Thursday, March 19

The Little Things Add Up

Today was a weird day.  

Maybe it's just that blogging every day for nearly three weeks has had its own effect on my vision. It could very well be.  You know how that happens.  You're driving in your car, and hear some people on a talk show discussing a book--not a new book, like you might expect, but a book that has been around for years, and someone just happened to bring it up on the show.  Suddenly, the book is everywhere, and you notice it constantly, even though you never heard of it before.  Maybe you even stop in, pick it up and look at it when you pass the bookstore.  Then you go to a party, and a friend says "Have you ever read [the book]?" (and no, they didn't hear the radio show that you heard.)  You walk by another bookstore, and there it is, in their window display, a place normally reserved for new books.  You're listening to an interview with one of your favorite musicians, and they mention that when they wrote such-and-such seven years ago, they were inspired by this book.  You get the idea.  It's kinda twilight zone-ish (wasn't that a GREAT show?).

Well, blogging is kinda like that.  I'm almost sure of it.  At least the doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo part.

So, I've been writing publicly for 18 days about things that I don't get.  And I gotta tell you, all of a sudden, I don't seem to get anything.  Or to be more accurate, I notice everything that is odd in the course of day, which I have to say can be taxing because there's a lot of odd stuff out there.  And when you're itching to figure out (preferably early in the day) what is sufficiently confusing to justify a blog post, it can get tiring.  Oh yeah...and stupid.

For example, this morning, I went to a coffee place to fill some time before I had to show up to put my John Hancock on a letter.  Yup, that's all I was there to do--I have an exciting life.  I went to pick up my food, and they had given me two knives.   (It was a breakfast sandwich.  I didn't even need one knife).   And I'm sitting there, sipping my coffee, looking at these two knives, noticing that they are lying so beautifully next to one another, facing opposite directions.  And I'm thinking that I don't get why they gave me two knives, and maybe that's what I can write about today (so I can stop thinking about what confuses me sufficiently to write about).  And then I'm thinking that this is the most boring thing to write about.  They gave me two knives because they made a mistake. Fascinating insight, Robin.  On the other hand, I did think that the curve of the knives rested so nicely into one might even call it spooning, if they weren't...well...knives.  That cracked me up.

The day was full of 'em.  Completely uninteresting things that I don't get. 

I don't get how the toolbox section at Home Depot can sleep at night when it doesn't carry those little cases with all the tiny drawers.  Like this:

64-Drawer Storage Cabinet

I don't get why, when I open the envelope of watermelon seeds that Phoebe chose for our spring planting, I'm surprised that they look like (wow!) watermelon seeds.  Go figure.

I don't get why they "upgraded" the software on Facebook so that it doesn't work as well as it did before, and doesn't seem to do anything new.  Aren't upgrades supposed to be about improvements?  I'm really not being picky here...what was the purpose of the upgrade?  Maybe if I knew, I could get on board, but I don't get it.
I don't get the cult of celebrity, even as I sometimes have it myself (I don't get it then, either).  I don't get, for example, how people take Natasha Richardson's tragic death (I absolutely get how tragic and shocking it is) so personally, and I really don't get people leaving condolence messages about how they will miss her (even if they have never seen anything she was in, which was true for many people) because of [insert non-sequitur].  Like this one:

"...I remember her mostly becuase her mother was Vanessa Redgrave who I love. But I will miss her because she is such a fine actress and I will go out and rent Evening again and enjoy her and her mother together in film and share a tear. She will be missed and I am sorry for her family especially Vanessa."  (from

Yeah, I know.  Projection.  Unfinished Grief.  Coming to terms with mortality.  Blah blah blah.  Okay, I can be persuaded to get some of it.  Mostly, I still don't get it.

And just to reassure you (because I know you were worried)...I don't only ruminate (I prefer "ruminate" to "obsess"--just play along) on trivial things that I don't get.  I also occasionally delve into the bigger things.  There are plenty of them.  I did a lot of that today, too.  But I gave this post a title, and I kinda feel like I need to stick to it.  Besides, I might need some of those bigger things in the days remaining, if I am to have any hope at all of writing a post that's more interesting than this one.


Elaine said...

I totally agree with you that I don't get online grieving by people for people they don't know. It seems like an oddly selfish thing to do; but it is in tune with the cultural shift brought on by this medium. I have yet to figure out why *anyone* would put so much of their private life into the ether.

Janerz said...

Ok, I was going to chime in on the whole mourning celebrities thing. Then I remembered that I named my daughter after Walter Payton, who died when I was pregnant the first time (didn't end up using the name that time because it turned out to be a boy and we wanted to reserve "Payton" for a girl). . .Damn these glass houses!