I have several nicknames — none of them good — that I would like to share with you: Negative Nancy, Pessimistic Polly, Debbie Downer and Fatty McLovehandles. Apart from the last one, which is really just the unpleasant consequence of a Dunkaroos-fueled evening, these monikers seemingly have one very important common thread: a humdrum tub of glum. These epithets are none too surprising when you consider that I more often than not shun normative social interactions in favor of stewing on my couch, swathed in my Snuggie, watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey reruns. As nice as this sounds, two years of taking a distanced approach to being at all sociable inevitably has its consequences: it was going to end up in tears.

Well those tears came faster than I would have liked, considering that I am a junior and most everyone I know is abroad. No matter how enticing my designer Snuggie (leopard print…), it was only a matter of time before my nay-saying negativity was going to make me regret being so antisocial. Yes, having borderline zero friends on the homestead was a big wake up call. Shocking, I know.

In a bold move, I decided to flip my nay-saying upside and go from Polly to Patricia, from Pessimistic to Positive, if only to save myself from New Jersey overload. I therefore decided to say yes to nearly every opportunity that came my way — inappropriate propositions involving bratwursts aside — thereby embodying Jim Carrey as Yes Man, and basking in a freshly new sunny disposition. Now I know you must be thinking, Yes Man was a terrible movie! However, it really had a glorious message, which I now duly pass on to you: saying yes can almost always lead to wonderful things.

This yay-saying attitude has led me to some wonderful places such as the Social Security Office on 40th and Market and even Trenton, NJ. But nothing quite compares to my foray into the Penn Theater scene. Most recently, my newfound attitude led me to randomly accept an invitation to audition for a school play. Though my shoddy acting skills prevented me from being cast, I was approached with a consolation prize to soothe my bitter soul: “Care to be stage manager instead?” In light of all the good things that came with my spanking new yay-saying persona, I yet again decided to say yes. And it’s been a rollercoaster of vocal exercises and drunken antics ever since — albeit with a Shakespearean twist.

I realize Pessimistic Polly won’t stay away for good. But until then, I’m just going to enjoy the splendid reverberations of my new favorite word: YES.


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