I’ve mentioned in the past that before I realized that a person could just randomly write stuff for the internet to read, I was big on mass emailing my every thought to everyone on my email list. This included my manifestos. That’s right. Every summer, I would write a summer manifesto detailing what exactly I wanted to accomplish that summer. And I did it without wearing a potato sack or complaining about capitalism.
I was re-reading one of them and decided it was too ridiculous brilliant to not share. So here (in part) is my Summer 2004 Manifesto. I’m still in awe that my friends still open emails from me after the years I flooded their inboxes with stuff like this.
Title: The Summer 2004 Manifesto
“And in the end it is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
MANTRA: ” All good things are wild and free“- Henry David Thoreau. So, I realize goddesses such as ourselves cannot, and should not be classified as ‘things’, but the idea behind sweet Henry’s message is clear. The best in life is untamed- like us after the third case of beer has been consumed. Great, now we sound like savages. Moving on…
“There is no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out” – Mae West. Okay, so it’s not like we are bad girls, or at least bad girls Mae West style, but I thought that this was a fun quote for the summer. I do not condone stealing, listening to Fleetwood Mac while wearing gauzy clothing, eating low fat oreos, hitting elderly people (unless they are asking for it) or throwing out recyclable materials, but other than that I am open to new ideas.
QUOTE:” I don’t judge others. I say if you feel good with what you’re doing, let your freak flag fly.” -Sarah Jessica Parker In an era of deep thoughts, big changes, text book finals and 3 hour conversations centered on boys who usually never deserve it- (also often termed “train wreck bastards”) I thought this quote by SJP should be the staple of our summer. Something that doesn’t dictate our actions but gives us a guideline on how to further our actions to make us most happy. Brilliant. It doesn’t have the move star appeal of Mae West, or the insight of Thoreau, but it hits the spot doesn’t it? It’s what we have always been about regardless of whether we’ve ever really realized it.
OBJECTIVES: Here are some of the objectives that I feel the summer of 2004 should try to ascertain.
1. To treat each day as an opportunity to showcase all the pretty shoes we can possibly buy with our meager salaries.
2. To define a new ‘that girl’, working towards being the ‘that girl’ that everyone looks at not because she is wearing the lowest jeans, the shortest skirt or the highest heels- but because she is laughing the loudest and wearing the biggest smile. It sounds cliche but I would much rather be the girl that is having the most fun rather than being the girl who is wearing the nicest clothes or showing off the most impressive rack (but let’s face it, my rack is impressive). If we do always dress above the average of everyone else, that is a bonus ( a huge bonus that I like to think of as often as Hugh Grant shirtless) but this summer if people start staring our way, it should be because we are so much freaking fun. Besides, everyones clothes look the same when they are puking in the alley.
3. To ride in a hot air balloon drinking lemonade. Or watch others ride in a hot air balloon while we drink lemonade and scowl at all those who own their own hot air balloons. Or just drink lemonade and think about hot air balloons. Or just drink lemonade.
4. “Man being reasonable must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication; Glory, the grape, love, gold- in these are sunk- The hopes of all men and of every nation“- Lord Byron. So it’s not like I think we should be wasted every day (that was a clear objective in the manifesto of 2002) but I do think that we should do it up (or “get lit” as webster.com says) at least a few times in classic “us” style (classic us style for the record, involves flip flops, easy rock music and drinking beer/tequila while the sun shines from above). I mean, if Lord Byron, an amazing poet and a man died fighting in a war for freedom feels that it’s the RESPONSIBILITY of good people to have a swig of the ale, WHO ARE WE TO DISAGREE? I also think an object for the summer is to refer to all alcohol only as “the grape” (preferably while we lounge around our Paris flat talking about socialism and Matisse).
5. To realize that “to err is human, but it feels divine“- Mae West. We are only young once ladies. It’s the time in our life where we get to be selfish, to make the mistakes we know are wrong but often feel so damn good. We are only youthful, brilliant, vibrant girls once and it’s our privilege.. no it’s our duty to treat this time right and not take it for granted. This means no laying about complaining that we have nothing to do, no sitting inside watching Will and Grace re-runs on a Friday night because we can’t think of anywhere else to apply our energies every second we do that is a second we lose this summer. I am not for scheduling out our entire summer with power point itineraries- I just feel that we need to make a conscious effort to realize that we only get this summer once……
Annnnnd scene. Seriously though, it goes on and on and on… I detail planned activities I food I wanted to try, people I wanted to meet, places I wanted to visit. It’s really a feat that I was able to continue to find a quote to go with every. single. I. ever. had. Ever.
The truth is, we did about a third of what I said I wanted to do. But when I look back on the photos of my 27 years of life, it’s the photos of these summers, the ones built up by manifestos with the heavy emphasis on fun and carefree indulgences that show me at my happiest. Maybe they weren’t so ridiculous after all.