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Originality: The story of Susie

| Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be original. It’s the advice Susie got from her parents, college counselors and the Disney Channel. This advice stressed Susie out, for Susie realized she was about as original as a Disney Channel Original Movie. If you have yet to see High School Musical 1, 2 or 3, that is to say Susie was not very original.

Susie thought she had an original Halloween costume, but it turned out that 23.7 percent of the Notre Dame student body also owned a furry animal onesie and decided to wear it on October the 31st. She thought she had original likes and dislikes until Facebook told her that 24,587 other people also liked guacamole facials. Susie thought she was the only one to cheer against the ND football team until she met every Michigan fan. If you’re not getting the point yet, Susie both tried and failed to be original.

Susie would not give up. Whenever there was a lull in the conversation, Susie tried to make an original insight, such as 1) Hey, what if what I see as blue is what you see as red? 2) Hey, what if our dreams are reality, and reality is a dream? and 3) Hey, can you really bite your finger off as easily as a carrot?

Susie offered these profound thoughts and waited for her new acquaintances to gawk at her awesome brainpower. Instead, they shrugged or nodded, mentioning they had heard that before.

Those shrugs, nods and mentions slit Susie’s soul, shedding type-B blood (This is a sneaky way of implying that even her blood was unoriginal. Oooh metaphor, it’s so deep and cheesy and wonderful, like a huge bowl of nachos).

Susie picked herself up and brushed herself off from these disappointments and decided she needed to come up with some truly original material if anyone was ever going to find her interesting. Then she realized that lots of people pick themselves up and brush themselves off, so she picked herself down and brushed herself on. Then she got to werkk (her original spelling of work).

Susie made a list of original things that only she had thought of, but got stuck after “parents are not potatoes.” She was pretty sure she was the only one who confused her father with Mr. Potato Head as a child. When she was babysitting, though, she learned that an unfortunate number of children spend more time with Mr. Potato Head than with their fathers who werkk overtime and likewise confuse their starchy parent with a starchy vegetable.

Now Susie gave up on her list. She decided instead to observe those around her, find the thing that no one is doing, and do that thing. Then, and only then, would she be original.

Susie saw lots of people walking and talking, so she decided to do neither in the future. She saw babies crawling and making gaga sounds, so she wouldn’t do that either, no matter how tempting it was. She saw a frog hopping, but didn’t see any people hopping, so she penciled in hopping as an option (She wasn’t sure yet if it was original and didn’t want to jump to any conclusions).

Susie saw an old man napping in the park, so she decided to no longer nap. She saw some babies sleeping in their cradles, so she would no longer sleep. She spotted some children playing leapfrog and crossed hopping off of her list.

Susie was somewhat limited on her transportation options, as she chose to no longer walk, crawl or hop. Inspired by some birds, she decided she could try flying. She didn’t have wings and couldn’t drink Redbull (not original), so she boogied (instead of walking) to the airport. Waiting for her flight, she got tired and almost fell asleep, but could not let herself do so, as she remembered the old man napping in the park.

She kept herself awake until her flight arrived and boogied on board. The flight attendant stopped her and told her she was allowed only one carry-on and had two bags under her eyes. Susie wanted to slap the aforementioned flight attendant, but had seen other people slap people in movies when they were offended. She had never seen anyone do the Macarena when they were insulted, and she was already warmed up from boogieing, so she did the Macarena until the flight attendant gave up and let her on board.

That is when Susie realized how much fun it could be to do what other people didn’t do. Other people didn’t like getting weird looks, so Susie loved it. Other people didn’t like having their sanity questioned, so Susie loved it. Other people didn’t like getting arrested for causing disturbances, so Susie loved it.

Doing downward dog in her prison cell (she couldn’t sit because the other prisoners were sitting), Susie took a good look at the other inmates and decided none of them looked happy. So, of course, Susie had to become the happiest inmate who ever existed. Finally, she was original, and finally, she was truly happy. She just had to forget that she was wearing the same orange uniform as everyone else.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Erin Thomassen

I am a freshman double majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and French. PLS (aka the Notre Dame Book Club) is the history of ideas through literature, philosophy, math and science. It was the perfect major for me, because I couldn't possibly choose one subject and hurt the other subjects' feelings. French was also a natural pick, since I have been prancing around my house under the pretense of performing ballet for eighteen years. If someone asks me what I do in my free time, I will tell them that I run and read. What I actually do is eat cartons of strawberries and knit lumpy scarves. If you give me fresh fruit, we will be friends. If we become friends, I will knit you a scarf for Christmas. It may be lumpy, but it will be in your favorite color. And if enough people become my friend, lumpy scarves might just become a trend.

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