Human.

This post is just going to be a bunch of unrelated anecdotes from the last two weeks.

Please watch/listen to this. Haley got me into Jon Bellion and I found this one take acoustic today and have probably listened to it thirty times already.

I now have a favourite cocktail. My older brother is into/good at making high end cocktails and he has started making them for me when I visit him. Last time I was there he made me a new one. It is called Arsenic and Old Lace and I loved it. It is also a very pretty light purple and because it contains absinthe it kind of looks like someone cracked a metallic gel pen into it. I believe it is made out of gin, vermouth, absinthe, and creme de violette. Apparently it is the most expensive cocktail for him to make, which is too bad because now I want it every time.

I was working an overtime shift at the sawmill with an older guy I had never worked with before. He seemed nice. We were working at the sticks and the belt where we throw the broken sticks stopped moving. I said that I would go down and check it out. (note: when I was on sawmill cleanup, I used to have to clean this room and clear the belt when it jammed up, so I am experienced with the area and this specific belt). I went downstairs and tried to run the belt from the local panel. It wouldn’t run and the drum wouldn’t even spin. (note 2: if the belt is just slipping or something, the drum will spin even though the belt isn’t moving. If the drum isn’t spinning it means that there is a bigger, likely electrical, issue). I came back up and was relaying the issue to this guy. I said, “So it is completely dead, I couldn’t run it from the local” and he cut in and said, “Yeah, but did you push the button? You know, on the panel?” Then he went downstairs to check it out while I stayed upstairs and fumed that he assumed I didn’t know how the belt worked. He cleared some of the sticks jammed under the belt, then came back up and said, “So it is completely dead, I couldn’t make it run, even from the local.” And I said, “Yeah, but did you push the button?”

At the planer this week I walked into the lunchroom at one of my breaks. There was one other guy in there. He decided to start up a conversation with, “So, have you had any good peanut butter and jam sandwiches lately?” I said, “Umm, actually no. I’m super allergic to peanuts.” He said, “Yeah, I know. I talked to your dad and he told me.” It was a super weird interaction. This is the same guy who, when I was leaving to go to Australia the first time, cut into a conversation I was having with another guy and said “She doesn’t want to go to Australia, none of the boys will pay attention to her over there” and then walked away with no further comment.

At basketball this week a guy I don’t super love to play with was on my team and in the first half an hour he stole my sub rotation twice. We had three extra people on my team so there was a reasonable amount of time spent waiting to get back on. And, of course, you go on in the same order you came off. Well, twice this guy skipped the line and went in when it was my turn. I don’t even think he realized he did it. I was super annoyed. The more I thought about it the more I thought, “I should really stand up for myself here. I am the type of person who stands up for herself and tells people when I am annoyed. I am in the right and I should be honest, that is the type of person I am.” I kept telling myself this over and over all night and all the way out to my car on my way home. Even sitting in my car ready to drive home I still was thinking about how I was the type of person who stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to step on people’s toes sometimes.  I should probably add that I never did end up saying a word to him. Apparently that is who I am inside my head, but it hasn’t quite made it all the way out to my actions yet.

I was going for a run from my house. I had my music in and was further up the hill near the edge of town and I felt a little smack on the back of my calf. I jumped and turned around to find a tiny little dog. This little floofer had run up behind me and ultimate punched me in the back of the leg and then rolled onto his back to try and get me to rub his tummy. I stopped and pet him for a minute and then I said, “Okay, time to go home” and he jumped up and ran back to his house. It was precious.

I watched the movie The Skeleton Twins a couple weeks ago. This scene was amazing, please enjoy. I don’t know if you love Bill Hader as much as I do, but you should.

If you loved the Jon Bellion song at the beginning, you should check out this one too. The original of this one is well worth your time, I absolutely love it. But I’m on an acoustic kick today, so here is the acoustic version.

Decompressing and Reading

Hello Raiah.

I had one goal this past week, and it was: relax. I had my last class of the semester on the 12th, got my final grades back throughout the week, and am now officially halfway to being a Master Librarian. So this week was full-on decompressing. Decompressing which did not include writing an essay for this blog, but did include reading, listening to, and looking at a bunch of interesting things on the interwebz, which I will now present to you.

First things first, a soundtrack for this post. I somehow very quickly got into Lorde, and am stunned that I missed the train back in 2013. Turns out: I love Lorde. And she’s releasing an album this year! Good for you, Lorde. Here’s one of my favorite songs off Pure Heroine 

It’s possible that my Lorde-listening was kicked off by this profile. It’s not quite on the level of that Justin Bieber profile from awhile ago, but it is good.

And now we’ll take a sharp turn away from Lorde and towards martyrdom hysteria. You may have seen this article already, because I posted it to the facebook. I remember hearing about Columbine in 1999, and not really understanding what had happened. It was so horrifying, and I was ten. I also remember the martyrdom mythology that sprang up around Cassie Bernall, and the Michael W. Smith song, and reading the Jesus Freaks books, and losing sleep while wondering if I would be willing to die for my faith at any instant. I read this article and saw so much of my youth in it, even though I was a youth-group-avoider. There were cliques in my church’s youth group and I was a homeschooler with social anxiety. But I still heard the story, still worried over the state of my faith, and was still shocked when I found out that the story about Cassie Bernall isn’t exactly true. The way the narrative of martyrdom in the early 2000’s was sold to me still has an effect on me, and I can see it’s connection to the Satanic Panic in the 80’s, and to the weird “professors/doctors are evil atheists” genre of faith-based movies coming out today.

And now on to horror movies! I a) get scared very easily, b) cannot handle horror movies, and c) am endlessly fascinated by the genre. I will read and read and read about horror, but I get scared and have to distract myself with games on my phone when I watch Jurassic Park. Give me an article about the role of women’s intuition in horror and I will be all over it, plop me down in front of Sunshine and I will suddenly be VERY INTERESTED AND ABSORBED in my embroidery. I regularly read this blog about horror movies, but when I read The Shining I had to turn off the audiobook and get a paper copy or I just would not have done it. It was too scary. I’ve listened to the World War Z audiobook several times over, but had to have at least two other people in the room while watching The Walking Dead (until it fell of the rails and we all said “ugh no thank u” and stopped watching).

Apparently when I need to decompress after a very hard semester what I do is read about martyrs and horror. I also have hilariously unbalanced days: on Thursday I biked across the river and back, did yoga, filed my taxes, went for a post-dinner walk, made two phone calls to strangers, and sorted out some student loan stuff; on Friday I did my hair. It’s been an interesting time.

Take a look through my eyes.

A few years ago I had the stark realization that no other human would every fully know and understand me. No matter how much of myself I try to put out for people to see, no one will ever actually know what is going on in my head. Each person brings their own experiences and biases to every situation they encounter and this includes me. People will always view me through the lens of their own experiences. And I will do the same to them. I will always assume that on some level, you think the same as I do. That even though our thoughts themselves and our experiences are different, the base of how our mind works is the same. Because I can’t imagine any other thought system than what I have experienced in my own head. But the likelihood that we experience thought in the same way is, well, I have no idea how likely or unlikely it is because, again, no matter how well we try to explain it to each other we will always only be able to understand our own minds.

But then I also got to thinking about how much the things we read and watch and take in can affect the way we think. I realized that if you really want to understand another person, one of the greatest ways is to take in and experience the same things. We are each shaped and affected by different things. It might be experiences, conversations, people, or stories, but we are all affected by the outside world. We obviously have no control over some of our influences and circumstances, but there is a lot that we consciously choose to bring into our minds. This leads to the idea that while we can never be inside someone else’s head and see how their mind works, we can experience and take in the same things. So while the base of it all (the actual mind/thought process) might be impossible to fully comprehend, the bulk of what is affecting and impacting that thought process is something we can take in and understand. So by this logic I put forth the idea that one of the best ways to really know a person is to find out what things (books, movies, places, people) have most affected them and to then experience those things yourself.

I have spent some time thinking about what those things would be for me. Obviously it is a broad and varied field. So for starters, I have narrowed it down to books. As you know, I am a reader and books/stories are important to me. I love that fiction can make me see and experience new things. I like that an author can teach me something or make me look at something completely differently through a story. I feel like I learn better and feel so much more accomplished when I discover something indirectly. If an author just said, “hey, look at this thing a new way” I wouldn’t get much out of it. I probably just straight up wouldn’t be reading that book because it sounds like boring non-fiction. But if they can force me to look at something differently when I didn’t see it coming, it will impact and change me.

This is very likely an incomplete list, but here are some of the books that have been important to me and have an impact on the way I view the world (mostly in chronological order, but I saved my very favourite for the end):

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Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

I include this book because it really (in my memory) marks the beginning of my love of reading. I had read tons of books before this, but this one stands out. I was in Elementary school. I remember being in the library looking through books and I came across this one. I knew nothing about it, no one recommended it to me, but I decided to borrow it. (Okay, I borrowed it mostly because the word “dolphin” was in the title and I really loved dolphins) I loved it. I decided Scott O’Dell was my favourite author and I spent the rest of my time in Elementary school combing the shelves for more of his books.

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Peter Pan – JM Barrie

Peter Pan was and is my favourite childhood story, not the Disney movie, the real story. I fervently wished I could be Peter Pan. I know that is typically something that typically a child would dream about, but I dreamed about it until I was much older than I care to admit. Something about the world that JM Barrie created that was so absurd yet so normal at the same time mixed with a fear of growing up.

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The Horse and His Boy – CS Lewis

I love all the Narnia books, but this one is hands down my favourite. I love this story. I especially love the part where Shasta finally meets Alsan and he is walking alongside him in the mountain pass. Their conversation is my favourite part of the book.

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Wings of Dawn – Sigmund Brouwer

I know that you don’t like this book. I have a memory of a young me mentioning it to a young you and being completely shut down. I do not think, however, that you have actually read the whole thing. But that is neither here nor there. I absolutely loved this book. I read it over and over when I was younger. I remember finishing it once and literally opening it right back up and starting from the beginning again. It has been out of print for years. My mom managed to track down a used copy and gave it to me for Christmas one year. It was an amazing gift.

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The White Lion Chronicles – Christopher Hopper

This is a three book series. I have never met anyone else who has read these books except for the friend who lent them to me. It has been a long time since I read them and I only read them once. They gave me a lot to think about regarding angels/demons and opened my eyes to a completely different way of thinking about what heaven/paradise might be like. I hesitate to include them in the list, but they really did have an effect on my thought process. Whether or not they still would is another story, but they were significant to a younger me.

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The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

This book was my introduction to the classics. It was hella compelling and was the first book I read with that classic revenge focused plot. The Three Musketeers was also phenomenal I should add. Dumas is a fantastic writer. But it was The Count of Monte Cristo that opened me up to the classics and got me reading old books.

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Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

This book re-ignited my love of reading. Haha, see what I did there. While I was in University I read very few non textbooks. The year after I graduated I read this and it started my reading again. Also it made me feel guilty for not getting through the Iliad and for ever saying “old english is too hard to read” or “is there a summary I can read?”

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1984 – George Orwell

I know, surprise, 1984 had an impact on the way I think and view the world. But it also stands out because I read it at work and was forced to read it in short increments with hours of break in between. Usually I would have blown through a book this compelling in one or two sittings and certainly never would have stopped at the exciting and suspenseful parts. As a result I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what would happen next while I stacked boards and shovelled sawdust. This meant that I had several theories on what would happen and I kept altering them as the story went. By the time I got to the end of the book I knew how it would end. No matter how hard I hoped it would end happily, I knew that based on everything in the book to that point that there was no other possible ending. I vowed to read more books slowly and spend more time processing them because of how much more engaged I was and how much  more I got out of the book. But lets be honest, I will never read a super engaging book slowly unless I am forced to.

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Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

This book completely changed the way I think about time. It also began my quest to read everything Kurt Vonnegut has read. I would say I am edging on two-thirds of the way there. But seriously, this book changed everything.

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Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

Okay, you know how good this book was. For anyone who wasn’t there, which is anyone reading this except Glynis, we were at a winter camp and Glynis didn’t have a book so I started reading this one out loud to her. It was kind of a joke at first, but then we both got super into it and read the entire thing out loud together. We had multiple jaw-dropping epiphany moments. Sometimes we would go back and read paragraphs again. I think we might have even reread a whole chapter. I actually don’t remember a lot of the actual content as that was quite a few years ago, but I remember how much it blew my mind.

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Boy A – Jonathan Trigell

This book will rip you an emotional new one. It raises some very important questions about second chances and who deserves them and who gets to decide who deserves them. There is also a movie. I saw the movie before I read the book. When it ended I was in such a weird emotional state. I wanted to cry but couldn’t, I just sat there staring at the blank screen. I think I made you watch it with me once. It is an important story.

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Equivocation – Bill Cain

This is a play, not a book. But I love it so much that I am going to include it. I saw this play live before I read it. I think maybe part of why I love it so much is that performance. But it is brilliantly written. It is both funny and very serious. It is silly but very real. It is amazing. (ps. can I please have my copy of it back, I really want to read it again)

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The Climb – Anatoli Boukreev and G Weston DeWalt

This book really started my Everest passion. I was super into Everest for a brief time as a child, but had mostly moved on. This book brought it all back and started my Everest reading spree. It is, in my opinion, the best book about the 1996 season out of all the ones I have read so far.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

This book caught me off guard and was a weird mix of civil war and boring Hemingway description with subtle beauty and compelling story. I’m not sure why I loved it so much. There were parts of it I did not enjoy, but when I finished it I was sad. I think I saw the beauty of the story in looking back on it.

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The Brief History of the Dead – Kevin Brockmeier

I have read two Kevin Brockmeier books. They have both been amazingly unique stories set in very normal situations. It is like he takes the world as it is and makes one change or one leap or changes the explanation of something just slightly and then writes a story. So most of the setting and the story is completely normal but there is something small that kind of changes everything.  The Brief History of the Dead is my favourite of his so far, but The Illumination is good too. It had the most beautiful short story written into one of the chapters.

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Daring Greatly – Brené Brown

This book reaffirmed a lot of things I was starting to learn and realize about vulnerability and shame and how they affect our lives and relationships. I am completely convinced that anyone who reads this book will get something out of it. I am also convinced I need to read it many more times.

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East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Okay, I saved the best for last. This is my favourite book of all time. I think everyone should have to read it. It pains me that after years of me raving about it YOU HAVE STILL NOT READ IT. I am pretty sure I am going to get ‘timshel’ tattooed on me at some point. It is everything. It changes everything. But if you want to know more about why I love it, YOU HAVE TO READ THE DAMN BOOK FOR YOURSELF.

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So there you go. If you want to understand more about me and the way I view the world, these are the books to start with. If have already read all these and are looking for more, here are some honourable mentions (in no particular order):

Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut

Clatter / Our Numbered Days – Neil Hilborn

The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut

Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

The Winter of Our Discontent – John Steinbeck

Gentleman Practice – Buddy Wakefield

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Tracks – Robyn Davidson

Nine Stories – JD Salinger

Narcissus and Goldmund – Hermann Hesse

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

You should do a list like this sometime. I love hearing about books that other people love. If anyone felt inclined to comment and tell me their most impactful books, I would love that too.

Deflection: A How To

As you and I both know, we’re at that time of life when everyone wants to be all up in our business. For me, this has only increased since starting to date Josh and then getting engaged. I’m glad I made an effort in the past to learn how to deflect questions I don’t want to answer, and so I’ve decided to write out an incomplete guide to deflection. I debated whether or not to write this, mainly because as soon as I publish it people will be able to read it and know my secret, which is: I don’t want to tell them anything. Here’s the thing: I have almost no patience for weirdly personal questions. Why do people need to know so much about me!? They don’t, that’s what. There are some things I will happily talk about with everyone, and so many more things that I don’t care to discuss. To this end, I have developed and gathered strategies to deflect all kinds of questions from all kinds of people. They aren’t 100% effective, unfortunately, but they are good. For examples I’m going to use questions I’ve actually been asked. For some I’m just going to think of questions where these methods could be applied. And so, may I introduce you to:

The Deflection Toolbox!

The Intimidating Persona

TBH if everyone is just a little bit afraid of you, they’ll think twice before asking you questions.

The Soft No

This is the one to use when you’re taken aback by a sudden question that you feel is inappropriate. The other day someone asked Josh and I how many kids we’re going to have. They didn’t ask if we’re going to have children (still not okay), but how many kids we’ll have. Like, what??? How is this your business??? This was a person who I didn’t want to offend and don’t know very well, so the best first option was to signal that the issue is off the table and so I said, “I think we’ll get married first.” The key here is to offer little to no information about what they asked and prod the conversation in a slightly different direction. From babies to weddings. You get the idea. While this didn’t work in this particular situation and I had to turn to another tool, it does work quite often. Using this tool is pretty simple, but can be surprisingly difficult, especially if you’re flustered. It can be hard for others to perceive a soft no, and if you find that this is happening it’s time to move on toooooooooo…

The Opinion

Someone implies that you should have some specific thing at your wedding that you think is extraneous/unneeded/gross? Shake your head, widen your eyes, maybe throw in a chuckle, and say “everyone has an opinion! It’s so crazy! Did you see that episode of Say Yes to the Dress where one of the people said that she was going to descend from the heavens in a huge Faberge egg when she entered the ceremony?? Oh man, wouldn’t that be hilarious and awesome! How much do you think a giant Faberge egg would cost??? Hahaha, Josh and I think it’s maybe a bit out of our budget but maybe if we give up the egg we can have white tigers! Isn’t this funny?!” By doing this you are implying that everyone is on the same team here, us against the Wedding Industrial Complex, and everyone has an opinion. This one works because you can subtly change the tone of the conversation from “what you are personally doing” to “look at all the different things people do, wow.” (I lifted this tool directly from The Life-Changing Art of Not Giving a F*ck / Sarah Knight, which I highly recommend).

The Strange Question

When I realized that if someone asks you a strange question, you can say “what a strange thing to ask,” it was a revelation. This a) gives you a moment to gather your wits, b) gives the other person an opportunity for self-reflection, and c) gives you a chance to change the subject. While I haven’t actually deployed this one, as far as I remember, here are a few situations where I can see myself using this tool: someone asks what type of birth control you’re going to use? What a strange thing to ask! Someone asks if you have a good relationship with your parents? What a strange thing to ask! Someone asks if you should really be spending your money on _______? What a strange thing to ask! (I got this tool from Friendshipping, one of my favorite podcasts).

The Politician

This is another one I don’t use much, but one I like to have in my back pocket. It’s pretty similar to the Soft No. Listen to the question/comment, absorb the question/comment, and then answer the question/comment that you wanted them to ask that is maybe but not necessarily related to what they actually said. Someone asks if your house is good for raising a family or if is more of a starter home? Imagine you are a politician at a debate and say, “I’m glad you asked that. Here’s what I want: more jobs for the working class.” You know, do that thing that we hate in politicians and pivot to your talking points. The house is on a big lot. The basement is undeveloped. We think we’ll paint one or two of the rooms. Our first project is insulating the basement. The key here is to know your talking points ahead of time. If they clarify the question after you answer, either continue with The Politician or turn to another tool.

The Extra Mile

This one is my favorite. It’s where you just straight-up tell a bald-faced lie. Someone asks how many kids you’re gonna have? Actually, you’re gonna adopt several spider monkeys and/or three-toed sloths and they will be your children. Someone asks why you went to New Zealand for fun instead of for a missions trip? Actually, you went so that you could have a secret baby, you think it might have been a boy, it’s hard to remember, maybe his name was George. Is that a tattoo? No, it’s a weird bruise, I was out for a run and a bird ran into my shoulder really hard. The key with this method is to stick to the bit. Do not give up, do not surrender. Once you say you’re going to adopt sloths and call them your sons, do not back down. Deadpan these answers and act surprised if anyone reacts in a way that suggests having sloths for children might be less than totally reasonable. If you want to practice this one it is easy: just start telling weird lies and commit. For example: someone says a bridge looks cool? Tell them the bridge was made by wolves. The bridge being made by wolves is your whole reality now, do not even entertain the possibility that you are wrong. You will probably have to invent background info on how wolves would go about building bridges, don’t worry, it’ll come to you.

The Purposefully Obtuse

This one is related to the Extra Mile. Here’s what you do: someone asks something like “do you have any *news*??” (wink wink they want to know if you’re engaged/close to getting engaged wink wink) and you reply by saying, “do you mean the news about *insert preferably sad current news item here*? I heard about that. It’s awful what’s happening to those people/crazy that sink holes open with no warning/horrible that octopus even exist.” The key here is to feign innocence in such a way that they know that you know what they meant but you’re not going to give any info and you know that they know this. This one can come off as rude or insensitive, so practice caution.

The “It’s Personal”

I use this one quite a bit, usually when people ask what my tattoos “mean”. It goes likes this: “hey, does the bird on your shoulder mean anything?” “It’s personal, actually.” Easy! You can throw in a “really” or “very” or “quite” as you see fit. People usually accept this and continue the conversation. If they don’t, there’s an equally simple follow-up: “I prefer not to discuss it.” The one-two punch of “it’s personal” and “I prefer not to discuss it” is practically foolproof, all it takes is a bit of heel digging-in and voila: you do not have to surrender information that you don’t want to share. It can be weirdly stressful! The first few times I said it I felt awkward and apologetic, but that wore off. Now I am all about telling people that things are just plain old not their business. And if this doesn’t work, there is one more step in the “it’s personal” process: say “I’m going to excuse myself” and peace right out. If someone is unwilling to respect your boundaries, there’s no need to stick around. You can also swap out “it’s personal” for “none of your beeswax” for that 90s flair.

The overall key to the Deflection Toolbox is to know what you are comfortable with sharing, and with whom. Two people could ask the exact same question and one will get deflected and one will get an answer. This is fine. You can also choose when and where you might share more information, or if there’s a medium (such as this blog) where you’re going to be more free with your personal info. You can choose to change a person’s access status at any time for any reason. And if people think you’re rude for deflecting? UH, THEY ARE RUDE FOR ASKING. And if it feels awkward to deflect uncomfortable questions? You are not the one who created the awkward situation, the asker did. And if you’re concerned for your safety or the situation just doesn’t feel right? Dispense with any effort to be polite and GTFO. The Deflection Toolbox isn’t about being rude or maintaining a mysterious reputation, it’s about boundaries and consent.

A disappointment.

A quick update before I get to what I want to write about today.

I am still on night shift. It is still the worst. My whole life has crumbled into super weird sleeping schedules and everything is blurring together into a mass of sawdust and darkness. Sometimes I feel like my job is slowly and intentionally crushing my spirit.

On Friday I went for a run, my first run of the year. Yes, I have been using winter as an excuse to do absolutely no physical activity at all. Also yes, I run now. Sometimes at least. I might write a post about it sometime, how I transitioned from someone who hated running with the fiery passion of a thousand suns to someone who when it’s nice outside sometimes runs. Anyways, yesterday. I thought I would keep this run pretty casual and was expecting to die and quit early. When I got back and synced my Fitbit I was extremely surprised to find that I had gone four kilometres and my pace was almost identical to when I stopped running last fall. That was super exciting for me.

Okay, on to today’s topic, which is a disappointment. Specifically, a cinematic disappointment. I saw a movie a few months ago that had such potential yet ended up being profoundly underwhelming. The more that I have thought about it over the couple months since I saw it, the more annoyed I have become.

The movie is, drumroll please, Passengers.

Now I did know what I was getting into when I went. I wasn’t expecting anything mindblowingly original. But still, the premise of the movie felt like it had a lot of potential. From what I had seen in trailers I thought they had set up a really cool opportunity to explore the idea of being essentially the only two people in the world. It kind of reminded me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy actually. Whilst I did not particularly enjoy that book, I am under the impression that most people really loved it because of the relationship between the father and the son and the idea that they are basically each other’s entire world. Even I appreciated that part of it. I thought maybe this movie would explore some related themes. The idea that these two people are thrust into a situation where they are literally become each other’s only human contact. I thought it had a lot of potential.

But then, like twenty minutes into the film, the plot became entirely predictable and I knew exactly what the rest of the movie would be. Instead of both of them waking up, Jim wakes up alone and a classic and overused rom-com/sitcom plot kicks in. Yes, some of the specifics are different, but the main points are similar enough that it doesn’t matter. Jim decides to wake Aurora up. He decides not to tell her and instead pretend it happened on accident. They build a relationship. Jim covers up what he did and continues to lie about it. Things are going super well, but wait! Oh no, at the worst possible time she finds out. He tries to explain, she is hella pissed. He apologizes, she won’t forgive him. She refuses to be around him. But don’t worry, something catastrophic happens and forces them to work together to save the ship. Jim almost dies, but survives so that Aurora can reveal she will forgive him and they will live happily ever after.

The overused story being the whole “Our relationship is built on a lie, but instead of telling you about it I’m going to cover it up and hope you never find out about it except that you will and it will wreck everything.” It’s like the ‘we were on a break’ episode of Friends. Instead of just telling Rachel he slept with that girl, Ross spends the whole episode running around and trying to cover it up. But guess what! She finds out, they break up, we have to hear the “we were on a break” fight seven thousand times over the rest of the series.

I am so sick of that storyline. I was excited for Passengers to be even a slightly original story, instead I got an old episode of Friends set on a spaceship.