Procrastination par excellence

Have fun putting off until tomorrow what you could have done today

By Alison Howard

Greetings, first-years! I was going to write you some real advice, but I decided to watch On the Line, the 2001 Lance Bass-star-vehicle film delightfully set in Chicago. Let me assure you, I had planned on writing this column for days before I actually got around to it. The problem I’ve always had with deadlines, which seems to have gotten way worse during my two years at UChicago, is that I always feel like there’s going to be enough time in the day to get everything done. But then tiny details such as sleep and friends and food always seem to eat away at the twenty-four hours in a day (or several days, in my case) available to complete a task.

In this case, instead of writing this article in the morning, I took the #55 to Midway Airport to help my friend with her luggage. I told myself I’d write on the bus, but I ended up jotting down some gibberish about the importance of getting out of Hyde Park and staring out the window instead.

Then my friend and I came right back to Hyde Park and spent two hours in a Subway (the restaurant) eating double chocolate cookies and watching a special episode of Maury called “Kiss me… I’m Your Sexy Secret Crush.” Then we got caught in rush hour traffic on the #6 bus on our way to Target (the #6 is the bus that goes downtown that you can catch on South Hyde Park Boulevard, younglings).

Then we came back to my apartment and talked about how good the ’90s were, in particular the synchronized dancing skills of TLC and *NSYNC. Talking about *NSYNC led to the aforementioned Lance Bass movie, and before you could say “bye, bye, bye,” we were on video four of nine of Lance Bass break dancing in Reebok sneakers designed for tween girls amidst such inspired dialogue as “I’m cool as the underside of the pillow” and “He had a heart attack right after the Cubbies lost.”

OK, so it’s trash. However, in our defense, On the Line is a compelling story. A spineless Lance Bass fails to get a squeaky-pitched Emmanuelle Chriqui’s name and phone number after they have a heart-to-heart on the Red Line about their shared love of Al Green. Instead, Lance tells Emmanuelle that he “enjoyed commuting with [her],” and they part ways, seemingly forever.

One of the great tragedies of this movie is that Lance Bass is oblivious to the existence of Craigslist (which Wikipedia tells me was founded in 1999). Without the aid of the missed connections page, he decides his only course of action is to post fliers all around the city of Chicago begging for Emmanuelle to call him.

What follows is a madcap romantic comedy with obligatory fratty roommates (including Joey Fatone!), a turtle-necked reporter bearing a grudge against Lance for stealing his prom date, and an insensitive boyfriend who refers to Emmanuelle’s impressive graduate degree in archaeology as a “fossil hobby.” I won’t ruin the ending for you, but Lance Bass and the turtle-necked reporter do not get together!

So maybe, had I resisted the siren song of the *NSYNC soundtrack interspersed with Joey Fatone’s attempts at singing alternative rock, I might have had some advice for you guys. Maybe I would have said something sensible about getting out of Hyde Park and not just to go to Target, or not letting Maury Povich play matchmaker for you, but that would have been completely useless (first of all, you’re not going to listen to me about how to spend your downtime, and if Maury Povich offers to have your sexy secret crush feed you strawberries, who am I to say you should decline?).

Anyhow, the point is, this is college. Here, even at such a school as UChicago, we have poor time management skills. It’s inevitable. Don’t fight it, enjoy it. Remember, it’s fun as long as you aren’t expecting quality acting from Lance Bass. Just like Eric, one of Lance’s fratty roommates says, “Love may not make the world go round, but it makes the ride worthwhile.” Except, by “love” I mean “procrastination,” and by “worthwhile” I mean “bearable,” and by “ride” both Eric and I are specifically talking about the CTA.

Alison Howard is a third-year in the college majoring in English.