American Idiot

cb is away now. He left yesterday for Oglebay, in West Virginia, where he is running the MSTP annual retreat. I miss him, of course. He says he will be home tomorrow at 1 pm. How nice it will be to have him back home!

I decided to spend my day in utter and blissful solitude. I mean. I did see Mollie, and Wells, and Mollie’s friend Maddy, but only for brief periods. But when I was out, shopping, I had earphone in and I was listening to my music the entire time, pretty much ignoring everyone around me, even while checking out at various stores. I mean I smiled and thanked the cashiers, but did not engage in conversation. They may have found it annoying, but I was perfectly polite and considerate and appreciative. There is no obligation as a customer to converse with anyone in a given store during routine transactions.

I veryI like spending time alone. A lot. But only for limited periods of time, for I am also a social creature. It is not so much that I get lonely. It is rare that I feel lonely, in fact, these days, becsue so much of my life involves interacting with peops and often in an intimate, intense way. It is just that if I spend too much time alone, I miss being with peops, and I miss my peops. The other prob with spending too much time alone, at least for me, is that I start to dwell too much on the negative, like the fact that my loved ones and I are all going to be dead someday, and dead is probably dead, there is no heaven, despite my desire to believe in it. Or else, I tend to brood and worry – about Mom, cb. the kids, stuff I have not crossed off my to-do list. About money, work, getting older, being a slob, having a billion things to do that I am not doing, about how Mollie’s quilt will never be ready in time for her matriculation in college, two years, almost to the day, from now. Although about being a slob, I must say, our basement is so much more orderly than the Fiddle Lake basement that it is like a luxury suite in comparison to that nauseatingly dank mildew trap with its incongruently state of the art washer/dryer, which after one load, I avoided going into, instead opting to use Curtis’s. For those who may be wondering, no, I did not mooch their detergent in addition to their water and electricity and machine time. I was sufficiently considerate to purchase our own detergent so as not to use up theirs. I am sure the reader would be interested to know that my detergent preference is Tide with Downy April Breeze scent, the scent of my childhood clean laundry. Mom would use Downy liquid fabric softener, although back then, April Breeze was the only scent.

About spending time alone, though. Mollie cavorted last night and much of today with friends, and her boyfriend, which is very wonderful, because she, too is a social creature. However, like me, she is a person who, even though an adolescent, has learned to enjoy spending time alone. I recall Herb Rubin once telling me that he loved his solitude. Unless I fall into that abyss of anxiety, I love mine, too. I get to do what I want, when I want. I get to listen to the music I want to listen to. I can wear what I want, eat what and what I want. Today, there was no reason I had to be home for anything particular. There were chores, but I did them in my own time, when I was ready to do them. Like I gave the bunny hutch a good cleaning, threw in a load of laundry, got some groceries, but only after buying some shoes and a sweater. And, because I am training for the Great Race at end of September, I ran 6.55 miles today. This was my longest run since the half marathon, and It got pretty hot. Prior to it, I made sure to download some new upbeat songs onto my iPhone, which definitely without question helps.

Which brings me to wonder, once again, how to get folks to exercise. The PrepAbility session in September is already filled. It is for BodyChangers Platinum or Gold members and they have to pay 35 dollars for it. It is food prep – making nine meals to use for the upcoming week, food and tupperware, recipe and teaching included. However, getting folks to go to our yoga, bellydancing, group exercise, community walks, geocache, biking and kayaking is like pulling teeth. We cannot get folks to do it, no matter day of week or time of day. We have had physical activity events weekends, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, mornings, afternoons and evenings, locations in different parts of the city as well as suburbs. We have had different instructors, all good, but few folks show up. All activities are included in price of gold and platinum memberships. The food activities though are the popular ones. Also Mind Over Body, although it took about three years to get a decent quorum. Maybe the thing to do is to combine food with activity. Jeff suggested it, too, and I had wondered about it myself. Cooking Light is advertising something like that – perhaps this is how to get more folks involved. People join things with the best intentions of getting healthy, thinking that by paying for something, they will no longer make excuses, but, alas, all they end up doing is wasting their money. Unless they feel virtuous because they can say, “Oh, yeah, I belong to a program where they have all sorts of exercise classes. I can’t even begin to count the patients who have said to me, when I ask about exercise, that they belong to a gym. When I ask how often they go, 99% of them say one of the following:

1. “At first, I went every day, but I haven’t been for months.”
2. “I never seem to make it so I am thinking of giving up the membership.”
3. “I haven’t been yet, but when work slows down, I plan to.”
4. “Life has been too crazy.”
5. “I know I should.”

One per cent do actually go regularly. Peops want a magic pill, but I need some magic to put a fire under their ass. How can I motivate peops? Nothing works. Peops do not even get scared into it – heart attacks, sleep apnea, shortness of breath, arthritis, fatty liver, infertility, diabetes, pulmonary emboli, hypertension, hernias that no surgeon will touch until some weight comes off. oh, there may be a moment or two of contemplation: maybe I’ll get off the couch tonight. Nah, tomorrow. Someday. One of these days.

But peops do not believe it is happening to them, forgetting that fifty is not twenty. At fifty, peops drop dead, out of the blue. Once medical conditions pop up, they are here to stay, and they only get worse. With some effort, many can be controlled or partially reversed, however. Being unfit is like smoking: why not just put a gun to your head? It would get the job done cheaper, easier and quicker.

Oh, well. If I can be a catalyst for even a few, it is worth keeping on trying. Staying healthy definitely has to be a priority. In this obesigenic society, everything possible is being done to make overeating and not moving the path of least resistance. What does it say about this society that the resistance to Bloomberg’s attempt to reduce sweetened beverage maximum size (remember, though, no purchase limit – peops can still buy five, or more, if they wish) is so overwhelming from all possible fronts? In the name of “freedom.” Or something. It’s like supposedly UPMC is cracking down on smoking on UPMC campuses, which is a good thing. This has been policy, but not enforced. I have not seen the effects yet, as it seems to me that there is no paucity of employees still stand right in front of the hospitals, puffing away, blowing smoke in the faces of passersby who are often patients. The employees are complaining about their rights to commmit slow suicide being infringed upon as they take their tenth smoking break of the day, which, btw,nonsmokers do not have and therefore pickup the smokers’ slack as well as the slack left by the smokers when they take all those extra days off work due to increased illness among them, which actually turns out to be a welcome interruption from their constant complaining about their freedoms and rights being taken away. And those politicians who want to repeal Obamacare believe Americans should be free to decide if they have health insurance or not. But whose taxes or rising health insurance premiums should pay for someone without health insurance when that person ends up being unexpectedly hospitalized or sick? What about the freedoms of those peops?

Wake up, American (largely Republican) idiots. There is no such thing as absolute freedom as long as you live in and want the benefits of living in a civilized society. Your freedom is fine until it infringes on the freedom and rights of others. Let’s keep it simple, stupid: It is a matter of etiquette – remember Emily Post? or Edward Amherst Ott? It’s all about Golden Rule stuff vs. being a selfish fuck.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 17th, 2013 at 9:14 pm and is filed under critique, Exercise, food!, friends & family, irritation, sarcasm, screed, stupid, venting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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