Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is nomofomo?

"Oh, snow" FOMO: If I don't make a snow angel, will I miss out?

MoMA FOMO: What's going on in the prairie house? Am I missing out?

My sister explained the concept of FOMO to me the other night (and on her blog as well). FOMO, acronym: Fear of Missing Out, a condition shared by graduate students, impoverished entry-levels, Time Out New York readers, and unhappily marrieds all over the world. E.g., I wasn't planning on going to the Times Square Red Lobster with everybody, but then Stacey told me about the gigantic neon rotating lobster at the front door and I thought, when am I going to see that again? FOMO.

FOMO. It's a convenient way to express that quiet mania compelling you to the Maryland Renaissance Festival year after year, even though you know the lines for mead will be long and all the same creepy people will be there. It's the little voice that makes you say sure, I'll have the roasted-jalapeno flavored beer, the Buttered Popcorn jelly bean, the mayfly-infested room in that dilapidated but charming motel, the gliding lessons, the painting lessons, the Ladytron tickets, the driving directions to the World's Oldest Edible Cured Ham in Smithfield, Virginia (they're printed out here and ready to go - you know you want to).

It's the reason I long to explore all the seedy-looking highway restaurants in Falls Church when I drive past them (especially the one called VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT). The reason I scroll through Wolf Trap's offerings every month and seriously ask myself whether Hall and Oates really could make my dreams come true if I saw them live. The reason my sister is going to Florida, Colorado, West Virginia, Virginia, DC, and Ireland--this month. FOMO!

FOMO. Sure, it's totally underpinned by my terror of my own mortality. But my desire to quash FOMO has been responsible for pretty much all of the best moments of my life, and so my goal this year is to let that desire go crazy. FOMO? No mo.

Starting in the new year, I'll keep a diary of my adventures and include some (primarily DC-area) suggestions for you so you can beat the fomo oh-noes too if you want. Help me think of other words that rhyme with FOMO.


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