Have Fun Anyway.

Three Zinnias (1921) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Last night I doomscrolled through approximately fifteen million tweets about how omicron cases are exploding in New York City. Then I doomscrolled through at least five tweets telling me to stop doomscrolling. But I ignored the anti-doomscrollers even though I knew they were offering me some healthy evergreen advice. I did not care! I knocked their good advice out of their hands and onto the floor like it was a generous platter of raw vegetables and vegan cheeses! I wanted to gorge on chili cheeseburgers until I felt sick instead!

Sometimes you just want to know how bad everything is. At first, maybe you’re just curious. Maybe it all feels faintly sad and not yet catastrophic. But then you don’t sleep well. And when you wake up, what do you do? THAT’S RIGHT, YOU SCROLL THROUGH SOME MORE DOOM. Before you know it, your curiosity has turned you into a veritable DOOM FIEND. You don’t think the doom is going to seep into your psyche, but it does, and soon, everything around you starts to look dark and hopeless in a way that you can’t scroll past.

So I’m offering up this Friday thread as a way for us to remind each other to step back from the darkness and TRY TO HAVE FUN ANYWAY. Please use this space to tell me and other Ask Polly readers about the weird little semi-reliable sources of fun in your life. Remember, no source of fun is too trivial or ridiculous!

I’ll start: This week, I cut back a tapioca plant with my new pole saw (don’t worry, this plant will grow back and be enormous again by June). IT WAS FUN. I was in a bad mood before that (because: everything) but shredding up those big vegetal stalks made me very happy. And yesterday, I collaborated with Rusty Foster on a new episode of TODAY IN POLLY, a dueling advice column that is very fun for me because I get to be lazy and make lots of dumb jokes. (That’s a spirit I try to bring to Ask Polly, too, but sometimes it’s nice to have a partner in crime to, you know, insult repeatedly.) Then last night, I cooked up some soba noodles with eggplant and mango from Ottolenghi’s Simple cookbook, which is my favorite cookbook of all time because everything in it is unexpected and strange and fun and so goddamn delicious.

Okay, now you go. COME ON, YOU CAN DO IT. Remember, finding some fun is a little bit like forcing your mouth into a smile position: At first you feel like The Joker, and then? You’re a tiny bit more cheerful in spite of yourself. Yes, it sounds absolutely terrible but… TRY IT, YOU’LL SEE.

Love and hugs and Happy Friday to everyone!