Simple pleasures

(Liya Rechtman)– Think about the happiest day of your life. Think hard. Give yourself a second.

Was it your prom night? Your 16th birthday? Your first kiss?

Okay, maybe this is just me, but the happiest days of my life have been the simplest. Granted, my 16th birthday went basically unnoticed on a 14-hour plane ride. On graduation night of my senior year (my high school was too cool to have a prom) I fell down a flight of concrete steps. For weeks afterwards my friends joked that the only thing I had to show for high school was a disgusting black bruise on the back of my thigh.

On the happiest days of my life: Most recently, I walked around Prospect Park and then got dinner with my best friend. No, really, that’s it. It was summer, and the park was beautiful, we saw swans in the lake, and dinner was delicious. Or there was a day at summer camp visiting day when my best friend and I went to Ben and Jerrys and also got moose T-shirts.

Because that’s really what its about. Pure joy of simple things is ACTUALLY what makes the world go round. I hope you know what I mean: a drink that’s well made (for once), muchies when you have good food around, the perfect end of the night kiss with your significant other… that kind of thing.

I’ve been thinking about this because I had a great evening today. I went to Val by myself, vaguely annoyed because I couldn’t find my friends in the front room, and balancing my folder of readings with my tray was proving more difficult than expected. Luckily, (but really as per usual at a place this small, where everyone is too busy to actually arrange to meet up) I ran into a good friend of mine at the salad bar. I sat down with him and his friends, who I was close to freshman year but very rarely see anymore. Next thing I know, I’m killing some time driving around with them and listening to Taylor Swift

I realized, while in the back of the car, pondering the reasons that athlete boys identify so strongly with TayTay’s lyrics, that I hadn’t NOT done anything in quite a while. Last week was one of those weeks when I had a test or paper due everyday, culminating in Friday, when I left for Boston with the debate team. My new years resolution had been to basically chill out more, give myself some time. And until today, almost a week after the start of the New Year, I had been killing myself (not to mention my social life) with work.

Listening to Swift and driving aimlessly around Hadley was not my anticipated idea of a good time. We try so hard to “work hard – play hard” here that I think we forget about there being anything else.

I mean, when was the last time you actually had fun AT a T.A.P.? No, the fun part of those nights is then passing out on that person you have a mini-crush on from your dorm on a couch in the common room at then end. You don’t hook up with them, you just fall asleep sort of on top of them. In other words, the parts of your night where you’re not trying to get any sort of “work” (be it social or academic) accomplished. You just allow yourself to be, for a moment.

Complaining about Amherst is the local sport of this campus, but on days like today, I really don’t care about the architectural flaws, or the Val lines, or even how stuffy the English department is. I’m just happy to spend an hour with some friends.

*more on boys and Tay Tay soon

<3 ConstantLy