Q: What do I tell people when they ask what I did over winter break if I really just sat on my ass and watched ABC Family?
A: If you told the truth, I don’t think that anyone would be particularly shocked or disappointed, because I think the only abnormal thing about your description of your vacation is that you watched ABC Family rather than the endless marathon of “America’s Next Top Model” on VH1. In that regard, you are a major freak.
We all (as in you and me both) enjoy daytime television, much in the same way we enjoy eating so much whipped cream that it makes us puke all over the place. I know I live for the shiver that runs down my spine every time I hear Tyra’s mock-sympathetic voice murmuring, “I only have one photo in my hands…”
Occasionally, however, you will no doubt be confronted by that smug person who spent his or her break teaching blind children how to tango in the steppes of Mongolia, so you need an embellished version of the truth. For ease of memorization, I offer you a script. Just remember, your role is that of “Lazy, useless bum” (LUB).
(Set somewhere in the post office. LUB is trapped, squatting, trying to extract a month’s worth of Geico mailings from his/her P.O. box. Overactive, snobby friend (OSF) catches sight of LUB and starts waving, as LUB’s quads start burning from the most intense workout he/she has had since dropping a physics class so he/she wouldn’t have to walk up Science Hill. LUB tries to stick whole head in P.O. box, but fails.)
OSF: Hey! Did you get my postcard from Ulaanbaatar? I have to tell you about milking camels. It was whack.
LUB: Oh yes? That sounds delightful. I would love to swap anecdotes over a mixed drink or imported tea sometime, but at the present moment I must go shop a very exclusive and advanced seminar. Ciao!
OSF: I’ll walk with you. Where are we going?
LUB: Uh, Green Hall.
OSF: So start at the beginning. You went home to Witchita… And then what?
LUB: I actually drove the car my significant other built for me to a charming small town not far from here. I bonded with my mother, and we visited my somewhat-uptight-but-incredibly-loaded grandparents in their mansion, and there was a little bit of strife but mostly we just bantered with great wit.
OSF: That sounds great! So you were surrounded by family for the holidays? I’m so jealous.
LUB: Yes. Then I hung out with a lot of models, and fashion designers, and chefs and doers of dirty jobs. I mean, at a party.
OSF: Awesome. I mainly just stayed in my yurt, but it sounds like you really painted the town red.
LUB: You could say that.
What you narrowly avoided saying:
OSF: I touched a camel udder and now I have a rash on my hand.
LUB: Get away from me, rash-hand. I’m late for Painting Basics.
OSF: Ha ha I already fulfilled all of my requirements. In fact, I already graduated, but I’m never going to leave because I just can’t get enough of the vibe in the Publick Cup. So where is this class?
LUB: Uh, Green Hall.
OSF: You live in Kansas. What the hell do people do there besides make “The Wizard of Oz” jokes?
LUB: We watch the “Gilmore Girls.”
LUB: We also watch “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef” and “Dirty Jobs.”
OSF: Oh, I do love Tyra.
LUB: Don’t we all.
Summary: Until the writers stop striking, you have to watch reality television and follow my script, so start picketing.
Emma Allen is top American designer Michael Kors.