It was kind of like this. Thank you to Dulce et Decorum for this picture and their blanket forts tutorial.
You may have noticed that the International Tell Your Crush Day blog has been updated this month for the first time in almost 5 years. “That’s too long!” you say. “We’re glad you’re back!” you say. Well, we’re glad to be back too.
We know that ITYCD is something you’ve come to know, love, and live for. We at Crush Headquarters and the International Society for the Appreciation of Crushes have been remiss in our pastoral care duties. We have not been shepherding our flock, and for that, we owe you our deepest apologies. And also, if you just listen to what happened, we think you might understand.
Here’s how it went down. May, 2009. The first year that we had a physical space for Crush Headquarters. High level crushers from all seven continents were gathered together, working on what would be the biggest ITYCD of all time.
There were posters behind every drinking fountain in the building: “I want YOU to tell your crush!” And “Loose Lips Improve Friendships!” The air smelled like lilacs. A) Because duh, it was May. B) Because the windows were always open, and C) Because Charlie* had cut a bunch of lilacs and put them in mason jars all over the office. There was a whole lot of biking to lunch picnics together, and Alex was always bringing in lattes in the morning with perfect heart latte-art on top. People hung cute handmade banners over each other’s desks “just because,” and others swapped favorite books about all of the wonder in the world, “in preparation for the holiday, to get you in the spirit.” After a while, it got hard to tell where awesome workplace culture stopped, and where everyone having crushes on everyone else began. But on May 6th, it all exploded.
We were all at the office late, overseeing the crush telling encouragement blasts that were going out over networks worldwide, and answering last minute desperate pleas from celebrities we won’t name whose names rhyme with Smorge Schmooney asking advice on where they could hide for the next two weeks, and other people who just wanted to know HOW on earth you do this? We had put together the first ITYCD guide. We were exhausted. We were giddy. We were like kids on on December 24th, waiting for Father Crushmas to come deliver what we’d been hoping for for weeks, for months. Then someone got confused. It was 10:55 pm, and she had just sent an email to a crusher in the next timezone over. They were stressing out about Crush Day being a mere minutes away. But here, we had a whole extra hour! She forgot where she was. She threw a paper airplane with a poem folded inside, across the room. It hit the right person, in the wrong place. Sophia’s eye turned out to be ok, but one thing lead to the next, and no one wanted to be left out. More airplanes were launched, the paths of which looked like the map in that video of the End of The World when the nukes start flying. Winks that meant more was coming later were flashed over cubicle partitions.
Someone put a Madonna record on. This sentence about the fact that a dance party ensued is completely unnecessary since you just read the previous sentence. At 12:01, a messenger knocked on the door bearing a mixtape for Sahar. Mark had to leave to take care of something. At 12:30, two of the people from the cubicles next to ours, who worked for Green Environmental Business Solutions for the Planet popped out of the elevator. They had driven by and saw that the lights were on, and when they remembered what day it was, (no one in our building can forget what May 7th is if they have been around for ANY part of April.) they thought they’d come join in the festivities. Sahar put her mixtape in the boom box. Someone called that cute guy from down the hall who’s always microwaving really yummy smelling homemade soups in the break room, and he brought his buddies from whatever their internet web technology company is with the swirl logo that’s on all the paper we use upside-down that we get out of their recycling bin.
When both sides of the tape stopped, we played that game (on the backs of more swirl logo paper) where you write a sentence and then pass it to the next person who has to draw a picture, for about three hours straight, and it was epic. Melissa lives just around the block, so she and Diondre went home and got a bunch of pillows and blankets and brought them over in two bike trailers, and we rearranged the desks and cubicle dividers and made a huge fort, and though a few people left in pairs (and some in groups of three) when no one was looking, the rest of us had a huge sleepover, right here in the office.
And when we woke up, the sun was shining and it was STILL International Tell Your Crush Day! People left to climb trees and make long-distance phone-calls and visit the lake and check their mailbox and get a sandwich to-go from that cafe on Central so that they could slip a note to their favorite server in the tip jar. But most people eventually came back. I mean, we had to tell each other how it went. Some people came back with sheepish grins on their faces, and Alex came in with the heart-latte-barista on her elbow, to prove us all wrong who thought she wouldn’t do it. “So, this is where I work… I uh, yeah. I left that important thing in my desk drawer I think.” But in various incarnations, that sleepover lasted for 8 days. We worked from inside the fort, troubleshooting people’s “Someone gave me a hamster for ITYCD. What am I supposed to do now?” woes laying on our bellies, propped up on our elbows. Our friends from Planetary Green Earth Business Solutions Environmental, Inc, would sneak in to listen to chapters that Yusef read aloud from Roald Dahl’s The BFG during our story breaks.
And then finally, we realized that you can’t keep living like this. Pizza and chocolate and french bread and cheese and really good apples and avocados just can’t be what you eat all the time. And you can’t keep sleeping at your office, even if your office is World Crush-Telling Headquarters. Even if your bed is a sheet-fort that looks like a pirate ship, and you’re surrounded by really cute people who told you they like you. No, you can’t keep living like that. No, you should add bacon to your menu! (And vegan bacon for some people.) And there should be time for bonfires and more bike rides, too! And instead of pretending you’re on a pirate ship, you should build one! And sail down the Mississippi, meeting people and spreading the Crush Gospel!
And so, my friends, the rest is history. But pirate ship missions across the country can only turn into so many more adventures, before the magic runs out. No, that’s a lie. The magic never runs out. But sometimes, darnit, you’ve started an International Association, and these things don’t just run themselves, you know. You check the mail, and you realize that eventually, someone has to come home and manage the office. And that’s us. Your loyal defenders of the Crush Movement, ready to take the helm again.
It’s good to be back.
*Some names have been changed to protect privacy