Thursday, 7 April 2011

Blog Like No One is Reading...

Originally posted August 11, 2010...

Hello Friends.

Forgive my long absence (or don’t, what do I care?), but I was in the prairies this week visiting family and friends and watching people get married.  It was all lovely, but far too short.  Being back home always makes me sentimental, which in turn makes me insufferable.  The following is excerpted text from Father Alfred D’Souza

Happiness is a journey, not the destination
Dance as though no one is watching you
Love as though you have never been hurt before
Sing as though no one can hear you
Live as though heaven is on earth

I have some D’problems with that.

Dream: Discredit the work of Father Alfred D’Souza.

Goal: Not achievable.  Variants of those five or six lines appear on placards, posters, refrigerators, greeting cards, and email forwards every day.  These philosophies are espoused as gospel by anal-retentive middle management types and folks who own several cats and have no need for birth control (because who’s touching these people?).  I will never be as widely read or believed insofar as I have a poorly designed blog and D’Souza has an empire.  But I can try.

Plan: Take this folksy creed apart, line by line, and prove him wrong.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Really, Father?  Ever fly WestJet?  Things have to change in the airline industry if we’re ever to enjoy the journey.  I know everybody bitches about air travel and are a lot funnier than me, but give me at least one thing to pick on.  Like for instance, why can’t the baggage drop-off, security screening and boarding of the plane take place all at once?  They way they check and re-check your boarding pass and identification is so invasive; like you’ve gone to all the trouble of faking these things and only someone with a keen eye like Stefan the prissy flight attendant (who you know has the given name of Steven and is just being precious) can possibly catch what’s going on.  Here’s my suggestion.  When you arrive at the airport you go alone into a little room.   You place all your luggage, id, boarding pass and personal items into a box, strip off all your clothes and put them into the box, fill out an index card indicating what drink you’d like to order and then put the box on a conveyer belt where some unseen person or persons receives it in another room.  Then you get on one of those moving sidewalks in your underpants (again, alone, or with your children under five or seeing eye dog) and someone from behind a two way mirror criticizes your naked form while someone else roots through your stuff.  Your embarrassment at being nearly nude will be counterbalanced with the awesomeness of being on a moving sidewalk (because those are awesome!). At the end of the sidewalk you come to an identical little room where your carry-on and your (folded) clothes are returned to you, along with your perfectly chilled cocktail on a silver tray (which is worked into the price of your ticket, by the way.  You have to get a cocktail or else you’re wasting your own money and only stupid people do that).  Then you get on the plane and off she goes!

Dance as though no one is watching you

If you’re a person who really takes this advice to heart, I’d advise you to do just the opposite.  Don’t dance because everyone is watching you.  People who dance with wild abandon are one of two things: children or drunk.  And God help you if you end up on the dance floor next to a drunken child.  Look, I’m no Shawn Desman here.  I’m not a dancer in the least.  But I can do the Kinda Dancing, which is all I am entitled to.  Where you sort of move to the rhythm and keep tight hold of your drink and any semblance of a dance move must either be preceded or followed by an apologetic “I”m so white” or “I’m the whitest person here.”  And if you can actually dance, don’t do it even then!  That’s worse!  Nothing is more obnoxious then when a person or couple bust out a few choreographed moves.  Everyone cheers but are inwardly terribly embarrassed, thinking, “Oh God they practiced that at home, that’s really sad.”

Love as though you have never been hurt before

Think of the STI’s.  To love as though you’ve never been hurt sounds a bit like saying love without the wisdom of past loves gone awry.  “Wow, he has no job?  Then he has all the time in the world for me!  Hurray!”  I think of all the waiters I would fall for.  The minute a server gets a little flirty in hopes of a higher tip, I turn into a Tennessee Williams heroine.

“I’ll have the spaghetti.”
“Ooh, that’s my favourite!  Good choice!”
“It is??  Oh well it’s my favourite too!  I mean, I haven’t had it yet, but I know I’ll just love it!  And if you like it, you big strapping…. oh my stars!   Could I trouble you for another pitcher of ice water, I am overwhelmed!”

Sing as though no one can hear you

EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU!  STOP IT!  Impromptu tune-carriers are worse than the Nazi’s and I’m just gonna say it.  We can all be forgiven for unconsciously humming along to whatever is on the loudspeaker at the grocery store, but to be standing next to someone waiting for a bus who suddenly busts out with an unprovoked, “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes!” makes me want to take my own life.  And sorry theatre people, but you are the worst!  The green room of a rehearsal hall is an American Idol-esque seventh circle of hell.  And, like good dancers, the better a singer is, the more obnoxious their surprise solo.  What are we supposed to do, tip you?  Tell you that you’re better than us?  Weep at your greatness?  There’s only person who can provoke that kind of reaction and that’s Miss Anne Murray.

Live as though heaven is on earth

Again, D’Souza, get to an airport sometime.  Or the public washroom at a fast food place.  Or an elementary school band concert.  If heaven were on earth, none of these things would exist.

Look, truthfully, this guy is well-intentioned.  I can respect what he’s trying to do, but it’s a little too pat for my liking.  If we all did as he prescribed, we’d all be singing, dancing religious zealots in bad relationships flying on airplanes but never going anyplace.  Instead, let’s acknowledge that we can’t all sing and dance, not every relationship works out, sometimes life can be hell on earth, so let’s just get where we’re going, whether or not we enjoy the ride.

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