I have a ten-minute bus ride to and from work each day, and I like to spend that precious time in one of several ways: imagining myself as the star of a movie where most of the scenes involve riding on a bus, being alarmed by people’s haircuts, and finally, planning themed dates.
Ten minutes is a pretty short amount of time to plan the perfect theme date, especially when you consider that you also have to kind of make up the entire personality and appearance of the person you’re going on these fantastic imaginary dates with, because you don’t have a boyfriend. I mean, you might, I guess. Good for you. Whatever. No, I’m not bitter about it! I just don’t know why we have to talk about your boyfriend literally ALL the time.
Anyway. Next time you’re on the bus, or in your car, or on your bike (hippie!) and heading to/from work, give yourself a real challenge and plan some themed dates. Think of it as a much less threatening version of the movie Speed.
Here are some of the better ones I’ve come up with:
Fourth of July/America!
I’m at the park, sitting on a blanket and wearing a sundress. I’m alone, but not in a tragic way – it’s more that I have such a rich inner life that I don’t need any other actual people with me. I’m reading a book by flashlight, waiting for the fireworks to start, unaware that there is a group of boisterous young gentlemen messing around (drinking beer, eating candy) on the grass nearby. One of them watches me, smiling. I look up and we catch each other’s eye. Hatty (he’s wearing a baseball hat) walks over and stretches out his hand to mine, as if to say, sweetly, “Get up, please. I think we’re going to be getting up to some PG-13 activities later this evening.” Just as I place my hand into his, the fireworks start. Can you believe that? It’s almost like this date isn’t even real.
Hatty and I walk hand-in-hand up a nearby hill, and stop halfway up to watch the rest of the fireworks. He pulls a picnic out of his pocket like some sort of magician or something. We sit down to drink wine and eat apple pie (and it’s hot! Temperature-wise, I mean), which in my head go really well together. After the show – the fireworks’ finale depicting a breathtaking rendition of the signing of the Constitution – Hatty and I walk up the rest of the hill. We make out for like, four whole minutes. Then, we look at the stars. Just as Hatty lifts his arm to point out a really obscure constellation that only geniuses know about, a bald eagle flies up and lands gently on his outstretched arm. I’m a little scared at first, but the eagle looks at me serenely and, in the voice of James Earl Jones, says “God Bless America.”
I am a young detective who has risen quickly through the ranks of the FBI, despite the old boys’ club and the difficulties associated with running after bad guys in high heels all the time. I’m asked to join a specialized team investigating a strange case that appears to involve a serial killer that cuts off his (or her, I guess! But probably not, though, right?) victims’ feet. Weirdly, the severed feet are always found in a nearby river, wearing the most beautiful shoes the world has ever seen. Eventually, through my clever suggestion that we investigate local shoe stores for matching recent purchases, we close in on a main suspect: the owner of a small but elegant shop that sells unique handcrafted shoes.
The team brings the shop owner downtown to the station to be interrogated. When it is my turn to question him, I quickly discover that he is a) devilishly handsome and b) innocent. We make out a little bit. And then, with the shop owner’s assistance, the team sets up surveillance in his store to catch the true killer: a peg-legged pirate who acted out on the loss of his own feet (in a shark accident) by killing everyone he could find who still had theirs. As I watch the killer carted off to prison, the narrator (Morgan Freeman) is like, “The pirate was sentenced to life without parole. As for Special Agent Heaney? Well, she was sentenced to a life of happiness and absolutely stunning shoes.”
Indian in the Cupboard/Harry Potter
I know what you’re thinking: that sounds a little racist and a lot confusing. But hear me out.
For my twenty-fifth birthday my brothers give me a strange wooden cupboard. At first I’m all, “Ugh, you guys, I just wanted X-Files DVDs,” but I eventually grow fond of the gift. It is, however, securely and mysteriously locked. But then, after cleaning out the house of my dead great-great-grandmother, I find a tiny silver key hidden beneath a floorboard in the attic. As I examine it, I whisper to myself, “could it be?” Then, accompanied by a really dramatic musical score, I run home and into my room, inserting the key in the cupboard’s silver lock. With a comically loud click, the key fits and unlocks the cupboard. I somehow know that the next logical thing to do is to start putting things that I wish were alive into the box.
Naturally, I grab this little Harry Potter figure I kept from my 18th birthday cake (you know what? Just don’t.) from where he hangs on a string, mid-Quidditch match, on my floor lamp. I put him in the cupboard and lock him up. Then I laugh, because isn’t that sort of like how he would get locked in the cupboard under the stairs?? All of a sudden, the cupboard starts to shake. I unlock the door, and tiny Harry Potter comes flying out on his broom, chasing after a Snitch the size of a pencil eraser. I find a butterfly net (?) and capture tiny Harry in it. He’s stressed at first and yells at me in a tiny British voice. But I keep Harry in my pocket for the next few days and we really get to know one another. Still, I know that our love can never be, because he is 17 years old (yikes) and also three inches tall. But then I have a really good idea. I take Harry into my palm and explain that I have to lock him up again. As a single tear rolls down my cheek, I say, “I don’t know if this is going to work. If I open the box and you are just a toy again, know that I will always love you, non-creepily.” He nods solemnly, jumping off my hand and into the box. I lock it up. The cupboard is silent and I fear the worst.
All of a sudden, the cupboard bursts apart and, as if by magic, a six-foot-three, 27 year-old Harry Potter appears before my eyes. We hug. And then we make out. And then we fight Voldemort.
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