Memorial Day is a little over a week away, which means everyone who has yet to feel the suffocating hands of Meltdown May is due for a thrashing, screaming nervous breakdown. It’s technically spring, but the weather in various parts of the country is either too hot or too cold and furthermore, there is a global pandemic that is causing celebrities and regular people alike to act as if they lack home training. Perhaps you’ve found yourself starting fights with the person you live with, or the coffeemaker, or the garbage can in the restroom. There’s something in the air (ha ha), and it’s the scent of a weird-ass summer that won’t feel quite right, and so with this understanding, discontent burbles just under the surface. Everyone is itching for a fight or a crying jag that lasts for one week, and while both would scratch a very specific itch, I propose an alternative: Please rifle around in your mental filing cabinet and dig out the tattered envelope that holds all of your petty drama.
Normally, I wouldn’t advocate for starting unnecessary drama because no one really needs that kind of energy and also, as a Libra, I do not like it when people are mad at me. However, my personal philosophy went careening out the window after watching the slow-motion car wreck that found Instagram chef Alison Roman inadvertently starting shit on Twitter with Chrissy Teigen. The fervor with which the small section of the internet I frequent glommed on to this kerfuffle filled me with delight—not quite schadenfreude, but more of a spectator’s appreciation for a finely-wrought melodrama unfurling in real time.
Everyone is looking for a fight right now, and an agitated restlessness infuses every interaction, fueled in part by the virus’s infernal presence, but also by general exhaustion from the realities of social distancing and the toll it takes on the mind. Chiding service pieces about social-distancing loopholes are no longer useful and do nothing more than cause irritation and further unrest. By this point, we all know what it is we shouldn’t do, and advice from a source that isn’t a medical professional or government official feels like schoolmarmish scolding and nothing else. In short, patience is in short supply, and if we do not find an outlet for this energy, it’s hard to say what will come next.
Everyone is bored. People are breaking quarantine to fuck strangers. Page Six is trawling the dregs of the internet for any gossip, incapable of dredging up anything juicy, and then forced to manufacture beef between two publications who used the same joke in a headline about Jimmy Fallon. June is but two weeks away, and summer’s heat will trap us all inside in an air-conditioned torpor soon enough: Now is absolutely the time to start some low-stakes shit with the fifth person on your list of nemeses.
It’s crucial that this drama be mid-grade and not majorly life-changing in any way. To have a distraction now from the general state of things would be a welcome relief, and so using that rubric, starting shit right now is nothing more than a public service. Wear your mask when you’re outside, wash your hands often, and kindly ask your neighbor if they can try to start their HIIT workouts sometime after 7 a.m. because it shakes the light fixture and also, it’s annoying. The great thing about this shit is that if we’re all lucky, we won’t really remember much of how we passed this time. The mind will erase the trauma of the past few months, so if you’re itching to crawl out of your flesh to do anything other than what you’ve done every single day for two months, stir the pot.