Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Thrill is Gone

Chicago's neighborhoods are known for their block parties. Police come and block off the streets with saw horses, everyone drags out their grills, coolers full of pop and beer, and folding tables that heap with barbecue and pot luck favorites. There are balloon tosses, dizzy lizzy games, the whole gamut.

Before our block parties (I lived in Chicago until I was eight) I would wake up early and sit on the curb, waiting, waiting... I would run in and ask my Mom when she thought it would start. I had the most amazing sense of anticipation and excitement. The sitting-on-the-curb was really only the last leg of a long week where every day I would think about how amazing this block party would be.

I don't really have that sense of anticipation and excitement anymore. I also don't have the same level of disappointment. When events are canceled, the stars do not align, or something just doesn't work out, I don't care like I used to. On one hand, the anticipation for those events was kind of annoying - almost paralyzing. I was so impatient and antsy I couldn't do anything else while I waited for that block party or that event. I also worried a lot more about events, sometimes to the point where I couldn't enjoy them. Several years ago my Mom took me to the Nutcracker. We had amazing seats, dressed to the nines. I had seen the Nutcracker before, but this time we made it extra special. I saw a thing in the program about how people who left their seats would not be allowed to return, so of course I got the nervous pees and had to leave and miss part of an act in the play. I hated CARING so much about things - I couldn't do anything else because of all the anticipation and worry, and even then I was a bundle of nerves. It was a freaking play, come on!

Now, though, I wonder if I could gain back just a little of that wonder I used to have from events I now think of as routine - an event or a party. I just don't have that childlike joy or anticipation anymore; I'm totally blase about everything, and it's sad.

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