Friday, May 28, 2010
Their bodies shut down, their minds start to betray them, and the youthful masses by and large give them nary a thought. I fell recently into thinking how AWFUL it would be to be old. This may or may not have stemmed from finding my first grey hair a week after my 27th birthday.
Walking through the grocery store, I repeatedly found myself cart-blocked by the same pair of toddling old folks. They were clearly longly married, and leaned on each other as much as their cart as they shuffled along, shopping and blocking younger shoppers in their hurried way.At first I was frustrated that they were delaying me. They even somehow tootled right into the lane I wanted to zip through to escape with my groceries, and took their sweet, sweet time fishing for their checkbook to pay. I exited through another lane.
When I watched them on their way out to their car, which was interestingly enough parked right next to mine, I stopped. I watched how the man gently ascertained that his wife was physically okay as he opened their trunk. I watched as they loaded in their 2 bags of groceries, thinking all the while, "Wow, good for them that they didn't let the bagboy help them to their car. I admire their independence."
However, since my cart was similarly unloaded next to their car, I got the timely but unaccustomed urge to ask,
"Pardon me, I mean no offense, but since I'm going to return my cart anyway, may I take yours as well?"
I never, ever do shit like that. EVER.
The expression on the elderly lady's face was heartbreaking.
"Thank you," she said, with a touching quaver to her tone, "thank you, yes, you have no idea how much that would help us out."Abashed, mildly uncomfortable at such gratitude, and frankly embarrassment I'd ever felt an ounce of annoyance at this adorable couple, I replied,
"Er, no worries, it's my pleasure. You two have a wonderful afternoon."
But while it was a little thing, and I only did it because it was easy and on my way and I was inspired by the love and care they showed each other after what was clearly a long time in their relationship, the moment has stuck with me for almost a week now.
I've long railed against alleged "Random acts of kindness, (RAOK)" posts, because for all intents and purposes, sharing RAOKs serves only to buoy the self esteem of those sharing their little stories, which negates any aspect of altruism intrinsic in the deeds themselves. However. HOWEVER, it made me feel good. And it brightened that little couple's day, if only for a minute. And now maybe I'm wondering, ina way unlike my usual my grinchy stoicism, if maybe just a little spread of happiness is what it's all about. Maybe that's the person we SHOULD be.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I understand that many religions embrace a kind of misguided Manifest Destiny. Like a living organism, they are spurred by the desire to produce more of their own kind, and while mitosis seems unlikely (seriously though, how fun would it be to watch fundamentalists try to split themselves in two before sallying forth to spread their holy mission to others?) they've come up with an obnoxious method of spreading their word and thereby (I'm guessing?) hoping to increase their numbers.
They've hooked up, apparently, with half-literate teenagers, the likes of whom take downwards-pointing pouty-faced heavily-makeuped photos and post them on their myspace pages to author an ever-increasing number of holy email forwards.
Like the chain-forwards of the '90s, these insidious emails are making the rounds under the guise of "fluffy spring bunnies, 2cute, go look!" subjects, or more personal "This photo made me think of you".
You innocently go to your email inbox, and see an email from someone you are delighted to hear from, loudly proclaiming "How sweet is this? I love you." in the subject. You are immediately intrigued. What unique internet meme have they discovered? Will you suddenly witness the next Rickroll gag, or will you get to witness an incredulous looking guinea pig .gif? The possibilities intrigue you, and you click on Auntie Susie's email.
Now, in the interests of foiling these religious activists, I will NOT post the email in its nefarious self interested entirety, I'll simply recreate it as I usually read them.
Deceptive Subject Heading
or general crap -Book of Blahblahblah.bla.blahbitty"
blah blah blah,
blessed blah blah blah.
Yappity shmappity yadda yadda
blah blah blah
(I never even really get this far because I've seen the Book of Blahbitty reference anyway and have either decided to delete the email the remainder unread, or I send a snarky reply to the sender informing them of my distaste for their internet driven bible-thumpery.)
Borgthoughts yadda yadda sameness
uninteresting footprints in sand,
you are blessed yadda yadda,
COME TO JESUS!
SEND THIS EMAIL TO 10 PEOPLE YOU LOVE, OR A terrible financial misfortune will fall upon you! (OR)
The thing you wish for most dearly will never, ever happen for you.
God will kill all the kittens and puppies in the world!
Of course, what I read at this point is PRECISELY WHATEVER IS WRITTEN, causing a rage in me that I am forced to choose between all the kittens of the world, (because, you see, my atheistic-leaning agnosticism allows for the fact that God might ACTUALLY exist, and if this god does exist who allows his followers to send out these bullshit emails, he might also just be enough of a juvenile butthead to actually go and kill all the puppies if I don't spread the "good word".) or my halfway-reliable common sense saying that email forwards and their related curses are CRAP and should all be systematically destroyed with a genius internet worm created specifically for the purpose of pissing off the fundamentalists.
(Are you reading, Mr. Jobs? THIS is what you need to focus your attention on, rather than worrying about how much free-publicity you're getting from the iphone next generation leak, k? Seriously. Do us all a service and stop being a whiner.)
On that disturbing note, the email will generally end abruptly, leaving you with a dissatisfied, disquieted feeling akin to that when you realized that evolution is apparently being taught as only an "option" in the state that bred you.
So in a gentler closing of my own post, I'd like to implore all you religious nutjobs (I use "nutjob" kindly here, as you're really self-realizing by sending these flaming bags if i-poop in the first place) to kindly keep your proselytizing to wandering about door to door, so people who are offended by your words at least have the ability to look you in the face as they inform you that pushing your religion onto others is about as welcome as a forced enema.