IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE [9/1/2015]

Dear Reader,

If we were having coffee, we’d probably be in King Cafe, because that’s where I always seem to be these days. Also, I’m a broke college student again, so I wouldn’t want to go Uptown to a real coffee shop and spend “real people money.”

So we’d sit down at a table in the back of the cafe and we might start by asking the obligatory questions. “How was your summer? Did you do anything fun? How much do you love being back in Oxford?” And I’d probably give you the same answers I’ve been giving everyone else. Summer was alright. I went to Hilton Head, which was kind of cool. And then I just nannied for the last little bit, which was nice because the boys were great and the money was prime. But yeah, I really missed being in Oxford. I’m glad I’m back.

And of course I would ask you about your summer as well, which was probably a lot better than mine.

Once we got past the small talk, we’d probably seamlessly transition into talking about school, but I wouldn’t mind that at all. I’d tell you, with probably too much enthusiasm, how excited I am for my classes this year. How I’m reading Shakespeare and studying rhetoric and learning about ways to promote literacy in my future classroom. And my teachers are awesome–the kind that I can learn not only material from, but actual teaching methods as well.

At this point, I’d ask you about your classes, and I promise that the enthusiasm I’d have for this conversation is genuine. Because every year at the same time I get really excited about learning. Really passionate. To the point where I’ll re-memorize the state capitals and try to teach myself Spanish. It’s why September is my favorite month of the year. It’s why every year seems to start so strong, and why every year I have a renewed sense of hope. I probably wouldn’t admit this to you, but I’d be thinking in the back of my mind how badly I hope that this year, the passion doesn’t fade. That this year will be different.

If we were having coffee, I’d have to tell you about my recent obsessions. Like my “Spotify & Chill” playlist, which is basically just a ton of songs that remind me of being in a coffee shop. And I’d obviously have to bring up Avatar: The Last Airbender, because I just finished the series yesterday. I wouldn’t mention my obsession for this show with just everyone, but you wouldn’t think that it’s weird. Or maybe you would, but you would at least tolerate me as I chatter on about how this show can make me laugh out loud, but also break my heart–and then repair it again. And then I’d probably have to tell you that I’m pretty sure I’ve decided I would want to be a waterbender, but airbending is still very much in the running. And you might be a bit concerned at how often I think about what I would do with certain airbending skills, but you would sit there and entertain the idea with me.

It’s at this point in the conversation that I realize how much more I have to tell you, but I’m going to hold onto it for another day. There are some things that I want to tell you–that I want to tell the world–but I’m going to wait. Maybe because I’m “not ready,” but I don’t think it’s that dramatic. I think that sometimes it’s just good to wait.

Still, I’ll have finished my iced caramel latte, and my mind will revert back from thinking about Avatar to thinking about the mile-long “to do” list waiting for me in my dorm–and I’m sure you’re incredible busy, too. So we’d say our goodbyes and recycle our cups, because good company and planet Earth are equally great.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE [5/29/2015]

Dear Reader,

If we were having coffee, you would be my best friend. Because you would know that all I need right now is a caramel frappuccino and maybe a muffin. And you would know to take me to a coffee shop no closer than 30 minutes from my house because I need to get out of this place. And you would absolutely know to steer me to the most comfortable, cushioned chairs by the window because we would be there for a while. Because I really need to vent.

If we were having coffee, I’d first tell you about when I went to Target today. How, on an impulse, I leaped from my bed and ran after my mother as she called “goodbye,” just to make her take me with her. And how I wasn’t going to buy anything, but then realized how much I actually do need (Target does that to you), and how I spent almost $100. But I’d tell you how my card kept declining, so my mother ended up paying–after I promised that I’d pay her back.

I’d tell you about how I got into the car and opened up my Huntington app, only to realize that I didn’t have close to $1,000 on it like I had thought. Instead, I was down to less than $70. I’d tell you how my heart sank as I slowly pieced together that these latest purchases were not made by me. I’d tell you how we drove to the nearest Huntington, my mind racing, thinking of this anonymous thief who just dropped $450 of my money at Urban Outfitters. I’d tell you how I sat, motionless, on the other side of the desk, as the Huntington manager calculated that this person had spent over $700 in the two days they had my information.

I’d assure you that everything’s okay now. That, somehow, I’ll be reimbursed for this money because I filled out the forms for fraud. And even though I don’t know how this person got my information or who they are or how to prevent this in the future, it’s okay.

Then I’d have to change the subject because I can’t talk about this anymore.

So we’d talk about you and your summer and how things have been going on your end. And if you’re anything like my other friends, you’d tell me all about your travels and you’d show me your instagram account, full of pictures of you moving from one exotic location to the next. You’d tell me about your adventures and I’d absent-mindedly sip my drink until the last drop, listening intently to all of your fascinating stories. I’d probably laugh and say that the craziest thing about my summer so far is the failure of a party that Sean and I threw. Then I’d shake my head because I don’t really want to talk about that either.

If we were having coffee, I’d stretch my legs out onto the coffee table (don’t mind that I haven’t shaved in a while), and talk about how excited I am for the future–because that’s really the only good thing I’ve got going for me right now. That’s really the only thing I love to talk about–because it can be anything, and it can be wonderful. And my life right now is just boring, and everything I do feels like a waste of time.

But I’d tell you about my dreams. And how I hope right now that I’ll save up enough money to buy myself a nice video camera for Christmas and document the year of 2016. Sarah’s graduation and my summer in Luxembourg and who knows where else that year will take me.

I would tell you all of this if we were having coffee, and I hope that once I was done blabbing on, you would make me get in the car and drive out to some place really cool that I’ve never been before, and force me to actually have one of these adventures that I always plan but never execute.

And then before we part ways, you would pick a date for the next time we can get coffee together. And you’d tell me I’d better have a better story than that lame one about the time when my parents caught us in the aftermath of a party.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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WEEK 13: IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE…

Dear Reader,

If we were having coffee, I would probably spend the first twenty minutes ranting about my computer. I’d tell you how it was working fine, and was almost fully charged, when the log-in screen froze. I’d explain that I shut it down and didn’t touch it for two hours, and when I turned it back on, there was a flashing folder icon with a question mark on it. I then took it to Shriver’s IT Tech place, and found out that there is a very good chance I could lose everything.

I’d tell you that I have pictures on there and pieces I’ve written that are irreplaceable. I’d explain that I’ve kept a journal on a word document since the sixth grade, and I’d admit how scared I am that it might now be gone.

Then I’d probably have to change the subject because it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

So I’d tell you about my spring break. How it was really relaxing and I got to see some really good friends of mine that I’ve really missed. I’d explain why my phone was dead for the majority of break, but I’d tell you how much I actually liked being disconnected for a while. How good it felt to have no responsibilities, and just be able to watch episodes of Chuck and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.

I’d ask you how your spring break went, of course, and if you went somewhere warm or exciting I’d tell you how jealous I am of you, and beg you to bring me along with you next time. I’d tell you how it snowed one day in Perrysburg.

I’d probably share some of my favorite things with you, if we were having coffee. I’d say, “You know who I’ve been obsessed with recently?” and you’d ask “who?” and I’d say “Hozier.” Then I’d talk about how amazing his full album is and how his Pandora is always on point.

I’d also lend you Jenny Lawson’s memoir, which I just finished today. I’d probably pull it out and read you the whole chapter titled, “And That’s Why You Should Pick Your Battles,” because it’s the best chapter in the whole book. I’d explain how I write down quotes from the books that I read to put in a jar and reflect upon, come 2016, and I’d tell you that there are probably 20 from this book going in there. I’d tell you how embarrassed I would get when I read it in public because it made me laugh out loud so much.

“Speaking of books!” I’d say. “Have you seen all these Youtubers coming out with books all of a sudden?!” We’d talk about how weird it is that 18-year-olds are writing memoirs and their life stories, but we’d both probably agree that we’d eventually read the ones by Carrie Hope Fletcher, Connor Franta, Shane Dawson, Tanya Burr, Dan & Phil, Mamrie, and Shay’s. Then we’d complain about how expensive books can be and how poor we are.

I’d tell you all of this if we were having coffee, but I’d probably have to cut our get-together short because I have two papers due tomorrow that I have yet to complete. You’d wish me luck on the long night I have ahead of me and I’d promise to text you sometime next week to schedule another date. We’d agree that we need to have more of these.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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