One of my favorite things I learned in my college consumer behavior class is that when times are tough economically, people will spend money on “the good old days.” Movie ticket sales for remasters of old movies go up when the economy is down. Ask people on social media about their childhood and you always get answers. People love nostalgia.
My group of friends at home tends to spend a lot of time doing not much. We sit in Starbucks, in Applebees, in our cars, in parking lots, doing nothing but talking. Which is a lot of fun. But we need more excitement sometimes. Our town is notoriously boring, so we need to take our fun into our own hands, hopefully without spending money.
Today before I got picked up by these friends, I put the following items in my purse:
At first, my friend Spencer saw the coloring books in my purse (we were both in the back seat when I got picked up). He looked at me with confusion and I just shushed him with a smile, to say, it’s our little secret. Then I handed him the Magic 8 Ball (which we had been talking about earlier in the day with the group). He got pretty excited. Kieran looked back from the passenger side and saw the crayons on the seat. “Are those crayons???” I handed him a coloring book. I also handed him the Etch-a-Sketch. We sat in the car for a while, passing around all these items once Melaney had parked, while also taking turns playing M.A.S.H. You remember that game from second grade, right? That metal brain teaser puzzle all made everyone wonderfully frustrated, an added bonus.
At one point, Spencer looked up from his coloring book and said to me, “This was a really good idea!” I am really happy I fed my butterflies and followed through my ridiculous plan of bringing random childhood objects. I think I got the inspiration from earlier today when I made them all go with me into a toy shop we discovered in Tarrytown. It was nice to get validation that introducing an activity that spurs different kinds of conversation actually works. And even nicer that they didn’t think I was weird, but went with it. I have awesome friends.
I just made a joint Trello board with my best friend to keep collecting ideas for our group to do together. One of her ideas today was to make a list of bars in the area and we have to check each of them off the list over time. (We tend to go to the same places over and over because of lack of decisiveness in our group.) I want to also give us all a chance to take turns having ideas for group activities so we all feel empowered to add to the fun.
I know, I have a weird approach to friendship. I don’t like being bored.
Today was also a good reminder of the Maya Angelou quote:
What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.
I tried something. It could have failed terribly. But either way, it is better than complaining one more time about how boring my town is. I am sure some of my future ideas won’t catch on. But hopefully, my friends will all start to think about ways to take control of our time together to make it even more meaningful. Not that just sitting and talking isn’t a viable option as well, because sometimes that’s all you need.
(Side thought, I am really loving this blogging daily thing. I think after this year, this blog will continue on as a personal blog.)
Get excited, tomorrow is Monday! As much as I don’t want to get up early, a whole new week always sounds wonderful.