Wednesday, April 01, 2015

anti-April Fools

Okay, I'm going to come out right here and say I dislike most of what goes down around April Fools.

I say this as someone whose default setting is serious, earnest, and literal-minded. You can probably see the problem: I forget that today is today, I get my mind deeply involved in working on something, and someone says something hinky to me and I just accept it, because people are not in the general habit of lying to me on a regular basis. (Well, not lying about hinky things. There's one or two people in my extended orbit who regularly lie, but that's more about things like, "that will have to be deferred maintenance, we have no money right now.")

I don't like being a butt of jokes. I am catlike in that regard - do it to me and I will stalk away from you with a grumpy expression on my face.

Part of this all is that, kind of like with rejection, I spent the early years of my life being the butt of others' jokes, and as a result, my ability to laugh at myself looking stupid was burned out early on. Usually what happens if someone "catches" me is that I get angry at myself for falling for it, and secondarily angry at them for not valuing who I am as a person enough to realize that that kind of thing bugs me. (People who know me well know two things: "Don't set her up to look like a fool, and don't tease her.")

I don't mind the random silliness - the funny hats on Ravelry or the clearly-fake news stories.

I wish....I don't know what I wish. I was gonna say I wish this was more a holiday like how grade-school Hallowe'ens or grade-school Valentine's Days used to be - in the first case, everyone dressed up in funny costumes and had a parade and then went back to their classroom and had orange punch and cupcakes, and in the second case, you got to send funny, affirming little cards to all your friends (or, if you had a "fairness-minded" teacher, everyone in the class) and then you had red fruit punch and cupcakes.

Or maybe this would be a good day for people to give chocolate - or other small token gifts - to the people in their lives they perceive as being "too serious." (hah. I would clean up.)

Or something. I need something more than being wary of what other people say to me as a distraction today, lest I wind up in a blanket fort by the middle of the afternoon....

The news about the Issue (which is how I'm gonna call it on here) is getting bigger and of course my mind immediately goes to, "What if we lose what Federal funding we have over this? What if we have to shut down?" I'm terrified that I will not find another job - that my skill set will be too limited for anything other than being a "freeway flyer" doing three part-time adjunctships at three different schools....I don't QUITE have enough socked away yet to just say "Forget that mess, I'll just retire now" (And if I wind up doing the freeway-flyer thing, I won't ever have enough to retire on, because I may wind up burning through my savings to buy my own health insurance and such)

I makes me so sad how the actions of a very few people can potentially have a major bad impact on the lives of those who were really uninvolved.

I think this is upsetting to me because most of the things in my life I worry about are things that I somehow have some control over - for example, my being obsessive about dental hygiene has, by and large, kept me from needing any dental work (that one broken tooth was an anomaly, and it was because it had a large, old filling from a time when I wasn't so obsessive). I like feeling like the universe is comprehensible and that weird random stuff I couldn't even predict won't happen. (And okay, yeah: I had heard of the initial situation that lead to the Issue, but I had kind of assumed it had been settled somehow)

And yeah, everything will be all right by and by, but as I said elsewhere, I don't want to wait for the Afterlife for things to be okay.

This also seems like a kind of brutal response (on the universe's part) to my whinging about how nothing I did mattered - it's like being slapped in the face and told, "Of course you CAN do things that matter, but they can matter in a BAD way." So maybe I should just be happy being Lawful Good, even if I am at heart kind of ineffectual and don't really change anything.

(And a note: if my online presence - this blog, my account on ravelry, my twitter account - suddenly totally disappear,. that's because I'm having to try to wipe my online identity and go out and look for a new job. I wish that were an April Fools' day joke, but if it comes to that it comes to that.)

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