Monday, August 10, 2009

Life goes on, or what I really did learn from Slaughterhouse-Five

I'm a long-time fan of Kurt Vonnegut. I'm not big on celebrity deaths, though, (hardly a reaction out of me when John Hughes died) but I did cry about Vonnegut's passing on. He was, and still is, a great inspiration to me. His writing really forces you to reevaluate your priorities, to think about your time here on earth as a very, very temporary existence. He introduced me to radical humanism, environmental stewardship and the many things that are uncertain on this planet.

The biggest thing he gave me, though, was an understanding of the adage, "Life goes on." In his vernacular it looked like this: "So it goes."

At the House of England, we always seem to be concerned about cashflow. This was even before I lost my job to the economic climate. I guess that's what signing a contract for a 30-year mortgage will do to you. In any case, money is tight, we're saving every way we can, and we are trying harder than ever to reform our spending habits.

This is a mighty long intro for what I'm about to say, so I'll just say it: I fucked up. Hardcore.

There is no more impulsive a friend than Christine. I guess that's what having 3 kids and a 30-year mortgage will do to you. On the rare nights that she's able to leave the kids with her husband and have a night out to herself, she tends to do it up big. (For the record, I like to have more sedate outings, with everything in moderation).

We decided to go to an art fundraiser and charity auction at probably the one venue in Dallas that I actually could be considered a regular. We settled into an evening of cheap beer and smiling faces, and cool art, of course. During the course of the evening we did the following:

- ran up bids on art lamps being auctioned
- drank several beers
- started a campaign to end personal space in Dallas (Seriously, everyone expects you to give them at least 18 inches berth when making way through a crowd.)
- buy a desk lamp for $225 (it's for charity?)
- lose my iPhone while paying for said lamp
- get a parking ticket

The night started out well, and it was fun at the beginning, but now I've put our budget in a make-or-break stance, which is really unfortunate because I'm the responsible one in this household. And I also managed to lose a $400 phone. Genius. I'm hoping that practicing karma will help reunite me with my lost object, but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

But, what I did learn from this personal tragedy is that Vonnegut could not be more right. The sun rose on Saturday, Sunday and Today. The birds and squirrels will still be hungry and feast on the suet and seed we put out for them. The sun will be hot, and it will make the leaves on the trees glow in a calm, majestic way. And we will still be here tomorrow even though I overextended our budget and made a whopper of a mistake.

So it goes.


junius worth said...

a great poet said, "they say love conquers all and every don quixote must have his day."

--jay farrar

JennyMac said...

Great attitude...and sorry to hear you lost your phone AND got a parking ticket. UGH. But everyday is a fresh new day.