October 26, 2005

The Happiness of Damocles

I suddenly got the feeling today that all is well in my life. Does that ever scare the crap out of you? When you go, “Well, I guess I’m… fairly happy.” And it’s a crashing realization that your life could be way worse? I got that as I was walking down the hall to deliver mail, of all places. I wasn’t even on my way home, or to a meal, or to someone—it was just so random. I still have little things people worry about, but they’re all little things, and it’s just the day-to-day bullshit that keeps you from realizing how sweet your life really is. Except, since I’m me, I immediately followed the thought with, “OH SHIT! Somebody’s probably gonna die tomorrow, because I thought my life is great! I tempted fate! The Irony Fairy just perked up her pointed ears and let out a mighty cackle; nobody I love is safe tonight!” I worry about things like that. I can’t recognize happiness or enjoy it for longer than a minute, without wondering what it’s going to cost me later. Nothing freaks out a cynic like a good mood. Maybe it’s not really happiness. Maybe it’s the espresso making me unusually perky. I’m just wired. Yeah. You see what I did there? I have to RATIONALIZE HAPPINESS. I’m so psychotic. It’s not safe to be my friend.

I can’t shake this horrible good feeling. I usually find things to bitch about to fill my blog, but I just don’t have much complaining to do today. I like my job. It affords me enough down-time to post, the office is always quiet, and there’s free lunch every other day. The people I work with are nice. When they ask “How are you?”, they are genuinely interested in your state of well-being. They are sympathetic and polite. There aren’t any gossips or liars. Nobody hates anyone else. It’s just a nice environment. The bus into work is even nice. Who the hell has a nice bus? Even if I’m a few minutes late for work because of traffic, nobody gives me shit about it! Wait… my coworker (and only fan) just made more coffee. Now I don’t have to. And my boss has more coffee for when we run out. Why are we all so nice today?!

I’m sitting here, desperately trying to think of something to whine about. Um… I ate cookies yesterday. God, even food guilt is a strain today. But I don’t feel all that bad about it, because I also ran three miles yesterday and my weight is still coming down., my money situation is improving since I’m taking the bus, so I’ll be able to start paying my mother back the money I owe her, and she’s losing weight, too, and actually everyone I know is fairly healthy and well... look at that—even trying to complain I ended up being positive! This is crazy. Apparently all things around me are pink and shiny and wonderful today. How absolutely boring.

Maybe that’s why people complain and drum up drama whenever they can—it’s just something to talk about. We never talk about healthy people for more than a minute, but sick people will discuss their illnesses at length. I once went to dinner with my sister, aunt and uncle. They spent (not exaggerating here) forty-five minutes chatting about their various afflictions, including GIRD, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease, alopecia, gout, acid reflux, ulcers, hypertension, and hypoglycemia. I, who am not overweight and under thirty, said not very much at all. I played the Alphabet Game in my head while they discussed the many positions they needed to contort themselves into after meals to avoid exploding. I’m not unsympathetic; I love these people, but when you have so much wrong with you, I wonder 1) Are you doing all that you can to fix the problems you have, and 2) If this already occupies so much of your time already, why do you want to spend your free time talking about it? My sister even looked happy to talk about it, like she felt cool to be part of the malady whiner’s group. (They weren’t really whining, though, just making statements of fact, like “Oh, I can’t do that anymore,” or “The pills usually work, but not always”, and “I have good days and bad days,” etc. Not even wistful, just accepting, like they have something terminal. They’re not paraplegics, for Christ’s sake. Now THOSE are people who are qualified to use the word ‘can’t’.) I guess it was like a support group, but it made me sad to see them talking like they were all eighty and had nothing else in their lives but their bodily ailments.

And again, this makes me freaking happy. I’m happy that I don’t have any of these things wrong with me. It makes being fifteen pounds overweight with dry skin look like a week in the South of France. What’s wrong with me today? Maybe I spent so long convincing myself that things could be worse that I actually started to believe it. Actually, it’s probably just that I have experienced things being way worse than they currently are, so I have something firsthand to compare it to. That’s why you should be raised poor, forced to take the bus, eat Ramen and Spam, and share rooms with your sisters who steal the clicker until you are eighteen. Then you fully appreciate money in your pockets, the car you drive, the luxury of fruit and yogurt in your fridge, and the deliciousness of your own TV with your feet up on your own couch after a day at your pleasant job for the rest of your entire life.

Oh, look. I just walked by My Only Fan’s desk, and he’s reading my blog, and laughing. That’s it. I couldn’t be any happier if Hugh Jackman left his wife. I don’t think I can take any more of this ‘counting my blessings’ crap. If you see that my house burned down on the news tonight, you call tell your friends that I had it coming.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Isn't it hard to blog when you're happy? The name of my blog is Silver Lining... yet, I feel like I only blog when I have things to complain about. Not so silver-liningish of me is it?

And beedoo, I'm upset that you haven't noticed me yet. This is my third comment... but yet you still think you have only one fan....