Well, There's Some Good News and There's Some Bad News That Has Nothing to do With You

Which do you want first?

Dear Friends and Readers,

Today is not Cinco de Mayo, or May the Fourth be with you(May 4). It is an ordinary day. May 6th. On the other hand, if it were 1937, the Hindenburg would be exploding today, which was a rather big deal at the time.

I don’t know if it’s appropriate to be sad about that now. Can I walk around depressed all day, and when someone says, “Wow, you look sad. Are you okay?”

I’ll answer, “Well, you know. The Hindenburg and all.”

Perspective, right? If it doesn’t affect you, it’s no big deal. If it doesn’t affect you, and you act like it affects you, you look nuts. That’s the world we live in.

Of course, some people think Everything Is Happening To Them. You know those people? Everything is personal. Famous people getting divorced affects them. Other people’s grandma’s passing away is a direct hit. They read an article that knocked them on their ass. Ouch.

I tried being one of those people once. I thought, why not be someone who feels like everything is happening to me? That could be very exciting—so much action.

Unfortunately, I don’t cry very easily. If you want to be someone who thinks everything is happening to you, you have to be a quick crier. As soon as something sad happens to anyone, anywhere, you have to be ready to turn on the waterworks.

I’m too much of a sociopath for that. I like to hear terrible news with a completely stoic face. That way, people are always asking, “Did you hear what I said? Don’t you think that’s horrible?” And I smile and nod like I forgot to turn up my hearing aid, or I have bodies buried in the basement, so nothing really rattles me. Certainly not idle gossip.

I know people, personally, who think everything is happening to them. When they get extremely upset about something, like Jennifer Aniston getting dumped again, I ask, “Wait, do you know her?” And they say, “No, but it’s so sad.” And I say, “Why?”

Being sad about famous people is a dead-end conversation. Where do you go from there? Do you sit around all afternoon listing sad things that happen to famous people? What do you learn from that? It seems like wasted time on earth, and maybe the Gods, looking down at you, will make you evaporate because you’re a time-waster, which offends them personally. It feels, to the Gods, as if it’s happening to them.

I’m not sure what is appropriate to be sad about. Or how sad I am allowed to be. I wish there were a chart. Like I get some bad news about something, I look at the chart. Easy.

Ah, well, in the meantime, I hope you all get wonderful news today, and if you get bad news, look at the chart and respond accordingly.