Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You wanna know what frosts my buttons?

1 - People who say they don’t care what other people think. Those people are idiots. Everybody cares about what other people think to some degree, and if they don’t, they should. They just shouldn’t care too much what other people think, or else they’ll end up doing nothing but sitting in their apartment waiting for their lives to happen.

The whole concept of “I don’t care what people think about me!” is pretty juvenile actually. Everybody typically says it during childhood, or when they revert to childlike behavior during arguments and the like. But what pisses me off are the people who actually mean it.

You have to care what people think, even if you don’t want to. Because of what the Mormons think, now gay people in California can’t get married. That’s right, because those wacky polygamists hold marriage to be so sacred, they dumped millions of dollars into making sure that same-sex couples can’t enjoy the same soul-crushing confinement that opposite-sex couples enjoy. Why? Was it encroaching on their Mormon beliefs? Were same-sex married couples getting all the chapels Mormon men wanted to use to marry their fourth wives? I don’t see how what other people do, hundreds of miles away, is even the business of the Mormon Church. But, they decided that they care about the issue enough to meddle in the affairs of others.

If you’ve ever been on a job interview, then you have to care what the interviewer thinks, or else you won’t get the job you want and you’ll end up working the graveyard shift at Jack in the Box for the rest of your life. Bummer.

See, the key is to care about what people think, in moderation. Take me for example. I do my own thing and I don’t mind admitting it. You’re damn right I watch a ridiculous amount of cartoons. I played with G.I. Joes until at least my freshman year of college. I don’t know anything about cars, (including how to drive a stick) and I don’t really care about sports. These are all the things that make me different from others; they make me who I am. Yet I don’t live in a vacuum. I temper my personality and behavior with a little bit of others’ opinions about me. This helps to make me the dynamic nutcase you all know and love.

That’s why, even though I do care, (to a degree) about what people think about me, I still don’t mind sharing embarrassing stories, about me taking a dump in the woods in front of an old couple, with you: the invisible audience.

2 – People who compare their pain with others. You know what I’m talking about.

Bob: Hey man, what’s new?

Deacon: Not much Bob. Just broke my leg yesterday falling out of a tree.

Bob: That’s a shame man.

Deacon: Yeah, but it could always be worse. At least I have both my legs and they still work. I’m very grateful for that.

Bob: Boy, look at you - comparing your situation with those less fortunate, just to make yourself feel better. What do you do when you feel down, drive by the ghetto and measure your life against those of crackheads? You sicken me.

Am I the only one who finds this practice to be disingenuous? No matter what your pain is, no matter how bad things in your life are, there are always people out there who are worse off than yourself. Why lessen what you’re going through by comparing yourself to others? Your pain is just as real, and most importantly – relevant, because it’s happening to you. Who cares what unfortunate thing is going on with some faceless member of the huddled masses?

If there’s some kind of pain going on in your life, embrace it, luxuriate in it, (but don’t wallow in it), learn from it, grow from it. Lessening the turmoil in your life by comparing it to others is equal to pushing it aside, ignoring it, marginalizing it. That’s not helpful. Life is about learning from experiences and maturing because of it. When there’s some pain in my life, let me just sit in a corner listening to emo music for awhile.

Or I’ll write a nonsensical rant. Whatever works.

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