Just, Yes

Tarrytown, New York, with Dad on Friday

Something has been in the air these past few days, and I’ve been having one beautiful little experience after the other. So I thought I’d tell you about them.

It started on my flight to New York, where I currently am for my high school reunion (more on that in a mo’). The woman in front of me was traveling with her kids, and one of them – the baby – started fussing, and immediately the woman next to her said, “Oh, let me hold him,” and then just…helped her. The whole way to JFK. I passed stray toys that I found at the bottom of my backpack to the older one through the crack in the seat, and the flight attendant brought extra snacks and helped fill bottles, and there we were: A miniature village of women at 36,000 feet.

It turns out we are everywhere.

On that same flight, the woman next to me was watching The Meg (a personal favorite; I do love me a good shark movie), and at one point something shark-involving and apparently terrifying happened in the movie, and she shrieked at the top of her lungs…and then realized she’d screamed out loud on a plane, and she and I and the guy on the other side of me practically fell on top of each other laughing.

After that, I made an excellent life choice and decided to watch Beautiful Boy (child struggles with addiction) followed by The Fault In Our Stars (child has cancer), so by the end of the flight I was sitting in my middle seat absolutely in a puddle. Which only made the three of us fall over each other laughing again.

I only knew these people for five hours, and didn’t exchange a single word with them, but we had a hell of a good time.

The rest of the weekend felt like more of the same, like I was…I don’t know. Like I was connected to the world and the people in it in a way that escapes me far too often these days. My father asks me to go on a ride, and first I say I can’t, and then I realize I can and so I say yes, and we take his motorcycle up to my old town. An elderly man at a cafe stops me to ask me if he can take a photo of my insane 2 Chainz jacket “because no one will believe me otherwise,” and then we’re all chatting and the next table is laughing and we all wave goodbye like old friends.

I’m in a restaurant with my parents for my birthday dinner, and the 24-year-old waiter looks like Dave Franco and I tell him so, and we start swapping horrifying waiter stories (mine involves multiple spilled drinks on the same human being, but he won with a spilling-hot-soup-on-a-toddler story, oh my god), and he ends up joining our little party for the entire time we’re there.

I go to my high school reunion practically fainting from nerves – you know: no date to hide in a corner with and talk to when I remember that I’m still that same weird, socially anxious, vaguely goth chick that I was when I was fifteen. I talk to person after person, and leave hours later struck with the impression that I should have been talking to them all along, even way back when. They are smart, and funny, and interesting. I realize I miss them.

This morning, my mother asks me to go to her hip-hop class with her. I reflexively say no, I can’t, I’m too busy.

Then I remember that there are some things you shouldn’t ever be too busy for, and dancing with your mom is one of them. So I go, and we dance, and the girl next to me and I are cracking up over how much we’re sweating. And I remember that what happens when you say yes – to people, to experiences, to even the tiniest, most insignificant-seeming moments – tends to be that the world says it right back to you.

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