Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calling out a prick and in this case, the prick is me

Monday night I was fresh and clean from my shower, sitting at the island in the kitchen enjoying a lovely, ice cold, Mr. Pop-made-martini. The kitchen was awash in the aromas of spaghetti sauce and toasting homemade garlic bread. Murphy the Dog and Fred the Cat were contentedly snoozing. I turned to Mr. Pop and said, “Damn, I wish the weather would cool down a little.

Then I turned to the TV and saw the horror stories about the fires in California. That’s when I realized what a prick I was being for sitting there in all that comfort and complaining about the weather being too warm for my liking. Meanwhile, thousands of people in California were literally running for their lives.

My mood changed considerably as I reflected on the times after the hurricanes when I felt things would never be normal again, but eventually they were. I feel so bad for the people who have lost their homes in these fires because I don’t know how long it will be, if ever, before things will be so normal for them again that they will forget to appreciate the normalcy, like I did for a moment Monday night.

Please take a suggestion from this self-recognized prick. If your life is fairly normal right now, take a couple of moments just to simply acknowledge and appreciate that.

30 Comments:

Blogger fallenmonk said...

Good suggestion PoP. I was just thinking last night on what I would try and save if I had to evacuate on such short notice. No way I could save everything that is important to me.
How hard will it be for these people to get back to normal? If my experience with insurance companies is any gauge then many of them will need years to get back to some reasonable state and with the changes in the weather and environment there may be more fires of the same destruction before they do get back to normal.

October 24, 2007 4:04 AM  
Blogger ZBTzahBTzoo said...

You make a valid point: better to be suffering a perimenopausal hotflash in northern Michigan than to be fleeing wildfires in California.

However,

and this is not to mitigate your very good point, only to say that while you might be a bit of a prick, you're not a gigantic prick,

my former mother inlaw used to say, "Your broken leg doesn't take away the pain of my stubbed toe," which just goes to show, there are always those in greater or lesser pain than self, and there will always be greater and lesser pricks than self.

I am HUGE prick today. California is burning, and I have the nerve to be completely pissed off at the certain SOMEBODY who left the bathroom door open last night, so my dog could eat four days worth of Oxy medicated zit pads from the waste basket.

Let the deluge of dog vomit begin!

October 24, 2007 4:05 AM  
Blogger niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Bush will be turning the latest tragedy into a photo-op today.

So.....

I'm glad my life is the model of normalcy, and we don't have his Royal Idoicy coming round to rubberneck at the destruction and get some photos taken for his scrapbook of "I'm the greatest".

Poor California, first the fires, then the President. When will their nightmare end?

October 24, 2007 4:17 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

PoP.... what a post you have here.

I must say that we, being human, all have moments like these. However, you very quickly had that insight. I think the important thing is to have the insight and then realize it.

All of the other commenters have said such thoughtful and true things.

I think it is not a case of who has worse suffering, but the recognition of our collective and individual challenges. So many of us can just be lost in our own PMP(PoorMePrick) moment that we don't get to the next step.

You did that quickly and here you put it out for us to see and reflect on.

That is a good thing.

On a related note, I em'd someone I know in Cali. On Sunday her home was being encroached upon by 3 fires. Things had improved for her by Monday, but it is still bad.

Karma is a bee-yotch and Mother Earth reminds us of this a lot lately.

Thank you PoP.

October 24, 2007 4:35 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Oh, you lefties and your moral relativism, self-flagellation and misery transference! But you're right. If you're having a bad day, or feel like shit, there's probably someone who's having a worse one. Does that invalidate ours? No, but it's not a bad idea, before going back to wallowing in self-pity (which we all do, hey, it's human nature) to realize things could be a whole hell of a lot worse. Which is a more convoluted way of saying what Franiam said. Absorb yourself in prickery, just don't let that make you be a prick to everyone else.

October 24, 2007 4:45 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Very well said.

October 24, 2007 4:50 AM  
Blogger Undeniable Liberal said...

Well, according to Glenn Beck, the good news is that some America haters are losing their homes.
Now THAT'S a Prick.

October 24, 2007 4:56 AM  
Blogger URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

No. If you're having a shitty day I don't think it helps anyone by invalidating those feelings. We would never be allowed to wallow in our imagined misery every again because there always will be someone worse off. And, by the same token, whenever we felt happy we would also have to stop and think about all the people who had so much more to be happy about than we do and we wouldn't be allowed to be happy anymore. And then we'd just have to maintain a constant state of neutrality in order not to be considered a prick. I appreciate your point POP and of course we empathize with human suffering, but that shouldn't stop us from indulging our own sufferings.

October 24, 2007 5:28 AM  
Blogger Forty Paws said...

Great advice PoP. And everyone has valid viewpoints here. Urban Ped's seems to be a good way to end up in a downward spiral of depression and there's enough of that already...

I occasionally stop to think that if I had to evacuate, how quickly could I get the Forty Paws into a vehicle? I know my panic would directly feed their fears and make it that much worse. Arrghhh.

October 24, 2007 5:43 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

girlfriend this past week has benn a prick of sorts for me, but nothing compaired to what I see on the tv!
We should really be thankful for what we have!
We are receiving glorious rain today, we were in such a drought
Have a blessed day -plus at least you acknowledged your wrong thoughts-some dont ya

October 24, 2007 6:30 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

POP,
We are not obliged to suffer for others. Everybody gets his turn in the barrel. You do what you can do: write a check to Red Cross, you pay your taxes, you take someone into your home, in short—you care. I agree we should never take the good times in our lives for granted, but enjoying a good time doesn’t make you a villain.

I am not unsympathetic to the Californians, but time and again we see examples of why some places are not suitable for permanent, high density habitation. People like the weather. They like the view. They can import water. They can buy insurance but it is still an arid climate, and highly susceptible to fire. Just like the Gulf Coast is susceptible to hurricanes. Our lifestyle choices are all accompanied by risks. We are responsible for recognizing the risks.

Now your e-community can tear into me for being heartless. I’m going to surf over to Red Cross and give a little money.

October 24, 2007 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Lower Mack said...

nick (mem beth); i knew I wouldn't have to look too far to find a liberal somehow blaming Bush for this....

October 24, 2007 7:09 AM  
Blogger Sparky Duck said...

you are not a prick, because we can not spend our lives regretting everything we say because someplace else someone is always suffering.

you maybe a prick for making me want a martini at 10 am

October 24, 2007 7:14 AM  
Blogger annie said...

you are low on the prick meter, pop.
many selfish souls have got you beat!

here in the north end of the golden state, i have lived through earthquakes, mudslides, and floods...comes with the territory, as scott pointed out.

however,losing everything isn't something i'd wish on anyone, even a total prick.

October 24, 2007 7:34 AM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

ah, Pop, you are so not a prick. I probably would have been bitching about being too hot too! Even with an ice-cold martini in my hand and the delightful aromas of spaghetti and garlic bread in the background.

Having been evacuated yesterday and gratefully able to return home by night, I have a new appreciation for the creature comforts of home and normalcy. (Although I have a feeling my traumatized animals are far more appreciative!!)

After returning home, exhausted, filthy, and hungry, I went out for a drink and a meal with a friend. The restaurant's parking lot had been turned into an evacuation center--thousands of displaced people, many of them sitting in the parking lot watching their homes burn in the hills around us. I felt somewhat guilty, knowing I had a bed to sleep in that night.

October 24, 2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Wishing it was cooler does not make you a prick even if horrible things are happening in CA.

It doesn't make you a prick to wish it was cooler even considering what's happening in Darfur.

It just makes you normal to think of our immediate, daily life first. Give yourself a break

October 24, 2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

Every moment of every day I thank goodness that life still appears normal and tyranny free. I don't think the US will survive the next 16 months with that still being true.

The idea that the The Thugglickin' party will just go quietly - without trying to do an end run around the constitution - does not compute.

October 24, 2007 8:00 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

I don't think you are a prick at all. A prick wouldn't even remember that nearly a million people have been evacuated and all that gut-wrenching upheaval caused by fires.

It's a shame that so many people live in the arid, desert southwest where fires like this have become more commonplace.

October 24, 2007 8:30 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Hopefully I'm not being a prick for calling you out on this, POP.

My mood changed considerably as I reflected on the times after the hurricanes when I felt things would never be normal again, but eventually they were.

No, things are not normal in Louisiana! There are still thousands of people who have not been able to get back into their homes or rebuild. Many are still living in those horrible trailers that were provided (eventually) by the government, only to find out later they are filled with asbestos. Many children are separated from their parents and living in other states because their schools haven't been rebuilt. Many cannot find jobs because their businesses have gone belly up. It's still a mess over there and not normal at all!

My hear goes out to those who have lost their homes in California, but something tells me, they will be living in new homes before those in Louisiana..especially those poor black in Louisiana.

(Please don't be mad at me for my rant-I don't think you're a prick at all!) ;-)

October 24, 2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

oops...typo-"my hear goes out...", meant to say my "heart" goes out to those who have lost their homes in California.

October 24, 2007 9:29 AM  
Blogger annie said...

mary ellen~i've been feeling like you do, about comparing the losses of katrina to the current disaster.
katrina victimes couldn't even get bottled water immediately-and l.a. victims got sunscreen? cue randy newman.... sigh.

October 24, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

We all live in our own little universe, and we do occasionally have annoyances that make us feel a bit crappy. I once had to evacuate my home because the town I lived in was destroyed by a tidal wave. The rest of the world sympathized with us and did what they could to help, and that felt good, that we were not alone. The humanity and kindness in other folks is amazing.

However, on a day to day basis, we all live in our own skins, so you should not feel bad for wishing the weather would cool down. Somewhere - anywhere - in the world, someone is having a better day, and someone is having a worse day. It's all relative.

October 24, 2007 10:26 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Hey there...I don't think you have any "prick" qualities...you have a heart and a soul...and you took the time to think and care about others....nope you are not a prick....Now Glen Beck GIANT Prick...for what he said- in truelly a heartless moment...of course he claims it is ahem "humor"....POP...sadly the real truth is that ever since this Evil Bush Regime Stole the First Election....well there has been NO Normalcy ever again...that was shattered so long ago.....

October 24, 2007 11:59 AM  
Blogger pineapple said...

I do have sympathy for the people in California, but when you start hearing the horrors about celebrity so and so had to flea, I'm not so sure I feel sorry for that person having to leave the safety of their home to a 5 star hotel. The media needs to get their priorities straight.

October 24, 2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger Tattooed & Atheist (T&A) said...

Great idea. But don't be so hard on yourself, it's natural to complain about weather a little. Now if you were screaming at the top of your lungs I could see calling you a prick.

I feel awful for those people, lets hope that they all find some normalcy soon!

October 24, 2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

POP
That's cool, you learn if you are lucky enough to live long enough, to never complain and be thankful for what you have.
I have been saying of late that Bush is going to use these catastrophes for more than just political gain and that he was driving towards WW3 and martial law.
Well check this out. It is undeniable. Why are we powerless to stop it? anyway ignore my stuff but look at the relentless drive for WW3

October 24, 2007 3:29 PM  
Blogger WeezieLou said...

no prickness heard here. the fire sucks - i have severl friends in fear for their homes, but fortunately no their lives.

my own life is anything but normal now, and won't be for a long time, but it's clear sailing, so the weather Gods are helping me out.

October 24, 2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger Dave The Angry Rhode Islander said...

Well said, Patricia. You weren't being a prick though.

I like your suggestion, and hopefully all of us (ALL of us) can live safely and peacefully.

October 25, 2007 8:46 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

PoP, your humility serves as an example to us all.

October 25, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Pissed Off Patricia,
I hardly think that you were or are a prick. I get what you are saying, but not to be a prick here, but YOU are not a prick! You may have been feeling a little prickly at the time you had that thought, that's all. I will take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate how normal things are today.

October 27, 2007 11:34 AM  

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