Day 36: Four — The lust-worthy character from Divergent played by Theo James. Coincidentally, the amount of days I have left for shopstinance.
This morning I wake to the following messages left for me on chat, and respond half-consciously from bed.
Joshua: I feel like a chapter in my life is coming to a close.
Joshua: I feel like the season finale is coming up.
Me: Oh lol
Joshua: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN BOTH CHRISTINA AND SHOPSTINA LEAVE?!?!
Me: Lol you’re hilarious.
Little do people realize that Joshua has anointed me with the title of “Shopstina Aguilera” for the past several weeks. The Christina that he mentions above is the lovely Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy who will be making her exit from the show this season, that we indubitably will be traumatized by. We speak in pop culture references with each other on a regular basis, since for the most part we watch the same tv shows.
I change the topic from tv and shopstinance, to being finally able to understand why our English teachers in high school made us read books like Catcher in the Rye or The Sun Also Rises. A younger self just wasn’t mature enough, but now I can finally ruminate about the themes in the book and how it maps so perfectly with my thoughts now.
In the car yet again I hear “DJ Snake & Lil Jon — Turn Down for What” which is a song I adore despite having no more than 12 words repeated endlessly to a sick beat. Every time it comes on I have an in car dance party, while yelling to myself
in car dance party — when a song comes on in the car that causes you to dance in your seat, shaking your booty, waving your arms around and bobbing your head.
Work is the normal plow through a million emails till lunch. Head out to eat with Ivan and Arvind, where midway to our cafe I break out into a mini lunge with hands in the air like a cheerleader “4 more days!” I pronounce with glee.
“Huh? For what?” They look at me awkwardly.
“Till I can shop again!” I may have done the pose again. They give me a brief blank stare, before humoring me and asking me what I’m going to buy. I’m still not sure yet, but I do know it’s got to be something EPIC.
We talk about work and video games at lunch, I get a small salad because I’m again going out to eat tonight and I don’t want to feel ridiculously full as I have been repeating every night this week. Ivan has at the table a mesmerizing seafood pasta. Mid-meal I cease hearing his words and really want to stab his pasta, but am able to force my self control into action.
After lunch Sam chats me about my status message, it still said “5 days left” from yesterday. He asks me what my first purchase will be, a common reoccurring question that I’ve been trying to avoid. My normal pithy chat answer occurs, “Iono.”
iono — ‘I don’t know’ like a child saying the phrase really fast.
He proceeds to rattle off some ideas about how the first purchase has to be symbolic and representative of the journey, and mentions it should be something like a shopping bag. I hiss at him through the webiverse, “No, I’m not going to buy a shopping bag. That’s lame.” But then I think about it more, and agree with him that it needs to be symbolic, I’m just not sure what.
Later on just before dinner have a brief convo with Laurie, where we both imagine that at the end of 40 days my first purchase should be — A BRAND NEW CAR!!! Fantasy sequence occurs where at the end of a talk show they pull aside the curtain to unveil a convertible. Laurie is in the audience cheering along with me as I retreat into the classic wide eyes, hands covering mouth surprised expression before the host leads me through the confetti falling from the sky to sit in my new car. Hrmmmmm. Maybe.
In a conversation with Emily, she brings back a topic that Joshua has been asking me for a while now. “What’s next?” I’ve be purposely avoiding this topic because as of this moment, I have no idea. In return, I ask her about what her next cosplay outfit will be, to try to determine what factors other people consider before deciding what their next adventure entails.
For dinner Yvo has planned a girls meet up at Shanghai Dumpling Shop. We hadn’t been able to coordinate a meet up since December with our busy schedules. This place is a comforting ritual in our group which Yvo founded years ago. No matter how bad or good the world is, in this one moment we have consistently delicious soup dumplings (XLBs) and friends to share everything with.
Between meetups the internets keep me well connected and it never really feels that long since I’ve talked with anyone because I can just reach out with openers like “OMG, did you ever watch the Power Rangers? This!” and “Holy shit! Lionsgate is rebooting Power Rangers into a movie! I might have liked the Power Rangers much in my childhood.
Nevertheless, XLBs are they key to long lasting friendship.