I was in London just a few days after they found out they won the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The bus was driving past one of the famous buildings, I can’t remember which, and there was a massive banner draped across the entire front of it, with a large “2012″ and the Olympic rings printed across the top. I was 17 and it was my first time out of the country, and I remember thinking how weird it was that I was actually in London, and how equally weird it was that I would be 24 years old in 2012. I pictured myself having my own impeccably decorated apartment in New York city, probably poor but with some great job that I absolutely loved, with a small little TV in my kitchen where I would sit drinking wine and watching the 2012 London Olympics wrapped in a blanket that I had knitted myself, all while my hair looked wavy and perfect.
I will probably be watching these Olympics in various bars across Chicago, as my TV does not have cable. I have a blanket that someone else knitted, and I think I lack enough shame that I could bring it to the bar and not care about anyone’s reaction. Wine is served at bars and I have a really good haircut right now, so I’ve got those parts covered.
I remember watching the Olympics when I was 10 and crying with my mom on the couch, because earlier that day we’d found out that our best friends (one of my best guy friends and his mom) were moving across the country. I think two years before that, I was crying on the couch during the Olympics because my kitten had just died — I can’t remember if that was actually during the Olympics or not, but for some reason I associate the games with that memory.
There was an Olympics when one of my best friends (and current roommate) and I were in a hotel room by ourselves in San Francisco while my mom and sister were at a volleyball tournament, and we were jumping on the beds and trying on everything we’d just bought from Forever 21, and just generally reveling in the fact that we were teenage girls and had a hotel room to ourselves, all while the Olympics were playing on mute in the background.
During the 2008 summer games I was sitting on the kitchen counter at a friend’s house in the middle of the night while he fixed a drunken meal for us — the games were playing on the TV in the other room, with the volume turned up so we could could hear them. During the 2010 winter games, I was huddled up on the couch with my cat on my lap and my textbooks open in front of me, as if I would actually get any studying done while I was watching.
I love the Olympics so much that I actually considered getting cable just for the period of time that they’re playing. I actually still might. I haven’t done the crying-on-the-couch-while-the-Olympics-are-on thing in a while, but my orange velvet couch seems to be setting up that scenario pretty nicely. Maybe we could try crying with happiness this time?