Earlier this week I read an article in the paper that made me think, “THIS is why I drink!” I laughed (LOL’d you might even say) and thought to myself, I should write a blog post with that title. I even went so far as to laughingly post the thought to my Facebook page and my “friends” and I had a good chuckle over it.
This morning I had the thought again. What if I did? An assignment, even one assigned by myself, helps me to be a bit more productive sometimes. That’s it! No more rationalizing needed. I’m doing it!
And now, my friends, I bring you, the first episode of “THIS is Why I Drink,” a short, hopefully at least mildly humorous, post about the one (or two) things this week that have driven me to drink yet again.
On the docket this week, my neighbors. Not my actual neighbors, the ones that live on my street or the ones that come over for drinks, but the wider circle. The people in general that live in my town and surrounding area. Here’s what set me off.
I’ve been avoiding Facebook. I was about to say “like the plague” but now that everyone has come to a consensus we are in one and are acting accordingly, I should say I’m not going quite that far. I have been limiting my exposure though. The fear-based dumb-assery I started to find among the groups I belonged to and my acquaintances from past lives started spreading like wildfire once the plague landed here in the US. To be completely honest, I’ve been more afraid of people than the virus since the first weeks of the shutdown.
But, you know what they say…
And since I can’t control what the rest of the world does, I took control of what I do and took a big step back from social media for awhile. I must say, it helped my mental health tremendously.
But this week, as I took my quick daily scan of my closest friends and family, a suggested group popped up and I clicked it. Like a fool, I ran my socially thirsty eyes over a few posts to see what the tone of the group was and that’s when I saw it.
It was a question from someone asking what are some good sights to see around the area since they’d be taking a drive up over the next week. The comments were overwhelmingly hostile and I was (again) embarrassed that I live here.
There were many very aggressive and nasty comments ranging from “Stay home you piece of trash.” To “Why would you come here and spread your filth to us?” But the one that really struck me was, “We moved out here to get away from you people.”
Did you now? That’s very odd. I mean, it is a desert town outside of the city, yes, but it is also a town outside a large National Park. So, I’m not sure if that really constitutes, “getting away from people.” Yes, our homes are further apart for the most part. We don’t have a big movie theater or mall, but we do have the only Walmart in a 50 mile radius.
The town is here mostly because of the Marine Base and the National Park. It is definitely a smaller rural town, but if you wanted to get away from tourists, visitors just passing through, this is NOT the place to live. Our economy depends on those people on their way to see the park and/or to go camping.
So that was the moment, this week, that I closed what I was reading and sighed to myself, “This is why I drink.”
If I simply could not ignore a question like this, because I was truly afraid of the spread of the virus and couldn’t mind my own business…wait, that’s the thing right there! If I were so terrified of the spread, I would be at home so it wouldn’t matter one wit if a tourist came out to my town, so I would mind my own business.
But if I were somehow forced to comment, I would have tried a more positive approach. Like, “A lot of things are closed in town right now because of the shutdown. There are only drive-thru restaurants, no place to stop and use the bathroom, and it’s very hot, like over 100 degrees by 11 am. I’d suggest bringing a car picnic and doing an air-conditioned drive-through of the park or the deeper deserts. You could see the town, make plans for better times, or go see the wide-open spaces. This is a gorgeous place to hike the rest of the year though! Here are some links to my favorite places!”
But no, my lovely neighbors were hostile and nasty. It was not only disheartening, it was scary to see such vehemence from over 150 people in a few short hours.
And so…I drink. Bottoms up, everyone! Fear is in the air and it sure makes people do some ugly things!
DO get out and enjoy the sunshine as much as you can. Of course, try to maximize physical space, minimize contact with strangers, wash your hands, and most of all be kind to each other. We’re all having a rough time and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
I worried myself silly about sharing these thoughts with you here on my blog. I know you don’t need more negativity in the world, but you know what? No one is always roses and sunshine dust and that includes me. Now, don’t worry. This will only be a once a week rant style post. Some of them will be lighter than others. And I promise to balance it out with another weekly assignment at the beginning of the week called, “Why She Gets Up In The Morning!”