December 4th, 2008


If you live long enough in this world, and haven't spent all those years studying the fine art of living as a hermit in an Appalachian cave, then inevitably you'll reach a point where you'll find your life crossing paths again with someone you haven't seen in a very long time. Most often it happens with friends from high school or college. You fall out of touch, decades pass, you each live your own lives. In the past, when the world was smaller, people reconnected via school reunions or trade gatherings. Now we do it via online social networking sites, or e-mail newsletters.

It's been happening to me a lot lately, and it's frequently very surprising. Oh my God, the charismatic young genius died young of a drug overdose! Or holy cow, the one who I thought would win the Nobel Prize in some science or other instead went on to live that really depressing Carly Simon song about marriage.

But the worst are the people who think the world revolves around their kids. Yeah, I know - kids are special and change your life and blahblahblah. Hey, I love my cats and I'm quite certain they can beat up your cats. But I'd gladly put my own head into a woodchipper before I'd write a mass mailing about how amazing and extraordinary my life is, and then go on to describe in 700 or so words of soul-killing mundanity all about how little Johnny got a "B" in science or Suzie sang the National Anthem and even got all the words right.

I mean, if you want to start your letter by saying, "Hey, I know my life ain't exactly the grand adventure of humanity, but dammit, it's my grand adventure and I love my kids"...well, I'm still not interested in your 700 words of mind-numbing drudgery, but at least I'll applaud your honesty.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go clean the cats' litterbox and watch Roxie do something that I'm sure just makes her the most brilliant and amazing cat in the entire history of felinekind.