For the first time since I've been back in Charleston after Thanksgiving break, I actually have some free time, so I thought I would contemplate the past weekend. There's nothing like a nice glass of wine and fancy Alouette cheese spread (I splurged) to make me contemplative. So in no particular order, here is what I learned over the holiday break:
1) Some things never change. I went to UVA on Saturday to visit one of my best-friends and see the UVA/Tech football game. It was the first of these games I had ever been to, though of course being a native Virginian I had heard plenty about the rivalry. I knew that things could get pretty heated, fights could break out, etc, but I somewhat naively thought things might be different this year considering what happened last spring at Virginia Tech. And I was, of course, completely wrong. There were boo's a plenty, jeering, name calling, the works. Even at half time when the poor VT marching band played, the UVA kids let 'em have it. And honestly I don't even know how I feel about it. It's true that in a lot of ways it was comforting, that on that day these weren't victims or survivors but just college kids, intensely involved in a decades old rivalry. And I don't think anyone wanted for the rivalry to go away. But at the same time, it creates a difficult question. How do you move on without forgetting? How do you find normal again when normal has been shattered? I'm not even sure if there is an answer to either of those questions. All I know is that I was both happy to see the full fledged animosity between the two teams and uncomfortable all at the same time. And I must admit, even though I was cheering for UVA the whole time, that it was nice to see all the Tech kids there go crazy at the end of the game when their team won. They deserve to have something to be proud of, something to cheer about, after everything that has happened this year.
2. Football is really, really not my sport. I had a wonderful time at UVA, and since CofC does not have a football team, it's always nice to experience that whole crazed, college sporting atmosphere. But seriously? I stood up for more than four hours! I could never give my heart to a sport requiring so physical a commitment just to watch it. In tennis you sit politely until a truly spectacular shot, and that's when you leap to your feet and go crazy. It's much more fitting my personality and physical laziness. Also tennis is not about the jeering and the boos. I don't know what it is, but I get so uncomfortable when anyone is booed. It doesn't matter who they are, I immediately start feeling sorry for them. Maybe because I picture myself getting booed and I want to cry, because well, who wouldn't? In everyday life, booing is not except able. You're not going to be walking down the street or shopping for groceries and suddenly be faced with a line of booing strangers. But my point is, I do not have the spirit for football.
3. Even fake snow makes me absurdly happy. I went to one of the Richmond outdoor malls when I was home, and although I had heard about their tradition of making it fake snow in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I had never actually been there for it. One of my best friends and I were just running in to grab a few things when all of the sudden I noticed a crowd of people gathered, with Christmas decorations and lights everywhere and carols coming from the speakers. And then looking up into the dark sky, there it was, snow, tons of it, pouring out of fans from the ceiling, coating the air. I'm not ashamed to admit that if I had been by myself I may have started twirling (snow for some reason always makes me want to twirl). But so as not to embarrass my friend, I restrained myself. But still, it was absolutely lovely. Charleston doesn't really provide me much snow, and the last time I got a genuine, ground coating snow fall was in high school. This may not have been that, but it still made me as giddy as a five year old. I don't know what it is, but snow is perhaps the quickest, surest way to my heart, even apparently if it is fake. I obviously don't discriminate when it comes to precipitation.
4. I actually like Jane Austen. Up until now it has been one of my deep, shameful secrets that I sort of hated Jane Austen. I had only read Emma, but that alone was enough to make me never want to read any of her work again. It was so dull and tedious and boring. But I felt awful about this. I loved the movies so I couldn't understand why I didn't love the books. Plus Jane Austen just seems so necessary to any girl who wants to be a writer. What was wrong with me if I would pick Hemingway over her any day? But on the way back from Charleston I started Pride and Prejudice for one of my classes, and within a few pages, I actually, kind of, liked it. And within a few more pages I started to really like it. Now half way through, I can genuinely say that it might end up being one of my favorite novels. I don't know why, but even though Pride and Prejudice was one of my favorite movies I always assumed that the film version fleshed out the Elizabeth Bennett character and made her a lot more cool than she could have been in early 19th century print. But I was so wrong. Elizabeth Bennett is such a strong and amazing character in the book, especially considering when Austen wrote. She's quick and smart and decisive, and I sort of have a literary girl crush on her, as well as Jane Austen.
So those are the life lessons I have accumulated over the past few days. Clearly I've been very busy. Also this is an aside, but as I was in Harris Teeter this evening I realized that no other grocery item makes me feel quite so adult as deli lunch meat. Maybe it's because I saw my mother order it every time I went to the supermarket with her, or because it took me a while to be brave enough to order it myself, but for whatever reason I felt very old tonight when I placed my order for a 1/2 pound of Oven Roasted Turkey Breast.
So now I'm off to walk Summer, my roomate's dog (my fake dog) and then forcing myself to cook a healthy chicken dinner even though I'm exhausted and would much rather order something unhealthy for delivery :)