Real life isn’t so great after all

Kristine Gill

I watched the movie Me and You and Everyone We Know with my sister a few months ago. It was a weird movie, but we watched the whole thing, and I remember one quote that stuck out for me:

“I don’t want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it.”

I remember thinking, “My God, that’s exactly it. I want magical powers too. I can handle it!”

I live vicariously through television and movies. I think everyone does to some extent. Wishing some part of a scenario were real for us is what makes a TV show engaging.

I think I’ve taken it a little far though.

I remember reading the first Harry Potter book and being absolutely thrilled that I was still 11 years old and might therefore still receive a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even then, I was prepared to drop sixth grade and pursue a greater opportunity. Instead, I turned 12, no letter came, and I was forced to continue onto seventh grade, as much a Muggle as ever.

My mom, sister and I watch “Lost” on DVD in marathon style, which is probably the equivalent of binge drinking. So for about a week, I put various parts of my life on hold so I can watch island castaways, who just happen to be gorgeous and built, figure out why they crash-landed on that island and how they’re going to get off it. When we decide to call it a day and stop watching, I have to tend to my actual life, which now pales in comparison. After I watch Desmond predict the future and Charlie die a hero’s death and gawk while Kate and Sawyer have steamy jungle sex, about the most adventurous thing I can do to top that is make my bed or balance my checkbook. Wowie. Now isn’t that splendid.

I took the writer’s strike especially hard. Without the creative genius of the writers of “The Office,” I now spend Thursday nights watching and re-watching seasons one to three on DVD while I try to predict what the future holds for office lovebirds Pam and Jim. That show has made me want to work in a cubicle. I want to wear ugly button-up shirts and frumpy sweaters and man the front desk of a failing paper supply company so that a tall awkward boy can visit me at my workspace and woo me while he picks through the jar of jelly beans set out for visitors.

I want to run from the cops. I want to play pranks on co-workers and perform at a sold-out concert. I want to jump from a burning building, battle a monster and save the world from an epidemic. I want to run in the Olympics, punch someone in the hallway, win the lottery, perform brain surgery and save a dog from raging floodwaters. I want to set a world record, break my back and live, say something profound on my deathbed, rob a casino and find true love in some unexpected place.

I want to do something fantastic and dangerous and passionate. But unless Godzilla decides to make a stop in Kent, Ohio, sometime soon and the city calls on me for assistance, I won’t get to rise to that challenge.

“Oh, but Kristine! There are so many fantastic things people do everyday! We are all important and passionate people! We’re all heroes in some way!”

Whatever. You don’t get it. As far as typical lives go, mine is great. I love it, and I wouldn’t trade it. I’m just saying that if an old man with a twisted cane and a beard to the floor came and told me I had to destroy some ring, I’d gladly drop my Spanish textbook and set out on an adventure.

I do have some fantastic things in the works. At least I have some dreams and goals that I’ve chosen to pursue because they are slightly out of reach and will therefore occupy me for a long time. But if for some reason none of those things pan out, I’m banking on my children having special powers.

Kristine Gill is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].