By Julia Furmenak
Okay universe — I surrender. It’s unsafe to go to the grocery store, I have to learn Spanish via Zoom and my little sister has taken to waking me up at 5 a.m. So, naturally, I woke up to a slew of texts from various family members: “Boston University might not open until January!”
Thanks for lifting my spirits, Nana. Of course, there are people facing much larger trials than I am in this moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the way things were.
This morning, I woke up and changed out of my sleeping pajamas into my daytime pajamas. Somehow this already felt like too much, nevermind the thought of opening a textbook. So I turned to the distant (and artificially constructed) world of Donald Draper just to take a breather.
Suddenly, it’s 9 p.m. I haven’t done any homework today, and there’s an empty pint of ice cream on my lap.
The harsh reality that I, and frankly, most of the world, am facing right now is not a pleasant one. My college experience, which already seemed to be flying by too quickly, has become even shorter. The prospect of living at home for an unknown stretch of time is daunting.
Before quarantine, my life had already felt “on hold” (being in undergrad never constituted living as a “real adult” to me), but now it seems that everything really has come to a halt. Rather than trying to push things forward, I am stepping away for now.
Today, I pretended it was 1969. From the comfort of my living room, I consorted with my glamorous friends of Fifth Avenue. I watched them fall in love, get divorced and find new jobs. I saw their kids grow up. All of this in exquisite, periodized costumes. In this alternate universe, struggles seemed simple and distant, something that historians have already worked out. A dramaticized past was certainly easier to swallow than this uncertain present.
I have no real message for you here, just a simple confession and perhaps a granting of permission. If I can sit on my couch until my butt feels sore while watching handsome faces pretend they live in the post-war era, you can feel free to do whatever you need.
I encounter a lot of messages about remembering to be grateful or to be present in this time of trial. But that’s not me right now. I don’t want to be in this present. So instead, I’ll let my eyes rot out watching Netflix and avoiding my responsibilities. Feel free to join me.