest did some prayers, they exchanged some vows, we took some pretty pictures and enjoyed the unusually warm weather, and then we went to Bud’s for pizza and drinks. That’s how low-key a wedding this was–we celebrated by squeezing into a booth at a sports bar.

Afterward, Paul and I took advantage of the aforementioned unusually warm weather by going up to the mountains–except the mountain was not at all unusually warm and was actually still mostly snow-covered. But we walked around anyway, I in a light, flowered dress and canvas ballet flats and he dressed up but not quite as cold. A photographer spotted us and took our picture, noting my terribly inappropriate attire. We explained we’d just come from a wedding off the mountain, where it’s warm, and didn’t even think it might still look blizzard-like up there. I still need to track her and those pictures down. I have got to look especially ridiculous.

Friday Five: Lasts

  1. At a gathering of your usual social group, who’s almost certain to show up last? No matter the group, me. Sometimes Terra beats me and Paul is also late for everything all the time. In fact, if we get married, I guarantee we’ll both be late. But yeah, it’s usually me.
  2. Of chores that must be done this weekend, which will you probably complete last, and why? Cleaning of any kind or the dishes. I work full-time then come home and juggle downtime and editing business, so cleaning the apartment is dead last on my to-do list. It pretty much only gets cleaned the night before or very day I’m expecting company. Sure, I’ll pick up a little here and there, but nothing noticeable will happen until next weekend, hands down.
  3. Some TV remote controls have a “last” button. If you were to turn your TV on now and hit the “last” button on the remote, which channel would you be taken to? I don’t have cable, but if I did or if I were at my parents’, probably TLC or ID.
  4. Your task is to try one scoop of ice cream per day until every one of thirty-one flavors is consumed. Which do you save for last? Probably whatever sounds the most appealing as as to sort of reward myself.
  5. When did you last have an awful meal in a restaurant? Honestly, I can’t ever remembering having a meal in a restaurant that was awful. I know I don’t like certain places and find them mediocre–like Denny’s and Golden Corral–but I can’t think of something that I thought was actually awful.

Music Memoirs: Hype

From Music Memoirs.

Top 5 albums that didn’t live up to the hype

 1. Green Day – Uno The songs are good and classic pop-punk Green Day, but Uno–and also Dos and Tres–was a letdown because of that, in a way. Looking back on American Idiot and 20th Century Breakdown, they’re both a hell of a lot better than we give them credit for. I think they tend to be overlooked despite awesome beasts like “21 Guns” and “Jesus of Suburbia,” which I do happen to think is one of their greatest songs. Basically, Uno is boring and lacking those same juggernauts.
2. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die This is kind of similar to Uno in that it’s a little boring. The songs are good, Lana’s voice is pretty, but “Video Games” is so stellar that few songs on the album match its quality. As a result, the album is easy to wear out–there’s not enough variety or nuance in songs to keep it on its pedestal, even though it’s not actually a bad album. Bonus points for the Paradise Edition since it only threw in a few new songs that don’t really help the mundane factor. And it really doesn’t help that rereleasing an album within a few years of its original release is one of my biggest music-industry pet peeves. It’s a stupid, greedy gimmick to sell more copies. If you want fans to have the songs that bad, release an EP or horde them for a B-sides release. Adding a couple unreleased songs to a relatively recent release, slapping new artwork on it, and giving it a fancy name is lazy pandering.
3. Keane – Strangeland I’m positive I’ve complained about this before, but seriously, Strangeland didn’t live up to the hype, especially after Perfect Symmetry and the Night Train EP. Strangeland is a kind of nice return to the almost stripped-down sound of Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea–which, by the way, I find gets better with time and listens–but “nice” is about the extent of it. It doesn’t really have any stand-out songs like the other albums did. I certainly don’t think as far as cohesive albums go that Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea are the band’s best–that would be Perfect Symmetry–but some the good songs are so good that it doesn’t even matter: “Everybody’s Changing,” “Bedshaped,” “Is It Any Wonder,” “A Bad Dream,” “Bend and Break.” Strangeland falls, once again, into boring territory.
4. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange I know this is extremely unpopular opinion, but I just couldn’t get into Channel Orange, and I really did try. The good news, Frank Ocean fans, is that I really like some songs, like “Forrest Gump.” Most of the rest of the album, though, I didn’t think was the epic behemoth most hear it as.
5. Punchline – Delightfully Pleased This is yet another album that I liked and is actually quite good but just didn’t live up to the hype, especially considering the band’s past material. Punchline fans have been gunning for a new Action for years–the closest we came was probably Just Say Yes in terms of sheer fantastic songwriting all in one album rather than pop-punk ass-kicking–and we haven’t gotten it. That’s okay for all sorts of reasons pertaining to band growth and not needing to top themselves, but Delightfully Pleased almost felt like a step backwards in some ways, mostly in lyrical content. Despite some epic standouts and the fact that a song about Lost is good by default, it just didn’t feel like it had the punch (bad pun intended) of previous albums.

Movie Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Last week or so, my brother and I were discussing our shared Netflix queue. Next on our list was We Need to Talk About Kevin, a movie I added probably as long as two years ago. I probably read the description and found it interesting. But my brother thought it was a recent addition–after all, he heard about the film after a segment on an evening entertainment show called it the movie that “predicted” the Sandy Hook shooting.

That’s not entirely accurate. The similarities are obviously there, notable from the Netflix plot summary: “Eva’s relationship with her son, Kevin, has been difficult from the beginning. When the 15-year-old boy’s cruel streak erupts into violence, Eva wonders how much blame she deserves for his actions.” But the similarities aren’t so intense that they’re particularly eery, plus the story of an individual, possibly with mental illness, committing a mass act of violence isn’t new. Like I’ve said before, that’s one of the major tragedies of these things. They’re almost normal.

The film’s focus, though, is more on Eva than Kevin. From Kevin’s birth, he was a difficult child–though mostly only with Eva. His interactions with his father, Franklin, tend to be much more “normal” to the point that Franklin brushes off Eva’s concerns that something is wrong with Kevin, that he’s responsible for certain violent, cruel acts that take place over the course of his childhood and teenage years. I won’t spoil it, but some of the scenes, though they don’t actually depict violence or aren’t particularly graphic, are quite chilling in the way they build tension. And as we get to know Kevin throughout the film, we’re not surprised, though we are horrified.

The beginning is a little confusing, but you quickly figure out that the story is being told in flashbacks, starting with Eva and Franklin meeting all the way up to about two years after the shooting. It’s surprisingly effective storytelling, as we see Eva struggling with Kevin as a child juxtaposed with her struggling with the aftermath of his crimes, most notably reaction from the community, who blame her for Kevin–her house is doused with red paint, she’s harassed physically and verbally, etc.

Therefore, it manages to challenge the notion that a parent is to blame for his/her child’s actions, especially when one of Kevin’s surviving victims cheerfully approaches her in the street and makes nice yet sincere smalltalk with her, showing that he doesn’t blame her. Can Eva be blamed? Probably not, which has useful real-life applications. We see Eva make mistakes with Kevin, but we also see her trying really, really hard, to the point that by the time Kevin does start his violence–even in little things toward his younger sister–it’s pretty clear that Kevin is at fault. In fact, in many ways, Eva is one of his victims, too.

The cast is outstanding. First of all, the kids playing Kevin as a child at different ages are fantastic. But really, the whole movie hinges on Eva, played by Tilda Swinton, who is wonderful. John C. Reilly plays Franklin, and as much as I love him when he’s being ridiculous and as hilarious as I think he is, it’s refreshing to see him in a dramatic role again. It’s a role that’s very well-suited for him, too. For the most part, he’s a sweet, charming husband and father, but he’s wonderful in the serious scenes as things get darker, especially as–predictably–Kevin’s behavior causes tension in Eva and Franklin’s marriage.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is definitely an interesting drama, especially for somewhat unconventional storytelling and perspectives of children’s mental health, parenting, violence, and blame. I definitely recommend it.

New Year’s Resolutions

Back when I first started blogging, I used to make a list of resolutions and then revisit it the following New Year’s. Thing is, I had less time last year so I don’t actually remember doing that. So I’ll have to start fresh, which is fine.

The thing with my resolutions is in a weird way, I think I approach them differently than most people do. I don’t really see them as these concrete things I must accomplish in the coming year–more like a set of guidelines, things I’d like to try or do more or improve upon. Some of these things happen naturally, some will require time, but all will work toward bettering myself and I hope the world around me, too. Hell, some of these things aren’t 100% even in my control. Some of them spawn from things I discussed intensively in 2012, some from things I mentioned in passing, and others I have yet to discuss at all. But here there are. See ya in 2014 to see how I did.

  • Write more, as in more than blogs but get back into more journalistic writing, possibly including freelancing, as well as personal essays/memoir
  • Submit such writings for publication
  • Get something published
  • Play guitar
  • Make something!
  • Resume scrapbooking
  • Cook more
  • Eat healthier
  • Save money
  • Also manage to spoil myself on cool, fun stuff but not go broke doing it
  • Make a new friend
  • Weed out any other potential old bad friends
  • Strengthen existing relationships
  • Be an awesome friend and girlfriend
  • Be an awesome human
  • Give money to buskers and others asking for it
  • Pay for music when I can, especially if it’s independent and amazing
  • Donate to charities
  • Get rid of all the junk in my apartment I don’t need/want/use
  • Be a better editor
  • Be a better employee
  • Tweak my resume
  • Look into other jobs, apply if and only if an enticing offer arises
  • Stand up for the bullied
  • Call people out on shitty behavior
  • Stand up for myself and others
  • Be good and do good

New Year’s

For New Year’s, Paul and I headed over to Sarah’s. From the sounds of it, other friends were supposed to go but never showed, but I had a good time!

It was a typical New Year’s at Sarah’s. It was my second consecutive one there and I think the third ever, but it was the usual booze, karaoke, and good times. Emma was adorable as always, babbling in hilarious baby language that mostly only she understood. She also climbed everywhere and pulled all the books off of one of the shelves.

Once again, it did include moonshine, and once again, I loved it, though I didn’t drink much because Paul and I were heading to my parents’ rather than staying at Sarah’s all night, I believe mostly because my whole family was going gambling for New Year’s Day.

We ended up trapped at Sarah’s for a while because my car was blocked in, so we hung out and met her sort of male suitor, Garrett. Sarah and Nicole broke up somewhere around Thanksgiving after changed feelings and she met Garrett at a Shed party. He was nice yet rude–he was funny and we generally liked him, but he sent some foul texts to Nicole. Since then, he’s also been very confusing. I don’t think anybody knows what’s going on except for him.

When we did get to my parents’, Brandon’s girlfriend, her sister, and a friend were over but getting ready to leave. Brandon and Paul ended up playing Magic the Gathering for God knows how long–I picked my drinking back up while I watched Kathy Griffin stand-up specials, and when my glass was empty and I was too tired to keep drinking, I fell asleep on the couch. Brandon and Paul woke me up sometime around 4:00 in the morning or something to let me know they were done and going to sleep, so I shuffled off, took my contacts out, makeup off, changed, shuffled back to the sunroom, and fell asleep again.

We got up the next morning. Paul’s dad picked him up while the rest of us got ready to gamble.

Now, in my half-asleep, possibly half-drunk stupor and with dry contacts at that, I managed to rip one of the lenses when I took it out and realized that when I went to put them in the next morning. Normally, this isn’t a problem–I carry a little green pouch with my overnight bag that has spares lenses and/or glasses (plus my makeup and such). Except this was the one time I managed to forget it. I had no spare anything on me, and I needed to drive home after we went to the casino, and I can’t drive without any sort of visual aid. Not if you don’t want me to be a hazard.

Half the point of going to the casino early in the morning was the breakfast buffet. We were already running late and my dad was already annoyed, even though the buffet lasted until early afternoon. But we had to alter our plans because me spending an entire day not being able to see too far in front of me just couldn’t happen. So my parents set off for the casino and I had Brandon drive my car to my apartment so we could get my contacts. It worked out well–my apartment isn’t so far from either my parents’ or the casino that it drastically delayed us, and my parents just gambled until we got there and could all eat together.

The buffet was amazing. It was a New Year’s champagne brunch, which I hit hard. I loaded my plate up with everything from real breakfast foods to desserts to sushi, and damn did I love that champagne for breakfast, too.

The actual gambling part was a lot of fun. At first, I was just bleeding money, but later on, I built it back up and technically left with less money than I started with, but my mom gave us our gambling money and let us keep whatever we get, so I left with money anyway–and I needed it desperately, even if it was only 40 bucks. That’s a tank of gas.

I spent most of the day, not surprisingly, at a Wizard of Oz slot machine. It was the most fun for me, being my favorite movie and all, plus I was actually doing really well on it for a really long time. I loved it so much that I went back for a second round on it after I took a break when it started bleeding my dry.

I’d just like to go back, please!

Top 5 on Friday: Loved

Top 5 songs you wished everyone loved as much as you

 1. “Closer” by Tegan and Sara Seriously, this song is so good! It’s got a nice ’80s feel to it, it’s a beautiful ear worm, it’s danceable, and it’s equal parts sexual and sweet. I love it.
2. “Annie Waits” by Ben Folds I suspect Ben Folds fans hold this in very high regard–especially since a packed club of people clapping along is one of the coolest/most chill-inducing things I’ve ever experienced at a concert–but it goes unappreciated by the rest of the world. The pianos are gorgeous, as Mr. Folds’ pianos always are, and it’s a cute little song that’s very well-written and a fun sing-along with a killer hook. Seriously, though, one of the most beautiful piano parts ever.
3. “Some Nights” by Fun. Most people I know hate Fun., and I honestly can’t figure out why. My theory is that most aren’t aware they’re just an indie band that got lucky and instead lump them in with pop boy bands, which still doesn’t make sense because they actually sound completely different from said pop boy bands. They also sound a little different from the more low-key, acoustic indie that’s broken through to radio lately, and they don’t have the generic, almost corporate-rock sound you get from the likes of Imagine Dragons. “Some Nights” is an excellent example of how good their songs really are. You have that sweeping, intense vocal introduction and then launch into awesome beats, end with some pretty epic guitar work, and can feel raw emotion through the whole song. It has an anthemic quality to it and shows how skilled the band is as musicians.
4. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn Okay, most people who love Robyn love this song, but seriously, guys, everyone on earth should love this song because it’s catchy as hell. I love it so much, I have no words to describe how much I love it
5. “Americano/Dance Again” from Glee I haven’t actually watched Glee since, like Kurt and Blaine went to prom together–which was an excellent episode–but I do intend to get caught up (though I think its popularity has killed its plot/writing quality) and I do listen to the soundtracks when they come up on Spotify’s new releases. I tend to love their mashups–except for the Hair one–and these two songs just meld together perfectly into a killer pop/dance track that Kate Hudson sings the hell out of.

Friday Five: Lines

  1. What’s the longest line you’ve ever stood in? I remember when Passion of the Christ came out, my whole family–included much extended family–went to get tickets for it. I’ve never seen a line that long in a movie theater in my life.
  2. When did you have the most fun waiting in line? In Disney World my senior year of high school, waiting for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel when we started singing “Build Me Up Buttercup,” which was part of the set we performed in the park. Concert lines can also be fun, but that depends on the people around you. Anytime someone whips out a guitar, you’re golden.
  3. What line, no matter how long or short it is, always drives you crazy? Practically any legitimate line, like at the bank or grocery store or getting my oil changed.
  4. When did you last behave in a manner that was over the line? I honestly can’t remember. I don’t really snap and get ridiculous, especially not anymore, and even when I do, it’s not bad enough to call it “over the line.” I did get unnecessarily huffy with Paul a few months ago–I called it “bitchy” when I apologized to him the next day. I do the same thing with Brandon, but he’s my brother and doesn’t typically get apologizes. Oh, wait, the time I implied my aunt has poor reading comprehension directly to her was definitely over the line, but I don’t regret it.
  5. What are some lines of poetry you can recite from memory? Some of Polonius’ advice to Laertes, the first few opening lines of “The Raven,” stray lines of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” I’m sure I know other lines here and there, too, likely a lot of really famous ones even non-poetry fans know. I also know all of Ed Ochester’s “Monroeville, PA,” from memory. It goes like this:

One day a kid yelled
“Hey Asshole!”
and everybody on the street
turned around


So, Christmas was nice, except for the part where I got pissed off at Paul’s mom. We were hosting Christmas this year, eating at a certain time and everything, and Paul said he’d be there. And he was there–just a few hours late because they just had to make other plans after she already knew he’d arranged to be at my house. It was an example of one of the more irksome problems we face with him living at home–almost always, whenever something is happening, the whole family has to go. When you’re at a point where relatives are starting to inquire about a possible marriage but spending Christmas together–even just a few hours on Christmas Eve–is a hassle, there’s a problem.

Other than that, though, all was nice. The food was excellent, I had a lot of fun hanging out with all my lovely cousins, and fun presents were exchanged. It’s obviously been damn months so I don’t remember everything, but highlights were a David Bowie ring from Meri, one of those nifty candles with a diamond ring in it from Aunt Gina, and a custom-made interrobang stamp from Paul, which is probably the nerdiest gift I’ve ever received. I wish the interrobang would come back and be a real punctuation mark.

Christmas morning was probably the same old, same old of someone coming to wake me up and me taking twice as long to open presents because I examine every little thing. My mom got annoyed with me one Christmas when my dad was deployed because she’d bought me a neat set of shower gels with scents like buttercream icing and peach, and I insisted on smelling each one.

When I was little and I watched my older cousins open practical gifts, I used to think that it must be terrible to grow up and get boring household items or clothes. But now that most of what I got this Christmas was boring household items, I’m actually really excited by it. My mom spoiled us both yet again, and I got a Keurig, a little cart for it, various cooking utensils, etc. I’m pretty excited. I have yet to use some, but I love the Keurig and its cute little cart/stand.

The holiday ended peacefully, and I made home with many treasures, some of which have yet to put away. One day, I’ll even finish unpacking.

The Nutcracker, Or How to Piss Off Everyone You Know When You’re a Woman

I knew by the sound that my phone fell in the toilet, and I maintain that it fell and was not dropped–it was in my purse and toppled out as opposed to being in my hands at a moment when they decided to stop working, as they sometimes do.

I knew after it got really hot then stayed in rice for days with no sign of life that it was gone.

But my life without my iPhone had to go on, and I found that life to be oddly liberating. As much as I love that phone for various reasons, it was nice to not have a phone ringing at random. It was nice to be in easy contact with people, unreachable except by internet (or in person or mail). When I was in high school, I would sometimes get a little tired of my friends and instant communication, so I’d skip a day of school or go off the grid for one day out of the weekend. I’d turn my cellphone off, sign out of all instant messengers when I was online, and just be at home, usually in my room. When I was ready, I’d sign back in, turn the phone back on, and act like nothing happened.

Strangely, I haven’t had that urge to disconnect since high school, but doing it in college at least once a week or so probably would’ve benefitted my greatly. Also, the only person I have never felt a desire to temporarily distance myself from is Paul, though I do think distance is beneficial in small doses to every single human relationship.

So I was forced to disconnect. When I was at work, I couldn’t play on my phone in the bathroom like usual or on my break. I started reading at lunch and soared through Neverending Story much faster than I would have otherwise.

The immediate thought of a lot of people when I was without a phone was, “What if something happens and you need your phone.” Nothing happened and I didn’t need it. While it was a good emergency crutch–especially since I haven’t gotten a landline–I think this gut reaction and kind of paranoia speaks to the ways we’ve come to rely on technology. We didn’t always have cellphones to bail us out. When I was little, we went on long vacations with either no phone at all or my mom’s big, box-like car phone. If one of my parents worked late and didn’t call, they worked late an didn’t call. People went where they wanted to go without having to check in, and if something happened, it happened.

So being without a cellphone tends to make people panic and worry for your safety, even though having a cellphone makes no difference it what happens to you. If my car was gonna break down, it was gonna break down. If a creeper was gonna try to abduct me, he was gonna try to abduct me. All a phone would do is help me faster. And if one of those things were to happen, I’d figure out a plan and deal with it.

It did make planning meeting Brandon, Kelly, and Paul for The Nutcracker a little difficult, though. And then it snowed, and Brandon and Kelly were both working until 5. I worked late, took a bath, changed, got ready, looked up directions to the theater, and sent him a Facebook message, which I knew would go to his phone, and waited.

He said something like, “Fuck this, we’re not coming.”

I assumed this was my brother overreacting, as usual, to some snow flurries and a few bad drives, but I knew the areas closer to Pittsburgh weren’t getting any snow at all. In fact, all was clear at my apartment.

I had a choice. I could decide to stay home, too, since I had no phone and would’ve been going alone, and let all four tickets go to waste, or I could go sans phone and accompaniment and at least get my money’s worth out of my ticket. Besides, I was already dressed, weather wasn’t an issue for me, and I’d been waiting to see the Pittsburgh Ballet’s Nutcracker for years.

So, I went. I saw no point in doing otherwise–I would’ve just been cranky in my apartment that I missed the show for reasons I still feel were stupid. Brandon insisted I stay home, but I said, “No. I’m leaving.” And off I went.

Meanwhile, I worried my brother, mother, boyfriend, his mother and presumably entire family, and even Meri–she was originally having an Apocalypse Party and Paul was my only point of contact, so when she told him it was off, he told her I’d ventured into the city anyway. Alone. Without a cellphone. And in a great dress, if I’m honest.

I stopped for gas in Canonsburg, where I knew exactly where I was and how to navigate, then made my way into the city. I got there just fine, following the directions and signs for  the Cultural District, writing down street names and landmarks to make sure I could backtrack perfectly to leave (I’m really good at confusing myself leaving the city).

The only moment I had where I thought maybe I had made a terrible mistake and was going to die therefore proving everyone right was in the parking-garage elevator, completely alone, when it decided not to function properly at first. But after some coaxing, it did, and I walked to the theater. I did everything they tell you to do as a woman alone at night–look confident, head up and high, make eye contact, hold purse tight to body, be aware of your surroundings.

This may shock you, but I made it to the theater alive. I made it inside the theater alive. I even survived going to the bathroom, getting to my seat, and literally idling with nothing to do before the curtain rose and during intermission. I thought briefly about heading to the box office, explaining my situation, and asking to use a phone to at least be good and let someone know I’d arrived safely, but I decided not to. Years ago, or even now if I’d made a decision not to own a cellphone at all, they’d have to hope for the best and wait it out. I understand their concerns and why everyone thinks I was being a bit irresponsible, but they can’t live their lives hanging on my whereabouts and I can’t live mine in fear of what might happen if I can’t rely on the cellphone.

I e-mailed my angry mother when I got home. I poured myself an adult beverage, hung out, then went to bed.

And you know what? It was one of the most enjoyable nights of 2012. I saw a fantastic ballet–truly well-done, although flawed, but still beautiful and not worth missing because of hypotheticals.

I answered questions of “What were you thinking!?” in the following days with, “YOLO.”

And for me, it really is that simple. I say I had two choices–one was fear, the other was fun. Anything can go wrong at any time, cellphone or not, and maybe that phone won’t be of any help anyway. We’ve let technology rule our lives to the point that an adult–albeit young and small–was told not to go do something because of what could happen.

That’s just no way to live.