TAYLOR: #SB2013: There and back again

Tell It Slant

Ever since the blessed LKL served us up a petite amuse-bouche in the wake of Winter Storm Nemo, I’ve been starving for spring break. But for those of you whose ivory towers have no windows (or calendars), here’s a heads up: It starts next week.

Unfortunately, I’ll be in the Slavic Reading Room, writing my thesis and occasionally screaming “SPRING BREAAAAK!” to a group of unamused graduate(?) students (those people are ageless; I think they were born, bespectacled, at their desks). But I’m sure you’ll fare better over the holiday.

What’s that, you say? You have no plans? Fear not, O Gentle Unprepared! For I have been down this path before. Let me share with you my wisdom, the virtue of my years. Let me provide you with: Your Guide To The Best Spring Break Ever.

Begin by realizing that spring break starts in a week, and that you neglected to make plans. Suffer a pang of excitement and longing as the gritty snowscape melts before your eyes and you imagine, if you can remember what warmth is, warm breezes blanketing your sea-dampened skin as you dig your toes into sun-soaked sand grains of an island paradise. Remember, looking at the mirror, that you are pale, pasty and have not been to the gym in over a month. Discover, also, that tickets to the tropics are now prohibitively expensive. Cry yourself softly to sleep.

Consult with your friends regarding their spring break plans. You will then learn that they are all touring with their a cappella/improv/sketch comedy/glee club/humanitarian-themed singing sketchprov troupes for the entire two-week vacation. When you admit to yourself that you have no other option, call your parents and beg for last-minute plane tickets home. Describe, in your persuasive efforts, the ice-nugget core of loneliness you’ve been harboring for so long, which only homemade food and a mother’s love can cure. Realize that you were not exaggerating about your loneliness. Cry yourself softly to sleep.

Arrive, unnaturally early, in your small, sleepy, Midwestern hometown. Wonder how everyone wakes up before 9 a.m. Optimistically, plan to meet up with your high school friends. Send out a mass Facebook message to friends you haven’t spoken to in years, to which you receive mostly this one-line response: “I’m still at school, bro.” Fall asleep watching reruns of “Two and Half Men,” which is only marginally better than crying yourself softly to sleep.

Visit your old high school because you have nothing better to do. Notice how tiny, awkward and young all the students look; feel strangely distanced from your childhood. Enjoy the unwarranted pride your teachers have in you, and feel heartened that, to them, you are still “successful.” Have your wave of nostalgia disrupted when you meet two other friends from high school who have both turned “punk.” Hide your revulsion at how unappetizing their face piercings have rendered them. You will consider, but reject, the impulse to inform them that eyeliner on the lower lid is in almost all cases unbearably tacky. Sleep well, knowing that you remain the supreme arbiter of tastes.

Resign yourself to a Productive Spring Break, then spend the remainder of your dwindling vacation waking up midafternoon and watching television in your underwear (if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you watch all three seasons of “Arrested Development”; it’s on Netflix). Eat cereal for all your meals at extremely odd hours. When it dawns on you that you’ve developed an addiction for it, you will insist that your family go out for Asian food, and, when the food sucks, you will become totally disillusioned with your hometown. Cry your dissatisfied taste buds to sleep.

Panic when you receive a flight reminder in your inbox because you left all 500 pages of your reading for the last 36 hours of your break. Attempt to cram a book in on the plane; fall asleep instead. Ditto for your ride from the airport.

Smile as you see, in the distance, the spires and towers of Yale stretching into a predictably grey sky. Marvel at how joy washes over you every time you pull up to Old Campus after a week or two away, at how you always seem to forget exactly how beautiful this place is, at how you never realized it but you love New Haven. Forget your reading yet again. Seek out your friends. Go out tonight. Be glad: You’re finally home.

Michelle Taylor is a senior in Davenport College. Her column runs on Fridays. Contact her at michelle.a.taylor@yale.edu .

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