Oh Me Oh My

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Where Realism Ends and Pessimism Begins



A few days before a vacation ends I prep myself for the return to reality. I generally assume people will be late for things even when specifically asked to be on time. If someone were to spend a lot of money on something like jewellery or flowers I would accept graciously while always thinking of ways the money could have been better spent.

I genuinely don’t see myself as a pessimist. Through the years it’s the reputation that’s sort of stuck, but when it matters I’m usually Mr. Brightside: A bad mark isn’t the end of the world, a failed interview was probably for the best anyway since you’re destined for bigger things, the date didn’t go so well because you deserve someone better. When I say these things I genuinely mean them. Being a realist, contrary to popular belief, is usually pretty optimistic.

I have a one-frame comic up in my locker that shows a cartoon woman standing on a curb; the byline reads, “Sometimes I imagine my lover is leaving me, so I’ll be prepared for the eventual breakup”. I shat my pants laughing when I saw it because it is sort of my mantra. If you expect the worst, if it happens, you are better prepared to handle it. If someone takes out a will at a young age they are seen as proactive, if you have money put aside for an emergency you are seen as responsible. Baby-proofing you home is common-sense, and it’s illegal to drive without car insurance.

In all of these cases being prepared for the worst case scenario is smart—why not side with caution when it’s something important? If this is true why does preparing for the possible end of a relationship seem so horrible? No matter how I write these next sentences, I know many people have already dismissed them as “negative thinking”, but the realist in me knows divorce rates, knows the stats on successful long-term relationships, knows what it’s like to be blindsided and remembers long conversations with friends who “didn’t see it coming”.

At the risk of going all Carrie Bradshaw, in a world where we hide our PIN numbers so people don’t break into our bank accounts, and install alarms so people don’t break into our homes, is it really so crazy to be on alert for someone who might break our hearts. HA HA HA! I should totally be smoking and looking out my Manhattan apartment window right now.

2 Comments:

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous jen said...

oh jamie. how i missed reading ur blogs. so very interesting.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that's true Jamie. But if you're always waiting/preparing for that "bad day" to come, how will you be fully able to enjoy everything else that's going on around you? If you're always hoping for the worst, you may miss out on something. I know this all sounds cheesy or whatever, but maybe hearts are meant to be broken, things are meant to go wrong in life, people lie, friends steal eachothers significant others(that's an extreme), relationships fade. But if none of these things ever happened, if everything in life was fine and dandy, how would we ever grow as a person and know what are limitations are. Yeah it sucks when things do go right and it hurts, but we learn to move on, cope and live the next day. Okkk yeah now i'm just babbling. I use to tell myself to always hope for the worst cuz then I won't always be so disappointed, but everytime I end up expecting the best and in the end it hardly ever is. Did that make any sense?!

 

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