Today was one of those days in which nothing, zero things, went according to plan. It started off with a phone call at 5:15 this morning and then a Lyft ride to work forty-five minutes later and for the rest of the day everything continued on that same all-the-things-are-fucked trajectory until 3:30 when I decided to call it on account of emotions and leave. I met B at Ovok in the Castro for a California omelette and a glass of rosé around 4:30 and then we walked down the street to Giddy to buy candy from Mary before grabbing Sid from school. On our way home we took Sid to Barney's in Noe Valley for dinner and I ordered more food, this time truffle fries. I was still feeling a little bit pissed off at the world when we got home around seven and so I threw Dan in Real Life, my go-to feel-better flick, into the DVD player and sprawled out on the couch to watch it. The first time I saw the aforementioned film was in October of 2007, its opening weekend. I was living in Chicago and Linda, Molly and I took the train downtown to the AMC River East and all of us cried at the end and I loved it so much that the very next day I made my little brother Bryan go to the same theater with me so I could see it again. I bought the soundtrack that weekend and the DVD a few months later and I've pretty much had one or the other on a loop every autumn since. Also, there's a part at the end of the film, just before the credits roll, when the main character, a newspaper columnist, talks in voiceover about plans and I think his words are pretty damn applicable to my day today.
Dear readers, for most of you, this is my first column in your paper. In the future, I will be answering your questions, but today I want to break from my usual format and talk to you about the subject of plans. Not so much my plan for this column, but life plans, and how we all make them. And how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we're really honest with ourselves, our plans usually don't work out as we had hoped. So instead of asking our young people "What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?" maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised.
Sondre Lerche, a Norwegian singer-songwriter, created most of the music in the film and the song below, "To Be Surprised," was based on the final line of the voiceover that I mentioned above.