February 27, 2014

"See? The bad things are good. Just add time."

Things overheard at Meadhouse, just now. I said that, in fact. I'll give the context later, but I thought you might find it interesting to think about — in relation to your own experience — out of context.

The statement corresponds to the old line "Some day we'll look back on this and laugh." I was looking back on something and laughing. I was also looking ahead to myself as a very old lady and having that thing as one of my few surviving memories and still laughing. And also, I laughed at the bad thing even when it happened, because it happened.

As they say, it's no use crying over spilt milk. But do you laugh over spilt milk... at the time? Later?

ADDED: So here's the thing. The first time Meade visited me here in Madison, which was exactly 5 years ago — here we are having breakfast in the morning — we were at the open refrigerator door, which has a couple of those removable egg racks, one of which contained a dozen eggs. Somehow, in the presence of Meade, my normal approach to the lifting out of the rack went wrong, and I executed a move seemingly designed to throw all 12 eggs onto the floor.

This morning, cooking the eggs, Meade dropped one egg on the floor, and I went into a reverie about how if I forget just about every other detail of things we did together, I'll still remember the time I threw all the eggs on the floor. I did an imitation of myself as a demented oldie still remembering the time all the eggs fell on the floor, and in that fantasy, I walked over to the kitchen, where the newly broken egg was still on the floor.

Meade said, "And you'll also remember the time you were remembering the time you dropped all the eggs on the floor and you got so excited you stepped in that other egg on the floor."

18 comments:

John McCrarey said...

I think it has been true in my life. Many things I considered disappointments at the time put me in a place that led to even greater opportunities down the road.

traditionalguy said...

Time is up, gentlemen.

Since today is John Steinbeck Day over at Google, a quick read of Travels With Charley is in order. That is an old man and his dog in a camper story...sort of a Meade and Ann retirement life.

tim maguire said...

Depends on whether anybody slips in it.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

Ah, That Day with the Horse and the Misfortune That Befell Me. I'm in Heaven, I Can Finally Laugh About it, Now.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

I Was Welcoming Philip Seymour Hoffman to Heaven, Told Him I Was a Big Fan of His Work. I Told Him That OD'ing While Leaving a Family of Children behind Might Not Seem Funny on Earth, But You're in Heaven Now: Lighten Up!

Ann Althouse said...

"Many things I considered disappointments at the time put me in a place that led to even greater opportunities down the road."

It's funny to think of the thing that I was laughing about this morning as something that could lead to greater opportunities down the road. Although there actually is a way to connect it to the consequence of marrying Meade.

CStanley said...

It's hard to have the long view perspective when you are young and lack life experience. Some people learn it sooner than others, which is probably largely related to temperament.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

I Told Philip Seymour Hoffman That His Children Might Not Laugh About His Death Now, But They Will: I Mean, He Was Found Dead in a Bathroom, That's Funny Right There. Give Them Time.

Bob Ellison said...

Dog poop never gets good. It just dries up and fades away. Maybe it feeds the flowers. Maybe that's good. Ignore the previous sentences.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

In Heaven I can Ride My Dead Horse Over and Over Again. Everyone Laughs when I Fall and Break My Neck, But in Heaven there Is Always a Do-Over.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Although there actually is a way to connect it to the consequence of marrying Meade.

Well, it's always possible that marrying Meade will lead to greater opportunities down the road. Hang in there, and maybe someday, way down the road, you'll be able to laugh about it too.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

To tell the Truth, I Thought One of the Hardest Things About Heaven Would be Seeing the People Still Living Going Through Traumas, an Eternity of Murders and Rapes and War and Children Starving or Molested. Then Once I Was in Heaven I Realized How Truly Insignificant All Those Things Are, Just Drops of Water in a Vast Ocean. I Mean, Abused By a Parolee Posing as a Birthday Party Clown? That's Funny Stuff Up Here. Time and Distance; Time and Distance.

CStanley said...

At first I read the title as though it were about Orwellian language shifts. But that doesn't just happen with the addition of time, it takes a willful effort to use words as tools of deception.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of Christopher Reeve Says:

Some of the Funniest Guys In Heaven are Those Who Died from Autoerotic Asphyxia: I Mean, They Died Jerking Off While Choking Themselves, Leaving Their Naked Bodies Hanging By a Belt for the World to Discover: Now That's Funny. Here in Heaven Michael Hutchence Wears Suspenders, Which Always Gets a Laugh.

B said...

Bad things are usually interesting. And interesting is memorable.

mrs. e said...

"I think it has been true in my life. Many things I considered disappointments at the time put me in a place that led to even greater opportunities down the road."

This. Absolutely.

betamax3000 said...

The Ghost of John Lennon Says:

I Laugh About it Now That I'm in Heaven, But My Biggest Mistake Was Not Staying with May Pang in LA During the Seventies, Just Hanging Out, Maybe Get the Beatles back Together. Nope: I Went Back to NYC and Yoko, Only to get Shot on My Doorstep While Yoko Clapped and Laughed -- "Ha Ha - Missed Me!" -- and Bounced Up and Down Like an Especially Gleeful Child. In Heaven, That's Funny Now, Too.

Kirk Parker said...

Betamax,

I'm confused--wasn't that first one a quote from Catherine The Great?