By: Adrienne Crezo
Prom! Losing your virginity! Buying a house! Writing novels! Dating! Travel! All things that aren’t as great as they sound.
For this Sunday’s List, we asked Entropy staff and contributors to talk about something they’d really anticipated—that giddy kind of anticipation, built up in the pregame, expected to be great—only to be let down by the reality.
I feel most of the dates I’ve ever been on fall into this category. That’s not even a bad thing. I find the thrill of anticipation to be so delicious it’s easy to get drunk on it. Because really, the odds of a date truly being great are never in your favor, but who does not imagine grand romance when grabbing that first drink with a mildly attractive stranger? Really for me in matters of the heart—this is back when I was young and going on dates with many schlubs and ne’er-do-wells—the thrill of anticipation was the pleasure and the actual event was destined to be a let-down. I barely cared. There was always another glorious disappointment around the corner.
My MFA program. Enough said? Enough said. 🙂
Sara Finnerty Turgeon:
Losing my virginity. I waited a long time. A LONG TIME. I truly thought letting a penis in would just wreak havoc on myself and I wanted nothing to do with it. I thought I finally found the right guy. He was older, mature, had a good job, an apartment, it was easy to talk to him. I felt the thunderbolt! He told me he was an alcoholic and a mess, but HAHHAHA isn’t everyone?? Long story short, turned out I was the girl on the side. I had blinders on the size of walls. Should have lost my virginity to one of my internet boyfriends in the mid ’90s.
1) The three novels I wrote in my twenties that died quiet deaths later in a glad trash bag… and in my attempt at capturing the depth of what death meant at 25 to be met by my sweet mother being killed by neglect after decades of multiple sclerosis…to see death as it really is…not of novels and metaphors…but the finality of the grave…
2) prom…long distance relationship first love…she wrote little poems backwards on my skin under my shirt in 9th grade honors english……prom was to be together after 6 months apart…have her meet my friends…..we got lost..missed the limo…i borrowed my dad’s car which was much bigger than my 72 toyota corona that shot spider eggs out of the air vents and had a hole in the floorboards where my friends could step on the brake line…….so big it got stuck in the parking structure of the hotel…so big i needed a jack to lift up the rear wheels,…finding out that my brother had stocked the trunk with dozens of bottles of beer….we left early..got lost….took a prom pic after waiting in the bathroom with the other couples…..we almost got robbed…..drove all night in circles…broke up the next day
Buying a house. We were young and the bubble hadn’t yet burst, and there was a baby on the way. It was time. So we bought one, a little house in the city we’d both grown up in, expecting no fewer than fifty years of solid joy and upgrades and paint swatches and parties on the lawn. What we got was a 50-year-old tumbledown deathtrap in a city frequently ranked as one of the country’s least safe for women and children. The pipes, the electrical wiring, the appliances—even the floor—gave out within the first few years, and we spent the rest of a decade trying to keep up with the decay. We never made much of a significant improvement on the place because there wasn’t money left for that after simply maintaining a state of livability. We moved in February last year, and it’s still on the market, right alongside another 20 houses or so in the same neighborhood, all priced well below our mortgage balances and all destined to be handed over to Chases and Wells Fargo and flippers with high hopes. I’ll almost certainly never buy another house, and that’s fine by me.
Dennis James Sweeney:
I took a 55-hour bus ride across Sumatra. No bathroom. No seats, for a third or so of the ride. I sat on a stack of burlap bags.
I was traveling for traveling’s sake for the first time in my life and I’d gotten it into my head that to be a “real traveler” you had to undertake epic, ill-advised trips to get away from the tourists and see what life was really like in a country. I still think it makes sense to travel as locals do, but sometimes sticking to ideals isn’t worth it. I nearly felt redeemed on the last night of the trip before we pulled into Medan–we had made it, all of us, together–but then I woke up with my wallet lying on the floor empty, and came to know a part of myself that’s usually very deeply hidden. I made a scene as the rest of the passengers filed off the bus and when I didn’t get the money back, spent a few hours wandering the big, threatening city in search of an ATM. By the time I got to the little island where I was going, traveling authentically didn’t seem all that important anymore. They say it’s good to find your limits.