Friday, September 02, 2005

I Got Extra Energy From All Those Eminems

You should all be very proud of me.

In a burst of hormonal energy, I've started accomplishing items on my To-Do list. I made my ObGyn appointment. Jete is going to register Ethan for school tomorrow. I printed out pages from the sample actuary exam and plan to do a few problems every day at lunch.

Yay me!

But I really feel accomplished because the six inch pile of bills and paperwork is gone. Last night, in a filing frenzy, I got everything up-to-date. I organized the papers, threw away outdated copies, sorted them by amount due, and wrote checks for the six smallest bills. The remaining bills are neatly put away in a folder. They'll be taken care of when I get paid again, or as soon as the money in our checking account learns to reproduce spontaneously. Whichever comes first.

I won't pretend these things matter in the face of the current events happening around the world. But, selfish girl that I am, they were pressing on my mind anyway.

In my blog life, I'm always torn when there is a major disaster like the hurricane. On the one hand, I feel like there's just no point in me going out there, posting the same old thing that everyone else is saying:

"I just want to say that I'm thinking/praying/worrying about all the victims of Katrina. This situation is very, very sad."

We all know there was a hurricane. We all know it's devastating. There's nothing I can say about it that thousands, millions, of other people haven't already said. It didn't affect me, or any of my family or friends, directly. I don't want to be a bandwagon blogger who writes endlessly about a tragedy that isn't even mine to claim.

On the other hand, there's a guilt factor involved that makes me feel like I have to post something. I'll be's peer pressure. Almost an invisible coolness meter.

What will everyone think if I don't say something about the hurricane? They'll all think I don't care. That I'm a cold person, a bitch, complaining about my silly medical bills when thousands of people have lost their homes.

Then of course, there is the part of me that wonders why this is supposed to be the constant topic of conversation. There are tragedies daily that no one pays any attention to. Like the other two news stories I linked to above. Thousands of people dying in other countries, but I can't imagine my coworkers talking about those stories around cups of coffee.

It's probably a natural thing to be most interested in what happens in your own country. But sometimes I think it goes a bit too far. I've read quotes that this "is our tsunami". I can't help but wonder if comparing this to a disaster where almost 250,000 people died is fair.

Plus, I know there is a level of schadenfreude involved. (Honestly, I'm not very smart. While I had a sense of the concept, I never heard of the word until I read it at Tertia's.) On Tuesday, a woman at work said, "I can't wait to get home and watch about the hurricane on TV!" There was a strange excitement in her voice. It was kind of creepy. Like she was getting ready to watch an execution live on TV or something. Everyone loves a good disaster on CNN.

I know the overthinking is just me trying to deal with it. Big tragedies like this - or the tsunami, or the war in Iraq, or September 11th - are hard for my mind to process. It's easier to pick apart the events from the outside than to really see the details. The individual stories are what kill me. Hearing about one person's experience, then another, then another. That's what makes it real. I would be crying 24 hours a day if I gave in to that. And what good would that do anyone?

Instead of sitting around crying, I'm trying to do something positive. I've donated to the Red Cross, and I'm going to use my company's matching gifts program to increase the amount. And I've borrowed a button to help link my many readers (ha ha) over so they can give, too.

Hell, I've decided that I've gone soft anyway. I am easily upset by inappropriate things. I heard that newer Eminem song again on my way to work. And for the millionth time, it made me cry. Real, puffy eyes, red nose, tears.

Eminem, people. That can't be normal.

Just to be safe, I am staying far away from the country stations until further notice. If Eminem does this to me, who knows what emotions Tim McGraw could draw out.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hi Mete, thanks for the comment. I'm with you on the hurricane thing. There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said.

And Eminem has made me cry too. "Cleaning out my closet" gets me.