It’s what most people my age do. They hang out. They go to parties, diners and pizzerias, café and clubs; and they are always accompanied by friends. They chat and mingle. It’s their time to relax, be silly, or to simply not do much at all. They just hang out.
I don’t hang out much. To make this clearer to you, I admit that while writing this I asked my twelve year-old brother to give me examples of some things that a typical twenty-something year-old college student does with his or her friends while hanging out.
When I am not at work, or writing, I’m usually reading for a class, doing research for a history paper, or editing an article for my journalism class.
Friends? I have a few and recently have not been in close contact with most of them. I do not know many people at the new college that I attend so Friday and Saturday nights, for me, are homework nights just like any other day of the week. I don’t mind it. I like getting good grades and making my family and professors proud. But I have this much older and wiser person in my life who has told me that as a young adult, I have to do things that people my age are doing. Hang Out. Do things that are fun. Watching the news with my free time does not count.
I partly agree with her. But as I begin to think more about it, there are certain things–fun things–that I make time for. For example, later last year, I discovered Grey’s Anatomy. I had heard about the show as early as 2007, but I was in a phase which led me to believe that the world was evil and to sanctify myself from it, I had to detach myself from the world, completely. For me this meant no TV. No news, no Everybody Loves Raymond, no “bad books.”
This went on for about two years, and finally, I’m awake again. Sunday nights are my time to hang out. My friends are the casts of Grey’s Anatomy and we meet on abc.com, where I watch episodes of the show. We hang out. We laugh together like friends do, and sometimes, I even cry with them. I get upset when other people talk about my friends like when I read a review calling their latest episode, a musical–which I saw on Friday night–desperate. Give them a break, Mr. Reviewer Guy!
I’m happy when they are happy (like when I realized Callie was going to have a baby) and sad when they are sad (I broke down when Arizona and Callie were struck by a truck while driving on the highway and Callie was thrown through the windshield to the hood of the car because she was not wearing a seatbelt. I was pleading to the creators of the show to keep Callie’s baby alive, as if they could hear me).
Grey’s Anatomy does everything I can ask for in a show. It creates complex and likeable characters like Yang, it makes me laugh, keeps me in suspense, sometimes leaves me in a light mood, sometimes leaves me questioning the meaning of life. When I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy, all the business that encompasses my life takes a back seat. It is just me with my friends, hanging out.
The show ends. I say good-bye to my friends. Until later…when we hang out again.