It’s OnJanuary 10th, 2011
I had this whole big post written out for today to let you know that we’re discussing The Mediator Books One and Two (Shadowland and The Ninth Key) on the Meg Cabot Book Club this month, and that you BETTER stop by here to join the discussion with me because I’m going to be all over it like a spider monkey, etc.
But then I deleted it because it was funny and I thought maybe it wasn’t appropriate in light of what happened this weekend in Arizona (and if you’re like my cousin Bobby, who’s all, “Why? What happened this weekend in Arizona? Wait. Did that flight attendant I met in Phoenix call you?”, I’m posting this link to the news story about it, just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about).
Then I flew into an existential crisis, asking myself why we’re all here and what life means and when will it be OK to laugh again? Maybe never.
Oh, yes. It was bad.
It got especially bad since my husband chose this past weekend to go out of town to do guy things with his guy friends, and my houseguests went home, leaving me alone with nothing but a lot of peppermint bark ice cream and some gluten-free fried chicken.
Yes. I know.
Then during my crisis I chose to watch a bunch of TV shows and movies my husband would never have watched with me, including the new MTV show I Used To Be Fat, which the title alone should explain.
Here is a spoiler:
Exercise – Chicken McNuggets = Lose 90 pounds.
Gabriella on I Used To Be Fat. She was elected Homecoming Queen BEFORE her weight loss, FYI. LOVE HER.
Then as I was wallowing around in despair, shoveling ice cream down my throat, I noticed the movie Eclipse was on. I couldn’t understand parts of it–like why so many of the boys in it weren’t wearing shirts during snowstorms–because it had been so long since I saw New Moon (and really, was this detail ever properly explained in any of the movies?) but many of you generously explained it to me over Twitter (thanks for that, I get it now: Werewolves are literally very hot).
This movie, like I Used To Be Fat, did not solve the problem of my existential despair, but it did solve the problem of what “team” I am on, Team Edward or Team Jacob, since many of you have asked, but I honestly could never decide, just like in fourth grade when everyone wanted to know who my BFF was.
I didn’t know! I liked everyone! Why did I have to choose one person?
Name-calling ensued. The BFF level of hostility in the fourth grade was at an all time high! I never did choose a BFF, a fact which led to my continuing status as a social outcast, but I didn’t care, and I still don’t.
I don’t like it when people play favorites. Why can’t we appreciate one another’s unique differences without having to say one person’s unique differences make him or her better than another person’s? This is why reality shows like American Idol upset me so much that I can’t watch them.
I have stuck by that motto . . . except for one person whose unique qualities were so obviously superior to everyone else’s, I had no choice but to declare him my BFF and then marry him. That quality is:
He makes me sandwiches. And they are very very good.
It wasn’t until the sandwich making scene in the kitchen in Eclipse that I realized one person’s unique differences were vastly superior to everyone else’s in the story.
I don’t see why it’s even a contest. He offers to make people sandwiches. No one else in this series does that. Plus, he’s a cop. AND he has a badass mustache. How could you NOT be:
Unofficial motto: “Bella! You’re grounded!”
And I am not alone, as we apparently even have a Facebook group.
But honestly, even knowing I have a new badass team to be a member of did not entirely cure my existential despair.
Then I watched the documentary about the life of Joan Rivers A Piece of Work.
And slowly, my angst began to go away. I even felt OK about writing this post!
Why? Because as Joan so eloquently sums it up, the only way we can get through the tragedies that life continuously hurls at us is to laugh. It’s like that scene in A Wrinkle in Time when the children go to visit the Happy Medium, and they see the planet that’s being consumed in darkness. The darkness is evil: soon, it’s going to swallow the planet completely.
But wait . . . into the darkness a bright star hurls itself! The star is swallowed up . . . but the darkness dissipates, just a little.
That’s what laughter does . . . what comedians like Joan, and humor writers, and cartoonists, and bloggers, and all the other people who try so hard to make us laugh and entertain us are really doing: fighting the evil, making the darkness dissipate — just for a little while — so the rest of us can make sense of it and deal with it.
Nobody really acknowledges them for it (the Oscar never goes to a funny movie or to a comedian, and they’ll never give the Nobel Prize for Literature to a funny blogger). But it’s true.
So no matter how horrible things might get–and they can get very, very awful–the best way to combat evil is NOT with violence, or to succumb to despair (or my chosen reaction, existential angst, ice cream, and gluten-free fried chicken).
It’s to carry on laughing, and doing whatever it is that you do that’s going to leave this planet a slightly happier place than you found it. That’s the only way we’re going to defeat the darkness.
Well, that and peppermint bark ice cream, obviously.
And in the meantime, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Us Weekly isn’t lying to us this week.
Come on! We ask so little of celebrities. Just get together already, you two!
And join me for the Mediator discussion because I really AM going to be all over it like a spider monkey.