Don’t get too excited – my story has nothing to do with tequila or cross-country road trips. In fact, my story is generally alcohol-free and tightly situated in southern New Hampshire. These are my choices. And choices, are important. Sunday night, I got to thinking about “my story” and how few notable stories there are in it. I like to think of myself as a collector of other people’s stories. Or the stories of things. I was driving home with Bear Sunday night after delivering a slightly intoxicated friend to her house (ahhh, Superbowl Sunday) and found myself thinking about these stories… other people’s as well as my own.
Bear started it. He climbs into the car and tells me, “She did a lovely job reminding me of this one time she had to drive me home because I was completely drunk on tequila.”
Don’t get me wrong. Bear is not an alcoholic. Actually, he followed up that statement reminding me of something I already know: that he doesn’t particularly care for alcohol anyway. But, he informed me, “I think I drank a quarter of the bottle of tequila that night.”
“You must have been having fun,” I suggested. I try not to be a snob about these things – plenty of people drink and don’t do stupid things, and it’s not nice to base their actions on my choice.
“Not really,” he mused, driving my car. “Actually, I don’t even think that it was very good tequila.”
“Well, at least you have a story!” I reminded him. I was, despite a lousy day, in a good mood that night. Bear does that to me.
After that, we got to talking about how everyone needs to have stories in their life, and how if drinking a not-very-tasty quarter bottle of tequila is his best one (it isn’t) and if the fact that my sad little car drove halfway across the country with it’s previous owners is mine (it isn’t) then we really need to do something with our lives! Both of us are introverted, and given the choice to go out and do something fun with people that costs money, or sit at home on the couch snuggling and watching movies… we’re both likely to skip the experience and re-watch Short Circuit. I know a lot of writers who are inclined to do the same thing, though, and maybe that isn’t such a good thing.
Just because we retain our imaginations, just because we feel pushed to have a deadline, doesn’t mean that we should sacrifice having fun once and a while. I defend myself by saying, “But I do pizza night every Friday!” which is true, but still not very impressive. I’m twenty-two, and just about every person I know has been out of the country. I have a passport… but I’ve never left. Maybe it’s time to do a little living, so I have my own stories to tell.
Therefore, last night, information was gathered about a not-yet-booked week’s trip to Hawaii. It’s not out of the country, but it is a long way from home. And it’s a goal to work towards.
What stories do you have to tell about your life? Do you have any big stories in the making? What makes a memory into a “good story”?