Have I mentioned that I have a dumb phone?
Because I do. It has the IQ of a peanut. A peanut that has already been eaten, digested, and reunited with its deceased friends in peanut heaven. IT’S REALLY DUMB.
However, I do have to give my dunce of a phone a little credit because it has recently figured out how to connect to Twitter. As in, I signed up to get texted anytime someone so much as sneezes my direction on Twitter, and once in a while my phone will actually relay the message (usually in bursts of five texts at a time).
Yesterday, I heard my phone buzzing buzzing buzzing, and assumed that my mom was texting in response to a bunch of questions I had asked about rashes. Working on homework, I ignored my phone’s seizing, figuring it would stop on its own, run out of battery, or, if I was lucky, be carried off by a giant bird of prey, never to be seen again.
After I finished up my article, I nonchalantly picked up my phone and … What in the name of Angela Landsbury?!!?!?!?! Russell Crowe had tweeted about our video! My phone kept vomiting texts — retweets, favorites, mentions — like it was suffering from some elderly phone stomach flu. I rushed to my computer to double check. Maybe “Russell Crowe” was a prankster in Iowa who spent his days on Twitter, crushing dreams of any pink-haired nugget who likes to sing Anything Goes in the shower.
But lo and behold. ‘Twas the true Russell. He had seen my face and my mustache, and I was changed.
Or at least, I thought I should be.
I wandered around my apartment, wondering if I should clean in case he stopped by. I shifted my unfinished homework into a nice pile. I abandoned my original game plan of spending time outside, where it was a perfect seventy-five degrees. I drank six cups of coffee. Everything started to shimmer a little around the edges.
I hummed Les Mis and shaved my legs. I organized my shoes. I put on my best gown and practiced my “Thank you for being here today” wave in the mirror. I put lipstick on. Everywhere. I couldn’t have Russell Crowe show up at my house without my eyebrows looking rosy. Once I ran out of lipstick (around my elbows), I used eyeliner.
I started warming up my voice. What if Russell wanted to do a duet? What if Russell wanted to film a musical movie RIGHT NOW? What if I opened my mouth and the only thing that came out was flat tunes in a German accent, or worse, the Cheerios I had for breakfast?
So many Cheerios! Jumping off a bridge into Cheerios! Drowning in Cheerios!
I woke up with a start, my head on the keyboard, cold coffee in hand. I looked around. I wasn’t covered in lipstick or barf, there were no celebrities in my house, and it was dark outside.
My stomach rumbled: feed me, ho.
I shook off my weird caffeine dream and walked down the street to the grocery store, thinking that even if Mr. Crowe wasn’t going to whisk me away, I could at least make a respectable dinner for myself.
Ten pounds of pre-made enchiladas, organic peanut butter, and purple olives later, I staggered to the self-checkout, dreading what kind of clams my shop was going to cost. Self-checkout feels like self-mutilation sometimes: every time I swipe an item, I’m like, “Do I really need an eighth can of refried beans?” But it’s always too late. I own them and there’s no turning back.
“Excuse me, can you help me with this?” A girl my age stood at the self-checkout next to me looking flustered. “I can never get these machines to work.” She kept swiping a bag of lettuce over and over again, but the machine remained silent.
I looked at the screen.
“You have to press the Start button,” I said.
She laughed, and we continued lighthearted small talk. It’s cold, it’s California, blah dee bloo.
“It sucks that you guys are out of eggs,” she said.
“Huh?” I had eggs in my refrigerator at home. And how did she know about the rest of “us” anyway? Which one of you voices in my head spilled the beans?
“You guys had, like no eggs,” she said again.
It dawned on me. Russell Crowe’s face flashed before my eyes.
“I don’t work here,” I said.
“Oh,” she said, “that really sucks.”
I packed up the rest of my food and walked the twenty minutes home. The air was pleasant and my phone was silent. I didn’t feel the internet whirring around my head, but I thought about the two people I had potentially reached: Russell Crowe, who was hopefully sitting in a mansion somewhere playing my YouTube video on repeat, and a girl in the store, who would hopefully forgive me for wearing employee colors without noticing.
By the time I got to my apartment, I remembered that it’s good to keep moving on. I cooked a mini-celebration dinner (heated up a burrito), but then I made myself go back to my homework. I could stare at Russell’s tweet all day long, but then when will I have time to write my manifesto on Squidward’s Feminism?
I need to mention, though, that I am over-the-moon grateful for all of the support (whether you are in major motion pictures or in your living room). Seeing all the amazing comments and sharing on Facebook and Twitter is incredible motivation. I am touched, and EXCITED to hear that people laughed at our video because that is the whole point.
Just remember, Russell Crowe can tweet about your work all day, but that doesn’t mean that outside the internet you won’t be mistaken for a checkout girl. So keep on your toes! And keep moving on.