The other day, my friend was running late to meet me for dinner. “When are you going to be here?” I texted him. “Soon,” he replied. He showed up 20 minutes later. Meanwhile, yesterday, I asked my mother what time people would start showing up for Thanksgiving dinner. “Soon,” she said. Someone showed up three minutes later.
And so, it is with some interest that I present Ariana Grande’s latest Instagram post, featuring the famed Mean Girls burn book with “thank u, next” emblazoned on its cover. This is an apparent reference to the upcoming music video for her incredible titular single, one she’s been teasing with movie references for the last few days. Grande captioned the photo, “coming soon,” but soon is an amorphous concept, and I need a specific timeline.
The dine-in movie theater in my neighborhood has been “coming soon” for the last two years. My landlord has been planning to fix the plumbing in my bathroom “soon” since I moved into the apartment in 2016. The next Song of Ice and Fire installment will be finished “soon” sometime in the next three decades. Climate change will kill us “soon,”—maybe in my lifetime, maybe in 2500, maybe tomorrow. Soon is not an estimate, soon is a placeholder, and I do not have time for soon, Ariana, I need your break-up anthem dance NOW.
Discuss amongst yourselves.