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I’m kind of in love

13 May 2008

Now don’t get any ideas, dear reader.  It is springtime in Springtown, and what with all the green grass and bunnies hopping and clear nights fit for strolling, a single girl’s in extreme danger of getting a little antsy.  But the love I’m talking about has nothing to do with a boy, and everything to do with just hanging out with me, and some totally amazing excellent discoveries.

 

1)  Park Central Library

I had some time to kill between meetings downtown last week, so I decided to kill it in the new downtown library. And I’m totally in love.  I can’t wait for the semester to end so I can spend some quality time with my computer and my Italy guidebooks and feel 10x cooler than I am while doing it.  (It’s that kind of place.)

I’m reminded, of course, of my first love:  Christian County Library in Ozark.  When I was pre-kindergarten-ish, mom would take me to story time in the kids section. 

This is where I memorized Old Hat New Hat before I was old enough to read. 

This is where I had my first experience at laughing out loud at a book, some book of poetry about vegetables…I don’t even remember the title, but I remember how excited I was to discover I could take it home.

This is the first place I put together “books” and “magical”, and somehow between the huge paper mache dinosaur, and the friendly little old ladies, and the story-themed costume parties, it stuck.

I’m still kind of in love with libraries.  I love holding a book from the Drury library that hasn’t been stamped checked out in eight years. 
Twenty years.

It’s just been waiting, all this time, for me. 

 

2)  RadioLab

I think I might just have a new favorite podcast.  It’s funny, smart, interesting, tells a good story, teaches good facts.  (Shoot. If it gave good hugs and looked good in shorts I’d ask it to marry me.)

RadioLab from WNYC is the perfect blend of nerdiness and “woah cool!” facts and humor and human connection.  Seriously. Stop reading and go to iTunes and download one.  I started with “Stress” and moved next to “Laughter”.

(A highlight:  female baboons prefer “Alan Alda” to “Schwarzenegger” males. “When it comes to evolution, nice guys do not finish last.”  Oh this makes no sense, you say?  Trust me.)

Of course I’m reminded of my first love:  This American Life.  It all started when I would listen to these while I did dishes in my apartment last year.  I’d heard good things and caught bits of episodes here and there, but it wasn’t until I stopped to really appreciate it by myself, for myself, that I discovered I was kind of in love with it.  Watching Ira Glass live a couple of weeks ago only made the heart grow fonder.  Hearing him say that at least 50% of his creative process is just trying to come up with good ideas, and that it took him a long time to get good at what he does.  It gives me hope. And it all has a lot to do with #3.

 

3) Stories

This one is not as easy to articulate, but I’ll try.  I’m fascinated by people’s stories, how stories are how we define ourselves, how life and relationships gain deeper meaning through them.

I often (and this is where it gets weird, stick with me) get caught up in the stories of strangers.  It’s why I love a good true story on TV, am drawn to nonfiction writing, and often find myself inspired after trips to Wal-Mart… 

There’s a middle-aged, fatherly man running the speedy checkout one Sunday night.  As I walk up he looks lonely, tired.  I strike up conversation, nothing terribly meaningful, just that my one item is possibly my smallest purchase ever.  And as I walk away I smile and so does he.

What’s weird is part of me really wants to know why he is lonely and tired.  Part of my heart wants to help him.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately that stories are a way to help. 

People who are lonely, depressed, overwhelmed, often just need to feel heard and understood.

Nonprofit organizations need money, there are plenty of people in this town with money to give, but the link has to be more than a vague “cause”, no matter how important the cause may be.  The cause has to be about people, the story of the real man who battles mental illness and can’t hold down a job, the real kid whose life is forever changed by seeing Peter Pan on stage for the first time.

Real connections that remind us we’re all in this together.
Hm. I could think about this for two hours. So I’ll stop now.

So let’s not kid ourselves here, all this talk about being in love is bound to make a girl think about being in love, especially with the amount of Michael Buble and Cole Porter I’ve been taking in lately.

I’m trying my hardest to live what I believe to be true:  that what matters is that I’m in love with life, that I’m enjoying things exactly as they are right now, and if I can handle that, then eventually I’m going to bump into the guy who is kind of in love with the same things I am.

Or I won’t.  And that’s the thing, right? I’m supposed to be okay either way…I think I can do that, but sometimes I worry I’ve seen too many Meg Ryan movies, and I won’t be okay until Billy Crystal runs to me on New Year’s Eve and makes me cry through affectionately recalling inside jokes.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. elliott permalink
    20 May 2008 9:31 am

    that meg ryan can sure eat a sandwich…

    your lucky you get missouri spring. we started spring here in feb. lasted till april. now its summer. 100 degrees a few times a week. torture. and we didn’t even get a winter.

  2. Alloicious Jamberpandy permalink
    26 May 2008 12:24 pm

    Meg Ryan movies and Cole Porter?

    You’re hopeless, girl. Hopeless.

    =^)

  3. Alloicious Jamberpandy permalink
    26 May 2008 12:27 pm

    let me just add that by me calling you “girl”, I was not being sexist. just want that on the record.

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