Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about being Jaded. Have you heard the following from anyone in your circle of Burner friends?
“Yeah, been there, done that. I’m just going to stay in camp.”
“Oh, I saw that last year.”
“Wasn’t the art better in 2005?”
“Ugh, I’m so over it.”
Maybe you’ve even been guilty of it yourself.
Perhaps the soft, smoky tendrils of a tendency towards snark and eye-rolling are starting to creep into your brain, strangling the wide-eyed enthusiasm and the knee-jerk joy.
Is your “yes, and” being slowly replaced with “NO”?
Do you spend entire days in camp, lying on a couch and reading comic books rather than going out to play?
There is a solution, my friends!
Adopt a Burning Man Virgin. It’s as simple as that. 100% guaranteed cure-all for the Jaded that ails you.
Find someone new to the event and take them under your wing, teach them your secrets, answer their questions, listen to them shout “EEEEEE!” with excitement. This process is extra-helpful when started before the event (see the bottom of this post for resources), but also grants great benefits when befriending a newbie on-playa.
There are hundreds of Burning Man-centric internet sites that Virgins can spend hours poring over, creating lists, getting overwhelmed, neglecting their other life duties. Nothing compares, however, to getting feedback from someone who’s been there and done that. Someone who will listen to an overly-excited newbie without sighing and saying “can we please talk about anything EXCEPT Burning Man?”
Take them thrift-store shopping. Give them goggle advice. Hand down that awesome costume you no longer wear. Look at tents together. Discuss the relative merits of different flavours of Tasty-Bites. Insist on good tent stakes and a bike lock. If you’ve adopted a Virgin that’s not local, settle in for some chatty emails and a pile of shopping links and gear review sites.
What’s in it for me, you might ask? What does my bitter, jaded, black cat on a dark night of a soul get out of acculturating a newbie? Once you’re on-playa with your Virgin, be it one that you’ve carefully nurtured before the event, or simply one adoped on-playa, spend time running around with them. See things through their eyes. Bounce on the trampoline. Practice saying “yes, and” rather than “no”. Heck, leave camp! It’s a big wide world out there.
Seeing a Virgin running into your camp, wigglingly excited for the 40 different events from the What, Where, When Guide that they’re going to do that day (reality: they’ll do none of them and get distracted by blinky things or bacon margarita happy hour instead), is the best way to start your day out right. That energy is infectious. It will cure you of your Jaded, your Bitter, your It Was Better Last Year.
You might have heard that there are going to be a lot of newbies this year. Instead of fearing for the integrity of our event, why not use this as an opportunity to acculturate one or three new Burners, while gaining these fabulous benefits for yourself? Gifting isn’t just about trinkets and booze. Gifting time, attention, knowledge and care is what will keep our community vibrant and thriving well into the future. Plus besides also, it’s fun.
Best places to adopt a Virgin or be adopted:
Burning Man Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/2209575143/10151415409870144/