The Futility of Consolation Cliché’s and Voting is for the Bees

My life has basically taken a big turn. Apparently, when things seem at their worst, it does not mean that the universe won’t come by and take a nice big shit on your life. The whole ‘things can only get better’ or even ‘things will get better’ adage obviously does not apply to me.

With this in mind, many people I know have been leaving me messages and posting ‘helpful’ articles in the hopes of sending support and lifting my spirits. And while I appreciate their love and concern to no end, it doesn’t always help. In fact, a lot of the time, the sentiment is so clichéd and regurgitated it feels hollow and insincere. One such piece a loved one sent to me was a list concerning what one should say when a loved one is going through hard times. It was so stereotypical that I felt the need to rebut the list, and will do so right now.

Seriously? Next you will tell me that God will never give me more than I can handle.

  1. “It’s okay not to be okay.” Wrong. It is not okay for me to fall apart. I am barely keeping my family in one piece as it is. And one would naturally argue that my job is not to hold my family together – and to that one I can only say, you haven’t met my family.
  2. “You’re not alone.” Of course I’m not alone. I know that there are people out there going through similar shitstorms in their lives, and it could always be worse. People are dropping dead of AIDS and Ebola right and left. I could have been born in warring Congo or to migrant workers in the American south. I could be homeless or terminally ill or worse. There is worse. But how does reminding me how hopeless the world is serve to help me… at all?
  3. “Let go of blame”. I don’t blame myself. What is happening to me is literally happening to me.  It is entirely out of my hands.
  4. “Struggle makes you stronger”. Seriously? Next you will tell me that God will never give me more than I can handle.
  5. “Take a step back”. Yeah, perspective is not my problem. In fact, I’m acutely aware of my situation and the exact severity therein.
  6. “Nothing lasts forever.” Of course not. You die eventually.
  7. “Take things step by step.” This one pisses me off as it questions my
    intelligence. Of course you can only deal with one thing at a time. There is no way I can deal with every bad thing falling on me at once, it’s a physical impossibility. And any neurologist will tell you that the concept of multitasking is a myth.
  8. “Look for the open door.” I think you mean window, as in ‘every time God closes a door he opens a window’. I think these clichés only work if you believe in God…
  9. “Just do your best.” Nah, I’m going to do my worst and just exacerbate an already negative, hopeless situation.
  10. “You’ve come through tough times before.” True, I have. But I never get a breather in between catastrophes. There is no coming down from the stress. Reminding me that I’ve been through hard times in the past just reminds me that my life is a never ending avalanche. Oh, right, number 6: It will end, as I will die.Thanks for reminding me of grim mortality, useless list!
  11. “You’re brave”. Thanks, list, but I’m just waiting to die (see number 6). Plus the definition of bravery is doing something you’re afraid of. So I don’t think that particular sentiment applies…
  12. “There is something good in each day.” And that is true. But don’t ask me to try and see the balance between the good with the bad. Please. I might hang myself.
  13. “Look at what you’re gaining.” Whatever that may be (and really I don’t see anything), it is not worth the hell I’m going through or what I’ve lost to get it.
  14. “It’s not your fault”. I know it’s not my fault. That’s what’s so fucking upsetting. It’s relentless badness that I did not incite, have no way of stopping and won’t end until I do.
  15. “Well done.” Well, I didn’t personally kill anyone. Yet. So… thanks?
  16. “Focus on now.” This is the one thing I’ve held on to because it’s the only thing I really can do (which I’ve already explained as this is just a regurgitation of number 5 and number 7).
  17. “Nothing is ever the end of the world”. Unfortunately.
  18. “Be kind to yourself”. Okay, but, yeah a spa treatment isn’t going to fix anything. In fact, letting go of the reigns for a moment may in fact make everything worse. Like I said in response to number one, there is only one person at this helm . The ship may be sinking but we still need to try and stay afloat.
  19. “People want to help.” That’s nice, but there’s nothing they can do. And people understand this, which is why they keep sending food and flowers.
  20. “I’m there for you.” That’s a really sweet sentiment, but the reality of it is, if you’re not going down in this ship, it’s too late for life boats, and if you’re in the ship with me, you need more help than I do.

So, yeah, there’s that.

Yeah, I’m frelling cynical, but I’m from the Northeast, and we’re raised on a steady diet of sarcasm and stoicism. This is why The Trouble with Harry bombed across the country, but was embraced fully up here.

Edward Lear's Nonsense Rhyme for the Letter B

Edward Lear’s Nonsense Rhyme for the Letter B

In other depressing news it’s Voting day for mid-term elections. I hate this season. It gets worse and worse each year – the ads, the money, the lying, the emails and phone calls. Seriously, the phone rang up until 11 pm last night,

I have no patience for willful ignorance, and these days election campaigns are depending on it.

and it was all robots asking my family to remember to vote and to vote for so and so, and these other dudes. And it frustrates me as this is the situation that proves my theory that bees are the superior species of social animals on Earth.

My long held belief about the bees goes like this:
Social animals display intelligence in only one of two ways. The first is like ants, who are collectively intelligent, working in tandem for the betterment of the group, but individually are rather daft. Cut off from its colony an ant is not much more than a snack. The second way is like humans, who are individually intelligent but collectively ignorant; whether through panic or voting they will act in detriment to the group as a whole, looking out only for themselves.
Bees, on the other hand, are an amazing anomaly. Not only are they collectively intelligent, they are individually intelligent as well; an individual member of a hive can make independent decisions on behalf of the whole, considering the betterment of all – not just that particular individual. In other words, a bee understands that as a social animal it needs the entire hive to benefit and thrive in order for it to benefit and thrive; in order to survive. This makes them the superior species.

Suck it humans. Today most of you probably will not vote at all, and those that do will vote for what they like and not look at the big picture. It happens all the time. And it frustrates and depresses me. I have no patience for willful ignorance, and these days election campaigns are depending on it. That’s how they exploit people and trick them into voting for things and people who will wrong them in the end.

Gah. So this was fun. Maybe next time I’ll have something awesome to talk about. Let’s hope.