Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Catch 22 of Personality

I know, that at times, I can be a difficult person.

Let me illustrate this announcement by giving an example.
My cell phone.
When it rings, I get annoyed and want to throw it at the wall. It is an inturruption. I moan loudly and immaturely make my annoyance known. When my phone doesn't ring, I also get irritated. No one calls me. Poor neglected, victimized me; i have no friends--no one cares about me, boo hoo. So really, I can't be pleased. My phone rings--I get irritated. My phone doesn't ring--I become hopelessly depressed.

Now, I have re-realized this aspect of my personality upon arriving back in my home country after a month of sashaying through Guatemala.

Whilst in Guatemala, I complained every moment I could. The food made me sick. The water wasn't clean enough for me to drink it strait from the faucet. The streets had too much garbage in it. The lake was too rough in the afternoon. I had to worry about thugs and getting robbed. The roads weren't strait. I was constantly green from carsickness. That town smelled like car exhaust. And the list goes on. So, you would think I would be thrilled to be back in a western society where there is clean water right? Right. But, er, no.

At first, I was quite happy. Oh the thrills of a hot shower and not being forced to speak spanish all day. But, now that things have returned to normal I am quite bored. It's boring here. Instead of sitting in the Bagel Barn in with a bunch of interesting ragged backpackers, looking out onto the rainy streets of Antigua, I am in Portland. There are no cool backpackers to chat with the the streets are boring looking.

It's not exciting having everything spotlessly clean and vacuumed wrapped. Where's the adventure in that?

Not to mention the extreme coldness. I wore my snow jacket today! Instead of wearing a itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny-blue tank top, I am bundled up in my frumpy green jacket. How lame!

Once again, I have realized that I am complicated. I am not happy when my phone rings, nor am I happy when, on the rare occasion, it rings. I am not happy when travelling, nor am I happy to be home. Perhaps I suffer from some sort of restlessness-simply-cannot-be-pleased-syndrome. Do you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Pleasure in Unearned Money

About one month ago, as many of you know, I was on vacation with my cousin Gretchen. And, I want to reflect on some words exchanged between the two of us.

There we were, frolicking about in the tepid waters of the Carribbean. I observed the other holiday-makers and lazily said to Gretchen, "Ah, people enjoying their savings." Gretchen replied, "More like people enjoying their debt." And with that, she flung her fists up into the air in victory and tossed herself back into the water and shouted "Whoo!"

Well, after the catastrophic week on wallstreet, I just got to thinking, what kind of observations will I make next time I am on vacation?

"Oh look, people enjoying their unemployment check." Erck! I hope not, but then again, 25,000 people just got laid off from Lehman Brothers. And, disaster has befallen several other companies recently.