Wednesday, February 9, 2011
We're reading Oliver Twist in my English Novel class, as you can see by the unecessarily large cover art lurking down there under what I'm currently reading.
The beauty of this book, besides the uncharming fact that it causes me to burst into unfortunate bits of the musical (within my own head--WHOOOO WILL BUUUUUUUY or FooOOOOOOOooood, GLOOOOrious FOOOOOOooOOOd) every ten minutes or so, is that its chewy, farcical center helps me to laugh even when I feel completely and totally in over my head, or discombobulated. While Oliver is being whaled on by childish adults, and people are starving all over the place, and whaling on other people, and missing most of their teeth, and building coffins (whe-eh-eh-eh-ere is love, anyway?), funny things are happening in between enough of the terrible bits that I can keep reading. Things in the book are so bad that they can't get much worse, and it's self-appreciative enough to turn around and laugh heartily at itself every few chapters or pages.
I mean, I have to keep reading anyway, because it's the only grade we're accountable for in this class, but I have the gumption to do so because of how worth it life is to not complain between the hard parts. And even during the hard parts. I just don't have that much to fuss about, do I?
The other day I was facilitating my Facebook addiction through several dozen consecutive minutes of refreshing my home tab and looking at pictures of people I feel like I've missed out on, when a friend posted a status (that she's since removed, rethinking her position, like the Jimmer girl) about how tough it is that she had to grow up in Utah county.
Thirty-plus comments followed, rallying comments, anger directed towards all kinds of bubbles we've been delicately encased in for years, poor us, lots of "hells yeah"s and "I know, I gots to get outta here"s and so forth. Other commenters popped up, brave, uncomplaining people, defending their bits of home and scolding the others for expecting imperfection (read: everything and everyone) to be perfect.
In no mean way, can I just say that perhaps we should all take a look around us again at clean, running water, and loving people who may occasionally parent us in an imperfect way, and spring coming, and opinionated colloquialisms that we allow to bother us, and flu shots, and literacy, and the internet, and rubber-soled shoes, and just shut up for a while?
I'm an overreacter--you know that monologue that Steve Martin does in Father of the Bride at the bar about how he comes from a long line of overreacters? So do I, and so am I, my life is apparently falling to pieces at any given moment as I thrash dramatically about the grocery store, but no one is accomplishing anything by whining about anything. Everyone's trying their hardest, and if they're not, they have before, or they're taking a break to be awful, or, they'll try hard later.
As some TV writer once wrote, and Hugh Laurie then lisped in his strangely attractive American accent,
"People don't get what they deserve, they get what they get. And there's nothing any of us can do about it."
Sitting here in bed on a Wednesday night, missing something I really really wanted to go to because of an ear infection running rampant through the right side of my face that probably came from the cute and totally viral cherubs I assist Sundays in taking their snack sabbatical, two episodes of Glee and no homework down, coffee Heath bar crunch peeled open, feeling guilty about asking someone to sub for me tomorrow, long weekend of not much to look forward to coming up, can I tell you that my ear really hurts and that I'm a little unsure of myself and feel way less intelligent than my coworkers and love my latest religion professor and am not looking forward much to school tomorrow, but that I'm feeling pretty pleasant anyway and that this ice cream is super delicious and that my homework will get done and tomorrow the sun will rise and it will be Thursday?
I just wanted to tell you that.
at 9:41 PM