Once upon a time, life made sense to me. I honestly thought I had it all figured out. I thought I was prepared for anything. But recently, my whole world shifted.
I found out goats had somehow become a thing.
One day, no one I knew gave that much thought to goats. The next, it was all OMG, GOATS! Coworkers kept using goat emojis in group chats. Women my own age were taking trips to petting zoos. Trendy coffee shops with “goat” in their names were popping up all over, even though goats have nothing to do with coffee!
Then came my friend Natalie’s birthday. Every single Facebook friend posted a different goat picture on her page, with a note like, “Saw this and immediately thought of you, lol!” They all saw goats and thought of Natalie? But I’d known her since middle school, and I’d never once heard her say a word about goats.
I started to doubt my own memories and questioned my entire goat-less worldview.
I tried to find answers: I scrolled through years’ worth of memes and videos, but I never could pinpoint the exact moment when everyone collectively said, “Yeah, I think I’ll go all in on goats!” I can’t be sure. I’m not so sure of anything anymore.
Not knowing what else to do, I got in my car and drove to the nearest farm. I walked up to a goat and looked into its weird eyes and tried to feel what everyone else was feeling. But there was nothing inside me but a kind of indifference toward the farm animal whose eyes can never really look directly at you at any given time. I couldn’t understand it. Cats, dogs, bunnies, sure. Goats, though? Really? I realized that it was too late—I’d already missed whatever was behind this whole goat zeitgeist.
For now, I try to fake it. When someone shows me a goat, I throw my hands in the air and say, “Squeeeee!” Literally, I say “squee” out loud. But I’m sure people see through the façade. I tell myself that it can’t last forever. Something will come along and become the new goats. Moose? Kangaroos? Capybaras? Whatever it is, I’m determined to be the first to start liking it. My eyes are wide the fuck open.