I was on a date last week*, and my dining companion asked me, “Are you SAG?”
Totally normal question. We live in LA, we’re all actors, no big deal.
However, what I heard in error was this: “Are you sad?”
No big disconnect. Sad/SAG, very similar in sound, just that subtle difference in the final consonant.
Here’s the kicker: “Yes,” I replied without hesitation.
Yes, I am sad, thank you for asking. Luckily, I caught myself pretty quickly and said, “SAG? I’m sorry I thought you said sad. (insert nervous laughter here) No, no, I’m not in SAG.”
Are you sad? And if that’s what I heard, why didn’t I try to cover? I mean, I want this guy to like me, right? I thought maybe he was going to say something about how if I was sad this certain movie would make me happy, or maybe he thought I, as a sad person, would especially appreciate this certain book.
I am not sad. I am……in transition, perhaps. I am not sad. I went to Las Vegas and danced last weekend. Sad girls do not dance.
I think it has something to do with default settings. Somewhere along the line, I picked up the notion that sad is better. Sad is cooler. Sad sees the world in a way that other ‘happy’ people couldn’t possibly. When I was a kid, I was as dark as a girl in the marching band getting straight A’s could be. I reveled in the ‘My So-Called Life’/‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ brand of angst.
I carried this idea with me to college, gained 40 pounds, slept away 2 years, cried, and died my hair that awful eggplant color of girls lacking a real identity. I moved to New York and was shocked to find other girls crying in subway cars. I always thought I was the only one.
In hindsight, I think 90% of it was self-perpetuated. I wanted to be that girl. I wanted to feel something more. I wanted to be special. What else did I have? I wasn’t rich, I wasn’t particularly successful, I didn’t have a lot to show for myself. I had ‘sad.’ I couldn’t see my way around it.
At the end of my twenties, I shed all that. Several self-help books, a little heartbreak, and a cross-country move later, I consider myself a happy person. Now that I’m all grown up, I find that I am only truly sad when I go against the grain. When some part of me knows I’m doing something I shouldn’t. I don’t mean, ‘I’m sad when I say curse words’ or ‘when I eat ice cream’. I mean that I’m sad when I am in the wrong place. I’m sad when I know I’m not doing what’s right for me.
Am I SAG? No, I’m not. Am I sad? Nope, I’m not that either. See, now, wasn’t that easy?
* This blog in no way reflects the author’s opinion of the date itself. She went on to have a lovely time and hopes to have another date in the near future, should he decide to ask her out again. She promises not to exploit their every conversation on the internet.