I read The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau last week--and while it was a fun read, I found the romance arc wholly dissatisfying. I absolutely love first-kisses in novels, and now as an older writer I love to see how other people introduce them (and the one in this book failed to deliver). The first kiss from The Hunger Games is really situationally interesting as a moment of simultaneous tension (it could all just be an act) and release (maybe it's actually an expression of honesty). The first kiss from Ella Enchanted is one of the most satisfying kisses I've ever read, and if you've ever read Ella Enchanted you know what I'm talking about--the power struggle of Ella vs herself, the final breakthrough of being able to say "no"--resoundingly, wholeheartedly, delightedly--combined with actual feelings for someone who respects her spirit and strength and has gone to great lengths to find them. (But that's for another post.)
But one of my favorite kisses has to be this kiss from the old Disney Channel show "Phil of the Future." This probably dates me, but I don't care: this was one of my favorite Disney shows, with its kooky family with no shortage of bad dad jokes (which I love), the futuristic gadgets, the ridiculous situations, the collaborative solutions, the loyalty, the love. I remember this scene like the first time I saw it (ten years ago? Twelve?): the thrill of them finally connecting, the flit of hope, the disappointment of how fleeting the moment is.
So I don't know how many people remember this relationship, or care. And it's not an on-the-page kiss, it's an on-the-screen kiss, but something about it just feels so genuine and innocent that it allows me to put on my rose-colored glasses for just a moment longer.
So-called "Millennials"--the current young-adult generation, folks who typically range from 22-35 (or, at least, that's the time frame I consider)--are typically given a lot of flack for being the "obsessive" generation. We're the first generation to grow up with computers as a commonplace commodity, we take wireless internet speed for granted (anyone remember the horrible screeching noises of dial-up?--relatedly, there's a "Friends" episode where Chandler impresses everyone with his 12 MB of RAM), we complain that our iPhones aren't advanced enough despite the utilization of space-age technology. We're the spoiled generation. Our mothers and grandmothers are the true feminist generation, not us--they had to fight for workplace rights and voting rights and the right to not have their husbands present when they wanted to withdraw money from the bank.
And we? Western Millennial women? What do we have to fight for, with our internet and our video games and our ability to speak freely and have our own religion, to live in the golden American sun* with very few people calling us whores when we wear Daisy Dukes, with our one-bedroom apartments deliberately lacking screaming children if we want, and no one criticizing us for husbandless lives, our ability to climb the corporate ladder if we so choose? We didn't have to weed through all that legislation. There are no laws enforcing women to have domestic lives.*** We can read and write and vote and spend our money however we want.
And read we did. Many of us--perhaps even most of us--grew up on Harry Potter, one of the most influential book series of our generation. We grew up loving Hermione Granger, the exemplar of everything a girl should be: intellectual, courageous, ambitious, and kind. She's bullied, and perseveres from it (I remember being extremely satisfied watching Emma Watson sock Tom Felton in the nose [sorry, Tom], and later finding it on the internet and watching that clip on repeat [this was before the days of gifs]). And most of all, she knows everything. She's clever. Really, she's almost OPed.
Back when MySpace was still a thing, I remember seeing bulletins every day about various things you had to do in order to not die. I mean, between reposting a poorly-punctuated threat to avoid Samara from The Ring, a jumble of random asterisks to avoid Bloody Mary, and a story about children who thought they were fine but died to avoid La Llorona, not-dying was basically a full-time gig. There was one day (oh, high school) when I posted a very-angry bulletin calling for the ceasing of what I called Repost-or-Die (or ROD) bulletins, though I'm fairly sure no one read that because right after that there was a gruesome prom story on a bulletin that demanded I posted it to ten friends.
I actually forgot about ROD bulletins because thankfully my friends/associates are mature enough not to post suck poppycock, and usually people on YouTube are too busy advertising their $7,000,000/day work-from-home jobs to bother telling people about their impending doom or destiny. But a couple of days ago, I saw one on YouTube. There it was, the shiny promise of a kiss from the love of my life if I reposted the message on ten friends' channels and pressed F5.
Lol. Sux, bro. I'm married.
Kerri Strug's 1996 Olympic second vault. Probably the most badass vault in Olympic history (the only other one that comes close is Mikayla Maroney's in the 2012 Olympic trials). I get so excited talking about this vault because every time I watch it I feel like I was actually there, even though I certainly wasn't. I was about 6 years old at the point, and my favorite book was Teddy Slater's Junior Gymnasts: Katie's Big Move, and I knew virtually nothing about the Olympics except that I liked to watch the gymnastics and ice skating.
This was probably around the same time that I had this dream that still sticks with me today: I call it "The Last Pancake and the Icy Floor" (yes, I titled my dream--partially because I tried to turn it into a play and put it on with my friends at school and church, most of whom were reluctantly recruited by overexcited six-year-old aspiring-playwright me--but also because this is me and I title my dreams, apparently). I start off on a raised platform at the top of a dark warehouse-like room with animatronic porcelain clowns everywhere and nowhere to go but down. Somehow, I swung across and managed to get to the open door across the room, finally dropping to the ground in relief, shutting the door and the clowns behind me.
But then there was a new challenge, possibly even more significant than the last: a single pancake on a plate.
Yes, folks. A pancake.
PART OF THIS COMPLETE BREAKFAST
Blog not recommended for sober consumption.