Not only is that one of the greatest songs ever written, Malford Milligan, Storyville's soulful, sage, black-albino lead singer is right, "Sometimes you fly so high, you can't find a place to land,” but still... "It's a good day for the blues." Well, I get it. Though I am the recipient of countless, huge blessings (I’m marrying an amazing man this summer, the children we share in this space are healthy and happy, we’re building a beautiful home that’s one step closer to finished every day, etc. etc.), I find myself complaining about something... nothing... everything... anything, and frankly - it's ridiculous. In fact, when I went home to Appalachia a little while ago, my mom was so exasperated that she called me on it and said, “mkromd, do you think we created language as a species to accommodate your inner need to whine? If so, do you suppose Mother Nature gave me feet to walk away from you while you do it… or to simply put my foot up your ass so you’ll stop?”
I ask you, in all honesty - is it all becoming clearer how I became this person? Is it?
The worst part is that she’s right. Scratch that, the WORST part is that she had my family jump on the bandwagon. And I don’t mean my brothers and sister – people with whom I can actually fight back. I mean her cousins and aunts, women in their seventies, eighties and nineties. People you simply can’t debate… and not just because they’re deaf or because your mother will kill you for being disrespectful. Women you can’t bitch in front of because they actually have reasons to complain… and still don’t do it. Women who have buried children and partners, witnessed more than one war, and fought for the right to vote, the right to fair pay, and the right to live their lives as they see fit. Women who did all of it with a stiff upper lip... in a corset... silently... grateful for the things they had - not miserable over the things they lost.
So, when these women tell you, “You’re missing out on the happiest times of your life.” You listen.
And then you loosely remember the words of comedic genius, Louis CK, who basically said, “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. In my lifetime alone, the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid, we had a rotary phone - a phone that you had to stand NEXT to and you had to DIAL it. It was so primitive that it actually sparked, and it made you hate people with zeros in their numbers - because it was more work. You were like, ‘This guy's number has two zeros, screw him.’ And if someone called and you weren't home, the phone would just ring lonely by itself. There was no voicemail… And if you wanted money, you had to go INTO the bank (during the three hours it was open), stand in line, and write yourself a check… like an idiot. Then... when you ran out of money, you just couldn’t do anything. You were broke and you were done…
We live in an amazing world, and it's wasted on people who don’t appreciate it. Everyone has their own phone and we all complain if we lose a signal - even though that signal is going to space and needs a second to get back… And that's not even the worst of it. FLYING is the worst.
People come back from flights, tell you about it, and make it sound like a horror story. They actually turn their flight into the equivalent of the Oregon Trail and make it sound like the worst day of their life, ‘First of all we didn't board for 20 minutes. Then we got on the plane ONLY to sit on the runway for 40 minutes. We had to SIT there.’ To which I want to reply, ‘Oh really, what happened next? Did you fly through the air like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight? You were flying! That's amazing! Everybody on every plane should be constantly telling themselves, ‘Oh my God, WOW, we’re flying. We’re sitting in a chair in the sky... and sure it doesn't go back a lot… and it smells... but we’re FLYING.’ Cause, here's the thing. People talk about flight delays, but you can go from New York to California in FIVE hours. That trip used to take thirty years and a bunch of you would die along the way (and/or have a baby)... Seriously, you'd be with a whole different group of people by the time you got there. Now you watch a movie and you're home…”
Or something like that. I could never do him justice, so you’ll have to Google it. In the meantime, have a great week, and don’t sweat the small stuff, because - to quote the true God of comedy, Woody Allen, “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.” Talk to you later.