Doing the Limbo

by Anne Helen Petersen

You’ve done it. You’re done with one chapter of your life, and the page to the next one is half flipped, totally wavering in the wind. It’s f-ing time. But there’s an awkward week, maybe more — a gap between leases, a moving truck that refuses to arrive. So you go to your friend’s house, or, more likely, you go to your parents’ house, where you languish or luxuriate, depending on circumstances and availability of alcohol.

In truth, I’ve been limbo-ing all summer, lazing about Seattle, half-working, half-yoga-ing, mostly just having friends over and admiring our outfits. But this, this is the real deal. I’m in Northern Idaho and my parents aren’t even here. Here I am, just limbo-ing the shit out of early August.

An Incomplete List of Limbo-ing Activities:

– Spending 95% of my waking hours on the screen porch, because you can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can’t take her out of her innate love for a porch where you can take a nap AND use your computer.

– Negroni Season, Party of One.

– Counting the number of rabbits visible from screen porch at any given moment and naming them (Velvetween, etc.).

– Picking cucumbers from the garden that look like aliens and/or massive shriveled baby heads.

– Reading novels (novels! I love you novels!) in one of those gravity lawn chairs that I am way too cheap to ever buy, or at least ever buy until I am over the age of 35.

– Alternating 30 pages of novel-reading with a dip in the “cool tub,” which is just a hot tub filled with non-hot water or, you know, an “Idaho pool.”

– Working really hard to not hang out with anyone I’ve ever known.

– Wearing the swimsuit uniform at all times, which has basically been my dream since I was six years old.

– Watching True Blood Season Five on the screen porch and turning it off in disgust because Really? REALLY? then going to bed. At 9:55 p.m.

– “Writing” a.k.a. “making comments on The Hairpin” a.k.a. Twitter-brawling over snacks.

– Plotting to check out my senior thesis from my college (where I’m returning post-limbo) because it’s currently sitting in the main reading room with all the other senior theses, and those 80 pages are embarrassing in a way I can’t quite explain.

– Fighting the crushing inertia of limboing to actually go into the driveway and bring in the recycling bins because “Annie, this is all we are asking of you, please just do this one thing.”

– Falling down a hole of Tracy Chapman-soundtracked nostalgia-lined c. 2001 despair.

– Getting nine hours of sleep and still thinking it might be a good idea to fit in “just a little nap.”

– Contemplating — seriously and at length — the similarities between Veronica Mars’ Dick Casablancas and Ryan Lochte.

Anne Helen Petersen punctuates her limbo-ing with celebrity gossip and classic scandals.