Friday, July 28, 2006

A Cure for the Common Life

We spend a great deal of time, effort and money trying to change things which were given to us by our Creator. There are pills and medical treatments for conditions that did not have pills and treatments ten years ago. Drug companies are happy to supply them to us, since we would rather take a pill than admit that there is a bigger problem that requires more sophisticated treatment, and we believe them when they tell us that we have a "disease".
Advertisements run on TV every day for some pill or other designed to treat something that we may not even know we have. Sometimes it's attention deficit disorder (commonly called "boredom") and other times it's the frequency of our urination (sometimes called "drinking too much coffee"). In each case, we are told to "ask your doctor if [pill name] is right for you." Chances are it isn't, since often the side-effects are more devistating than the ailment. Besides, isn't it my doctor's job to tell me that a pill is right for me? Why should I have to ask? I didn't spend 8 years in medical school.
The amount of money that is spent to cure baldness (cure - as if it were a disease) is greater than the Gross National Product of several small countries. Yet, there continue to be bald people and they continue to seek treatment. In this case and several others, the best remedy is acceptance. Stop fighting so hard and put your energies into things that you can control rather than fight something that has been divined. My personal cure is a razor and a can of Edge gel. Problem solved.
Likewise, several small countries could benefit from the money, time and effort spent to cure loneliness. However, unlike the cures, loneliness delivers on all of its promises. It is one of the rare things in life that lives up to its billing. There continues to be no real remedy, yet single people spend great amounts of time and money trying to find something that may be beyond their reach.
One Thusday night in May, the Phillies had what they called "Singles Night" at the ballpark. For a ticket in the cheap seats, patrons were treated to an entire section of people that were also seeking to find someone to share their lives with. In exchange for that, they were expected to don a free t-shirt on which they were to write their name on the front. On the back, there were several odd questions to answer, including which "base" was your favorite - a thinly veiled reference to what you expected out of your potential mate. This was done because, in the pursuit of happiness, it is expected that single people will do anything - no matter how humiliating - for the possibility of finding a cure for loneliness.
We have invented Internet dating, so-called Singles Bars, something else called Speed Dating and all manner of emotional Ponzi schemes designed to make people believe that their happiness lies directly ahead of them, and no matter how mortifying the process, we can find help. As single folks, we are expected to shell out our money and our self-respect because, unlike our friends and neighbors, we have failed in our attempt to build a life outside our own.
The biggest problem facing the American medical community is that there isn't a pill they can sell us that will cure our ill. But, if there ever is, I'll ask my doctor.


Forty_Two said...

The baseball game was all just a clever ploy designed to identify potential serial killers who haven't done anything yet.

Anthony said...

So that's nice. Single people are potential serial killers?

Nice to know your life is going along so well.

Kate Michele said...

Um wow!! LOL I'm not sure I get 42's point there!!