Monday, March 4, 2013

I Think You Know Where You Can Stick God's Will

Unhappy spill
Photo credit: Arenamontanus
Something pretty fucking horrific happened in NYC last night. If you're not local (and most of you aren't), you probably haven't even heard. To spare you the clickage, a 21 year old couple was in a car service car on the way to the hospital to deliver their first child when their car was hit so badly that they both died. The baby was delivered at some point, but died overnight. The driver took off, so he may get away with this.

It reminded me of a post Mrs. G did on Derfward Manor a few weeks ago about phrases/expressions we'd ban if we could. Several people suggested "it's God's will" and "everything happens for a reason." Because if anything proves that those statements are bullshit, random acts of carnage like the above does the job.

Which reminds me of an etiquette book I read a few years ago. I was going to a fancy, rich people wedding and didn't want to make an ass of myself. But it turned out that the book was about how not to be an asshole. (Apparently modern etiquette is all about not making someone uncomfortable for using the wrong fork, so yay for progress.) The two things I remember from the book were:
  1. Instead of being all "sheesh, the nerve of these people trying to discuss sports with me when I don't care about sports!" it's nicer/less douchey to be polite and just have a conversation about something you don't care about, but someone else does.
  2. We really need to stop trying to put an optimistic spin on things at funerals. Like "at least he didn't suffer." 
Maybe that second one is an American optimism thing. But I used to be so guilty of that. But come on. Some one is dead, and people are sad about it, so we should just go with that. At least within the confines of the funeral home.

Which is why when a year ago today, when a college friend of mine died completely unexpectedly, I knew better than to try to comfort her husband. I called him the next day and said the only appropriate thing I could think of. Probably the only appropriate thing there was to say:

"This sucks."

It sucks so much I feel like stamping my feet until I tire myself out and can throw myself into bed like a cranky toddler. My friend, aka, the smug git who married his college sweetheart shouldn't be a widower. Not yet. But we don't live in a just universe, so...we really need an emoticon for "shrug conveying the futility of existence," but the existentialists pre-date emoticons, so we may be out of luck there.

I don't know that I have a point to this. But there ya go.

On a lighter note, The Bloggess has declared herself interim pope. And doctors have cured an infant of HIV, and the pictures accompanying the news story show adorable little baby toes.

Since I'm not actually bereaved myself, it's OK to cheer me up. Share links to happy stuff in the comments, if you please.

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