what i watched last week
music friday: dad’s tape

happy thanksgiving (these are better days, baby)

Last weekend, the following showed up on a friend’s Facebook feed:

Some thoughts as we enter the Christmas season ... It is important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. If I don't see your name, I'll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy, paste, and share this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will! (You have to copy & paste this one, NO sharing) Be grateful xpx

This kind of post is fairly common on Facebook, and I usually avoid them like the plague. I appreciate the sentiment, but the entire concept beneath “You have to copy & paste this one, NO sharing” turns the sentiment into a greeting card. Hey, I don’t have to think of anything to say, don’t have to add a personal touch, don’t have to make a real connection to the words. I can just copy & paste and be done with it. I’ll even look like a good person.

But this one hit home, because I find this time of year to be depressing. And so, I decided to copy & paste. At the top of the message, I wrote, “I never do these, but this one's worth it:”.

Well, several of my Facebook friends followed suit. Some of them said nice things about me in the process. They are good people. Me? Not so much. Because I’m about to complain.

Almost every person who did the copy & paste thing included “I never do these, but this one's worth it:” at the top of their post.

Man, am I being picky or what? But I can’t quit obsessing about this. It tells me that there was little thought given to the cut & paste. It was taken literally ... my little sentence was assumed to be part of the message. Perhaps all of my friends, also, “never do these”, but someone is doing them, or why do I see them on my Facebook feed?

This is why I never do these, why I generally find them irritating. It’s a simulation of caring, no different in the end from sharing or liking. It’s an easy way to “connect” with others.

I’m guilty too, of course ... otherwise, I wouldn’t have broken my “never do” pattern.

And why did I think it was “worth it”?

I spent the majority of my days embroiled in hate for the curse of my life. “Why me?” was my motto. Even now, after ten years of psych meds, I feel much the same ... I no longer have the passion of hatred, but I still have a piss poor attitude towards life.

And my attitude is so bogus, just like my copy & paste. I have a large and wonderful family. I am lucky in that most of my loved ones are still with us. I don’t really have family problems, my health struggles are still containable, I solved my job issues by retiring which is what I wanted all along anyway, and I know that some people care. Yet I hitch myself to that wagon, pretending to a misery I don’t deserve.

As Bruce Springsteen sang, “it's a sad man my friend who's livin' in his own skin, and can't stand the company.”