I knew who I wanted to go to homecoming with, but never picked my guts off the floor to ask her. Consequently, my Friday night plan (or lack thereof) was staying home and browsing the pictures friends posted of the dance, convincing myself I didn’t want to be there anyway.
That is, until my friend Brandon asked what was happening.
As soon as we realized we were mutually dateless and in search of a good time, his purple Tacoma was outside my door and we took off.
But we did bring an old gorilla suit I always kept in the trunk of my Ford Fusion.
Within an hour we found ourselves walking the campus of Ringling College, a super artsy school not far away. The kind of place where students with full tattoo sleeves wear v-necks to their belly buttons and eat food straight out of their rooftop gardens. With no plans and full intentions of making a memory that night, I suited up and we meandered our way towards a noisy courtyard.
Turns out, the school was doing a late night showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
(Sidenote: 16-year old me had never heard of Rocky Horror and was mortified as he watched a gathering of well-intentioned young adults scream back at a musical horror comedy film.)
As we paused on the edge of the courtyard wondering what to do next, the grand master plan became as clear as our lack of romantic relationships.
Nobody could have predicted what unraveled over the next 3 minutes of our lives. Fortunately, Brandon caught the whole spectacle on video:
(You’ll want to turn the brightness up as high as it’ll go.)
Screw homecoming, we were heroes!
And though I doubt many students reminisce of the day the gorilla sparked a dance party in courtyard anymore, it was an incredibly fun time for Brandon and I which never would have happened if the suit wasn’t with us in the first place.
If you’re like me, life can feel very normal a lot of the time.
Go to school, get work done, go to the meeting, scroll the Instagram feed for the umpteenth time, etc. etc.
And some of that is necessary. Obviously school is important, work is important, providing for your family and becoming employable are great things to do.
Where I often fail is complaining about the normalcy of day-to-day life without leaving the door open for something spectacular to happen in between the lines. Instead of setting myself up for unexpected moments, I focus my energy solely towards the predictable to-do list.
And when the to-do list runs dry, I consider my day done. No more effort required, let’s sit back and watch the next 3 seasons of Lost on Netflix.
Instead, I’m learning to leave the door open for unexpected thrills.
I’m trying to create some margin in my day. Space where, if the stars are aligned just right, something awesome might just go down.
We didn’t know what was going to happen that night, but keeping the suit in the trunk made it all possible. Without it, we’d be just a couple of date-less teenagers driving aimlessly on a Friday night.
Set yourself up for success when it comes to the unexpected.
There’s no telling what happens when you keep a gorilla suit in your trunk.