Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Irresponsibility

Let’s be honest with ourselves; being irresponsible on a work night when you’re 21 and being irresponsible on a work night when you’re 45 are two very different things. At 21, you typically don’t have a mortgage, career, and car payments, nor are you saving for retirement and/or college for your child(ren). Your body is in its prime, and you can stay up to the wee hours of the morning, having far too many drinks and eating copious amounts of tasty, salty, fried food. After a few hours sleep, a decent breakfast, and a nice, steamy shower, you’re usually good to go.

That just doesn’t play when you’re 45, and you’ve already learned it the hard way.

I bring this up as a prelude to the following thoughts, statements, and chain of events that began around 10:30 last night – when Sally and I were in the middle of a second drink in an hour, while rewatching the sixth season of Game of Thrones:

  • “I want to be irresponsible and have another drink. Damn it, I think I will! I’ll just skip the gym in the morning.”
  • Resignedly uttered the word, “fuck,” pulled myself back together, and then happily went to the kitchen, drank a tall glass of water, and then got a third alcoholic beverage for each of us.
  • Split a bag of chips (the lower fat variety, of course) while consuming drinks and finishing episode of Game of Thrones.
  • Grumble to myself, “I’m going to need to somehow make up for not going to the gym in the morning. Maybe I’ll just walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes during my lunch break tomorrow.”
  • Consumed another tall glass of water while considering a fourth drink — a process interrupted by a glance at the the candy jar containing various “Fun Size” candy bars. Said to myself, sotto voce, “That size is anything but fun, even when you aren’t fretting about eating too much.”
  • Caved and grabbed the fourth drink, with full knowledge there would be a mild hangover. The fact it would be a mild one, at worst, did nothing to stop me from thinking I was truly being irresponsible. Inner 21-year-old mocks me.
  • Rejoined Sally in the living room, and watched portions of a couple Golden Girls reruns. That’s when I had the uttered the sentence that started this post. Posted that thought to Facebook, and looked at the clock, which now read 11:45.
  • “I hope I don’t pay too much for this in the morning” went through my head as I had yet another full glass of water. We cleaned up our slight mess, went about our bedtime routines, and turned off the light at approximately 12:15.

And that is how my being irresponsible on a work night at the age of 45 usually plays out these days. As much as my 21-year-old self would’ve mocked “irresponsible” 45-year-old me, there’s one element he would’ve been jealous over: last night I spent the entire evening with an amazing woman whom I had a great time with and then shared a bed with her.

I’ll take 45-year-old irresponsible over 21-year-old irresponsible every single time.

On Good, Evil, and Victim-Blaming

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming” in The Atlantic is a few months old, but I had more than a few different thoughts and reactions, not limited to the original scope of the article:

Essentially good and just people are capable of, and have more often than not, committed horrible acts, words, and deeds against other human beings. Furthermore, they will conjure an array rationalizations that will allow them to downplay or ignore the pain, indignities, and suffering they have caused. However, that’s not always the case; I’m certain that everyone harbors a couple shameful memories of horrible things they’ve done that they refuse to reveal to discuss with anyone…

The absolute worst thing you can tell anyone who is suffering through a trying period is that everything will work out for the better in the end. This is often expressed in some form of “everything happens for a reason.” It’s the worst type of sympathy you can show someone, because it’s not sympathetic or empathetic at all, and the person saying it thinks they are expressing some kind of kind condolence. Essentially good people often spew this kind of crap – I’ve experienced it first hand…

The world is not a just place. You can do everything right, and still come out on the losing end of things. Horrible people will get away with and profit from their actions against others, and frequently they will suffer no ill consequences or be punished for them. Hell, sometimes they’ll succeed so wildly that no one will ever discover what they did. I know a lot of people find comfort in the idea that these people will face some form of divine or karmic retribution, but I’ve learned enough about religion to know that there’s no guarantee of that either…

Finally, while I appreciate religion’s many positive benefits, it’s very possible that this is an area where religion hurts more than it helps. It enables the human weakness, one exhibited by both the religious and non-religious, of wanting “someone else” to properly engage with and assist another person who has been victimized. It’s a far easier path to tread.