Handing in a MA thesis has probably been one of the weirdest experiences of my life. Not to mention one of the more stressful. In a true Murphy’s Law kinda way, anything that could go wrong did go wrong and as a result, I only barely finished printing the damn thing at midnight on Sunday, some 9 hours before I’d planned to hand in the damn thing. Having done so, I pretty quickly made my way home and more or less passed out from exhaustion.
The next morning, I got up early, called for a cab and went down to uni to hand in my thesis. Sitting in the cab with the culmination of five years of university on my lap really was the weirdest feeling ever. You’d think I’d be relieved that it’s all over, and of course I was, but it’s hard to even grasp that it really is over, let alone feel joyful and happy about it as you’ve spent the last few weeks being stressed out and worried sick about everything.. And, well, the whole process wears you out unlike anything I’ve ever tried before, so when I did finally make it to uni and handed the thing in, I felt more zombified than I ever have in my life. It was an odd mix of happiness, relief, nervousness and sheer exhaustion. I honestly cannot remember ever having been this tired and worn out in my entire life.. Really.. And it was only 10:30 AM on a day devoted to celebrating me, Tina and Louise handing in our respective theses.
Oh well, as always the Johan soldiered on.. Having handed in my thesis and said hi to Louise and Tina who just happened to be at uni for some last minute printing or whatever, I went on with my day. Which first and foremost involved planning and shopping for dinner later that night.. Which turned out to be a pretty interesting quest considering how mentally and physically beat I was and bearing in mind that we hadn’t really had time to do any planning what with our theses needing writing and stuff. What little planning Tina and I had done involved throwing out a hell of a lot of invitations and figuring we’d just sort out the details during the day.. With the result that we now had eight people (ourselves included) coming over to Tina’s for dinner that evening and no real plans for food or anything.
We decided during our little meet-up at uni to just go with something simple involving pasta, creamy tomato sauce and chicken and to more or less just tell people to show up whenever they felt like it. This took a lot of the stress out of the planning, for everyone but a severely sleep deprived Johan who now had to do shopping and preparations for dinner for eight.. Which was fun, let me tell you. It involved a lot of walking between my place and Tina’s place, going to the store not once, or twice but three times in order to get everything I needed. And making not one, or two, but three visits to my go to wine guy. The third of which was caused by my own stupidity as I chose to drop (and break) a bottle of white wine I’d just bought on my way down to Tina’s.. Doh!
The entire process took about four hours total, cock ups and all which left me about five minutes to rest at Tina’s (having your own key does have its privileges) before moving on with my day, the next part of which was a lot more enjoyable. See, Zascha was in town for the evening’s celebrations but had decided to come early to do some shopping. Having not had the chance to properly hang out and spend some time together in ages, we decided that I should join her and we’d make a day of it. A pretty awesome day, really. It was raining pretty heavily that day so we spent most of it huddled together under Zascha’s umbrella while walking around town and picking up new clothes, accessories and boots for Zascha. I know I’m a guy and shouldn’t enjoy such activities, but there you go, we actually had a lot of fun doing it and we barely even fought, bickered, made fools of ourselves or walked into things in the process.. Ahem!
We also took time out to visit a new downtown cafe for what we hoped would be a quick, easy lunch.. Which instead turned into a bit of a waiting game as they took forever to take notice of us, get our orders and eventually put food and drinks on the table.. But they did serve me my first beer of the day, so I’ll forgive them. As far as food was concerned, we decided to share a plate of nachos which would have been a pretty good idea, had we not been terrible at sharing. It all went reasonably well until I, as any guy would, implemented the universal “if they’re stuck together, they count as one nacho” rule, a rule that ended up working out in Zascha’s favor as she was able to lift almost an entire layer of chips stuck together by molten cheese. This, naturally, pissed me off so while she was happily and joyfully munching away at parts of her loot, I ripped the other half right out of her hand, dipped it and ate it like the bastard that I am, causing Zascha to shoot me a look of surprise, anger, disappointment and just plain disbelief.. Well, I’m sorry, sweetie, it had to be done!
I spent the rest of our lunch date wondering whether Zascha was about to kill me and or kick me in the shin, but to her credit, she did neither, though she did spend most of our subsequent walk down to Tina’s complaining about my manners. We arrived at Tina’s at around 5 PM, I think, and when we did, Emelie and Louise were already there, too.. I think.. At this time, I’d reached a point where my brain had started shutting down and not even registering the most basic things. The fact that Zascha (bless her) had brought a Cuban sipping rum for us to enjoy wasn’t really helping my cognitive process either and I can’t for the life of me relate any details of what happened during the next few hours. I know that Tine and Christian eventually arrived and that a lot of talks and laughs were had.. As for my part.. I was merely just there, trying to take part in the conversation, trying to get dinner on the table and trying to be somewhat coherent.. And I failed pretty miserably at most of those tasks. Judging by the reactions of the others, I made some pretty weird, out of place comments and had some pretty strange answers to pretty simple questions.. But I did get food on the table.. Eventually. And after forgetting pretty basic things such as adding cream to a creamy tomato sauce. The others assured me the food was still good, though, I wouldn’t know, I’m not sure I registered how it tasted, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t say so if it wasn’t. And I guess that goes to prove than even when tired to the point of exhaustion, slightly drunk and barely aware where I am, I can still cook a mean pasta dinner.. Yay me!
We spent a lot of time eating, talking, sipping good wine and having a general good time. Getting some food (and wine) in my stomach helped me wake up a little and start registering what was going on around me which made me realize that I obviously wasn’t the only worn out, tired and incoherent person in the room. Actually, I think that most everybody, save perhaps Karsten, Louise’s boyfriend, who arrived near the end of our dinner were in a totally different place mentally which quickly became evident as we went for a Trivial Pursuit after dinner which had to be abandoned after a few hours on account of no one being smart enough gain an advantage, let alone win.
Sadly, Christian and Emelie had to leave the party rather early and once they did at around 10 PM, fatigue quickly set in for others. Karsten and Louise were next to leave on account of Louise being exceedingly wrecked and Tine, too, took her leave at around 10:30 PM. Leaving just Tina, Zascha and I to sit around, enjoy ourselves, sip some of the remaining wine and actually managing to finish a quick round of Trivial Pursuit.. Amazing! We even made it through a surprisingly long and heated game of LUDO which literally lasted for hours.
We eventually admitted defeat at around 1:30 AM when we were all basically too tired to stand, or even sit up for that matter so as the girls started getting ready for bed, I made my goodbyes and started on the long, hard walk home which I honestly don’t even remember taking, but I must have done so as I woke up the next morning in my own bed feeling utterly discombobulated and not knowing what to do with an entire day off..
Being done is such a weird feeling, I hope I’ll get around to enjoying it one of these days..