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This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nevermind what my life is actually like: In which I admit frustration with life

Last week one of the resident/patrons at my work decided to tell me that my life is easy.

Nevermind what my life is actually like.

Nevermind that he doesn't know a thing about my life outside of the fact that I run the computer lab.

He had decided (apparently) that I am young and therefore live at my parents' house. He had decided (apparently) that living at my parents would definitely be the easiest and most fun thing I could possibly do as (apparently) a twentyone year old (news to me that I'm 21!). He had decided (apparently) that my entire income isn't put towards rent and food and replacing wallets that are so old they are literally disintegrating and not much else. (PS, I got a new wallet today! Yay! I hope that my foodstamps will cover the caviar I'm planning for the occasion! /snark) He had decided (apparently) that since I am a young person I have perfect mobility (regardless of whether that's true or not). He had decided (apparently) that my biggest problem in life must be what to spends all the loads of cash I make from working in the computer lab.

Nevermind that I have depression which two weeks ago led to me honestly consider stabbing myself through the arm with a kitchen knife and did lead to me trying to strangle myself with an electrical cord. Nevermind that HUGE numbers of people my age face similar depression, and that we are told to ignore it and hope it'll go away, or that by talking about it we are thought to be attention grabbing.

The only thing I can imagine is that his life as a 20something white straight male in the '80s was apparently peachy keen. Good for him.

He apparently thinks that his experience as a twentysomething is universal. I guess being a white straight male in the '80s is pretty universal. Other than the part where he was a white straight male in the '80s as a twenty year old.
You know what? If you were a white straight male in the '80s, maybe it was. I don't know. Oh, other than that it totally wasn't. That there are hundreds of little aspects of who we are that intersect to make up our life experiences. Telling someone who you don't know that their life is so easy is the height of condescension.

There's a clear strain of ageism that runs through all this (and with many of my interactions with the older patrons). As though I couldn't see myself how life could be stressfull with a mortgage (not that he has one, he lives in a managed apartment building with rent, not mortgages, so far as I can figure). But apparently as a 40something guy, he magically does indeed know about mortgages. Oh and relationships. And everything there is to know about roommates. And definitely about being on government assistance.

I wonder does he know anything about heterosexism and homophobia? Does he know anything about struggling to keep existing in a world that tells him that almost his entire identity as a person is an abomination?

Maybe. I wouldn't presume to tell him what his life was like. Hah.

PS. While I wasn't intending to whine, I refuse to apologize that I did. If you don't like it, you can just bump it on down the road.


  1. Yeah. It made me splutteringly mad, and all I could do was try to sweetly remind him that "you can't judge a book by its cover". Since generally I've heard it's bad business practice to do any of the numerous things I wanted to do/say to him.

  2. Maybe his life at 20something was HORRIBLE, and he's now full of bitterness and envy over everyone else, who he assumes have better lives than he did. :-)

  3. I HATE it when people say things like that! I'm not sure I can count the number of times people have said to me, "but you're so lucky; look at all you've got!" (during bouts of depression). But you don't KNOW that! Even if you actually knew all of my circumstances, you still wouldn't know what it's like to BE me. You can't possibly know whether or not my life is hard.

    E, I don't think you should even have to justify yourself. Although you've obviously put things in terms that people can understand, I don't think you should need to explain why your life isn't easy-as-pie; I wish people would just take your word for it (because they really don't have the means to judge for themselves).


  4. I really loathe when others presume they know what your life is like and that they have the right to judge you accordingly. It gets even worse when they decide to play "your blues ain't as bad as mine" or a facsimile thereof.

    Don't give people like that the time of day, let alone your attention. They aren't worth it.


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