An improv show, Dairy Queen, and a movie. So has been every weekend all semester for a group of college friends at BYUI. While eating her blizzard last Friday, one of these friends exclaimed:
"I'm so sick of this! Every weekend! Same people, same show, same food, same conversation same everything! We need to figure out something else to do."
College friends take a trip to a haunted Smokehouse. Try to freak eachother out, get bored and leave within fifteen minutes. They are home by curfew.
Same exclaiming girl calls same group of college friends the next day:
"Come to the lava hot springs tonight! It'll be something different and we're all going. No- don't worry about getting into your bathing suit, it'll be dark. We're not leaving until eight. Well, it takes about an hour and a half to get there. It's such a beautiful day, it'll be sure to be a beautiful night. Just come- it's the most relaxing place in the world."
College friends suqeeze into thier bathing suits and meet at an apartment. Exclaiming girl is stressed from planning a "field trip" for her college friends (who all just so happen to be involved in theatre (NOW you're getting the picture)). Some people backed out of going, others refused to break the habitual DQ run. One girl was about to drive and then decided not to. Exclaiming girl wipes her brow in an attempt to get her thoughts together.
She is prepared. She has maps printed for each car driving. She has rides organized, money for gas explained to everybody and even pictures of the lovely Lava Hot Springs printed off so her friends could see where they are going. It does, indeed, look relaxing.
Nine college friends pile into vehicles and take off. Five in one car (three boys and two girls) and four girls in the other. Exclaiming girl sits shot gun with the car full of her female friends. She's excited. They're all excited. And then lights start to flash in the sky.
"What is that? It looks like aliens" they all say jokingly. Of course it's lightning. But then the wind starts to blow a little harder. Wind tunnels pass by and debris starts coming out of no where. The driver's knuckles are white as she trys to keep control of her car. Exclaiming girl calls the other friends.
"Are you guys okay?! Do we want to keep going?!"
They were only a half hour outside thier college town. They keep going. They were going to do something different this weekend dangit! Lava Hot Springs or Bust!
The driver gets a hold of her car in the wind, but is still a little nervous. Then, as if a sign from God that theatre college friends are meant to only stay in Dairy Queen, it started to rain. Hard. Then it started to hail. Finally, the snow started falling. Big flakes came down and began whirling around the vehicle. The wind was still pushing at the car. Exclaiming girl kept calling the other car, and well... exclaiming:
"It's snowing! Are you guys okay?! Why are you going so fast?! Slow down!"
The driver was getting more and more nervous. The two girls in the back seat had been laughing until the snow came. Pretty soon, the driver was really scared and the girls said a prayer. This calmed things down for a while, but with that wind and the snow and not being able to see the lines on the road, fear took over again. A girl in the back seat started singing a hymn. She didn't have a good voice, and the other girl in the back seat joined in. All was quiet.
"My life is so ironic!" exclaimed exclaiming girl. She told how she felt like this was all her fault. All she wanted was to do something different. And in all her planning, she should have thought to check the weather.
The driver wanted to pull off the road. The other car had already found an exit. And all the college friends found eachother again on an indian reservation that had nothing but a gas station and a casino. Once inside, they all really did laugh. There they were, in flip-flops and bathing suits. A raging storm outside and out of all the places to end up- they were in a casino. Not one of them believed in gambling. Nine LDS kids were huddled together in an awkward group of "we don't belong here." Such was solitified when they started taking pictures. A very large Native American man explained that they couldn't do that. The college friends had to figure somewhere to go. Either ten miles back where the whole city was blacked out, or ten miles forward where there might still be electricity. Planning on getting a hotel room and calling it a night, they all pressed forward to a city that was still lit. One girl suggested that the most appropriate thing to do would be for all of them to find a Dairy Queen. No one thought that was very funny at the time.
While the college friends were eating at Applebee's, the storm ceased. The decision was finally made to go home. Each college friend secretly wanting to stay and see what the rest of the night would bring. Walking out to the car (still in flip flops) the college friends felt defeated. Lava Hot Springs or Bust. They had busted.
But then a something incredible happened. A snowball was thrown. A glorious little snowball of "it's okay, though" hit someone in the arm. And suddenly everyone was involved in a massive snowball fight- trying to make the best out of the situation. Each snowball being each persons personal statement of "we still had fun."
The college friends drove home in thier dry bathing suits and wet hair. Laughing as they looked at the situation:
They drove an hour and a half to eat at Applebee's before turning around and going home... in thier bathing suits.
Exclaiming girl was quiet on the way back. No one quite knew what she was thinking. Maybe she was still beating herself up. Maybe she had finally gotten so frustrated with everyone that she couldn't even speak. But I'd like to think that she was smiling to herself. Stressed and dissappointed- but at the same time grateful that she was with this particular group of friends. Half way home, some friends fell asleep. Others kept eachother awake with loud music and talking.
But however they got back to thier small college town- they were all home by curfew.
(To Liz: For laughing with me in the back seat)
(To Erika: For driving with such courage and faith)
(To Dalton: For insisting that we stay in Pocatello)
(To Kathleen: For feeling just as awkward as me in the casino)
(To Brant: For starting the snowball fight)
(To Jesse: For sharing your french fries at Applebee's)
(To Mallori: For staying calm during the storm)
(And finally, to Meredith: Thank you for planning such an awesome Saturday night, that we probably won't forget in the near future.)
(P.S. See you all at Dairy Queen next Friday)