Dear Someone: Will Reuniting Feel So Good?

Walker_Lukens_082814

Walker Lukens is a musician living and working in Austin, Texas. His latest album is called Devoted. His advice column Dear Someone runs semimonthly on Pop Press International. You can send in your own inquiries by emailing Walker here or by using the submission form at the bottom of this post. He’ll give you advice if you ask. 

 

Dear Someone,

I am in my late twenties and fall is coming, which can only mean one thing: Class Reunions. I wasn’t exactly the most popular kid in my high school and I have hardly kept in touch with anyone from my class. I haven’t done anything super noteworthy since high school like cure cancer or fly to the moon, but I have a good job and am pretty happy with my life at the moment. So do I go and #humblebrag about my slightly-better-than-average-life (and listen to everyone else do the same), or stay at home and sulk all weekend because I chose to be anti-social.

Thanks,

Romy Michelle

"So, you're saying I don't have to leave the couch...?"

“So, you’re saying I don’t have to leave the couch…?”

—–

Dear Romy,

Fall means many things.

a)   Fall means temperatures are dropping everywhere but not so low that you need your winter coat.

b)   Fall means no more sweating your ass off because you walked outside to get the mail!

c)   Fall means the re-arrival of earth tones to your wardrobe!!!!

d)   Fall means that football is back and you can easily get in and out of your grocery store during your NFL team’s Sunday game.

e)   Fall also means not getting wings on Saturdays, Sundays, Monday or Thursday nights OR only getting wings at those times.

f)     Fall means your favorite bands are probably going on tour, as this is the best season to hit the road. Like, say, me! All over the east coast and south!

g)   Fall means pretending to enjoy the World Series to appease your grandfather, dad, boyfriend, male friends, co-workers and / or anomalous females who’ve abandoned me at the anti-sports club and blurred all the lines on my gender map of the world.

h)   While you’re used to getting all the veggies you love more or less year-round, fall means many in-season vegetables are cheaper and sourced closer to your home than usual.

i)     Fall means many of your favorite TV shows are starting new seasons at the end of September!

j)     Fall gives more context to the Pedro The Lion song, “Indian Summer.”

k)   Fall means eating like you’re a bear about to hibernate and then waking up the next day only to remember that you’re not a bear; you’re a human and your stomach can only handle so much abuse and that not all humans have the luxury of deciding how much to eat and that you should take it easier next year and stop eating like a frat boy drinks light beer. Thanksgiving!

l)     Fall means you’re back in school! Or, now that the kiddos are back in school, your restaurant, bar or music club is finally back in the black.

m)Fall means celebrating our continent’s discovery by Christopher Columbus or acknowledging the horrendous centuries-long genocide of Native Americans.

n)   Fall is the perfect excuse to check out The Fall—an awesome post-punk band that’s inspired many of the 90s bands that so many acts are ripping off these days. I recommend starting with This Nation’s Saving Grace.I suppose then it’s also an excuse to read the Albert Camus story of the same name. If you’re too lazy to do any of this, I highly recommend listening to the Jens Lekman song, Maple Leaves. Not only is this song catchy. It’s punny. It samples a song by The Avalanches, which samples a song by The Mamas and The Papas. It references Mark E. Smith, the leader of The Fall (band, not the novel) and it’s subject is fairly existential (novel not the band).

o)   If you’re Jewish, fall usually brings the New Year and a chance to start fresh.

p)   If you’re Christian, fuck! It’s already Christmas season! Time to start hanging those Christmas lights!

q)   Fall also means new music from me! Maybe a new video if you’re well behaved.

Here’s what fall doesn’t mean, Romy.

r)    Fall does not mean you have to get sentimental about a high school experience you didn’t cherish the first time.

s)   Fall does not mean you’re anti-social because you’ve chosen not to participate in some cookie-cutter, pre-Facebook version of remembrance and aging. No doubt by attending you will get an image of yourself that only comes from seeing people again after a long time. No doubt you will reevaluate some of the beliefs you held about your past. However, the impulse to reconnect with long lost people and places might simply mean your present is not so good.

t)     Fall does not mean there is anything wrong with you because you have not maintained relationships with people from the most awkward period in your life. Nor does fall mean that you need these long lost people’s validation to know you’re awesome. I mean, you wrote into Dear Someone, which means you’re great at Google, you’ve got a cool friend who showed it to you, or you like and support independent artists. All good signs, Romy.

u)   Lastly and more importantly, the fall does not mean that you need to have already accomplished great things in your life. Have too many people told you that you are special and can do anything you want and should change the world? Holy shit! What pressure! You are not special and you cannot assuredly do anything besides try to be good to the people and places around you.

This weekend, you should instead take pride in the home you rent or own; in the couch you’ve bought or inherited; in the weekend you’ve earned; in the job where you spend most of your time that affords you this life. These are modest achievements in comparison to curing cancer or flying to the moon, but these are the little things that add up and make a good life.

Sincerely,

Walker





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