37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Just So Pathetic

I am one sorry individual. I really mean that; I'm pathetic. But I'm not complaining about it. It's just the way I am. I've come to terms with my sorryness, and I'd like the chance to explain why. (Insert nap here.)

It occurred to me recently that I do some really dumb things. Take my email, for example. When I first re-entered the digital world after a long absense, I got tons of spam and junk mail. Some of it from my mother, who can't seem to remember which 'jokes that have been around the internet since the days of green text bulletin boards' forward she has sent me which she has not. Therefore, I've received the oh-so-hilarious "How to Tell if You're a Redneck Californian" email about five times.

But after a while, the mail stopped coming. It got a little lonely logging in to see the 'check mail' button all dark and dreary. So I started sending mail to myself. And I signed up for several newsletters from highly reactionary groups (PETA, for one) just so that I would get regular mail. I admit it; that's pathetic.

My job is rather solitary. It wouldn't be if I had a co-worker, but I work for a very cheap city and they won't replace anyone who quits; they just expect me to do it all myself. As a result, I've developed the habit of talking to myself in the stacks. (I work in a library.) After a while the desk clerks started to poke a little good-natured fun at me. In retaliation I started talking to myself -all- the time, so that they won't know whether I'm talking to them or not. But mostly I talk to myself because I think I'm a brilliant conversationalist. I like to hear myself talk, and I think the books are starting to respond. See what I mean? Just soooo pathetic.

I get excited over the dumbest things. I found a great new tea flavor the other day and it actually made me so happy I started dancing around the kitchen. I get worked up over things that, about ninety seconds from now, won't matter. I found some trash in the stacks this morning and was apoplectic for about ten minutes. Most people would just roll their eyes and throw it away, but me? I had to announce the presence of trash to the rest of the staff at our weekly meeting. PATHETIC!

Then again, being pathetic has its good points. It means I pay attention to details. (Except where the floor is concerned. I hate floors.) It means I'm rarely bored, because just about anything and everything amuses me. (Except for all those idiotic webtoons my husband insists are the funniest thing since Lenny Bruce. Well, okay the one about outsourcing -was- hilarious.) It means I'm willing to allow my children to tell me how pathetic I am about what's cool and I just nod my head and agree that I'm hopeless. I know that makes them feel superior for a few minutes until I start bossing them around again, so that's a good thing. It means that I'm willing to spend twenty-five minutes every darn day going to each and every charity website and clicking on the button that guarantees that a large corporation will donate a dime to breast cancer research, or homeless shelters, or rainforest conservation.

Being Pathetic also means that I don't care about looking like an idiot anymore. I am the worst singer on the planet, but I've come to the conclusion that no one else cares if I suck, so I'm going to sing my heart out. My kids love this about me, so at least I have a cheering section when we go to karaoke. In fact, I take a certain perverse pleasure in singing 'White Rabbit' in front of our friend Dave, because it makes him cringe. It means I'm willing to do the Yoshi dance with my kids in public and fall about laughing because I already know I'm pathetic and I don't have a reputation to protect anymore. I can't get any less cool than I am, so I'd rather try to be pathetically happy.

It's not so bad, being professionally pathetic. Plus, my embarrasment skills are finely tuned just in time for the kid's adolescent years. I can put on a pathetic show for their friends that will give them something to talk about for whole minutes at time! See? We Pathetic People have a special purpose in life: gossip fodder! Say it once, say it loud, I'm Pathetic and I'm Proud!

Now...that's pathetic.


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