Thursday, April 23, 2009

We’re All Full Up Here

I was having a discussion with a friend over a lunch about the recent divorce of a mutual friend. The reason for the divorce was the drug addicted ways of the husband and the controlling ways of the wife. BOTH contributed to the collapse of the marriage; we decided and then my friend said something that has stuck with me since then, he said “we are all in search of our own dysfunction.”

We have heard of dysfunctional homes, co-dependence, dysfunctional marriages, and, yes, all of us are in search of our own dysfunction. I think when my friend said that he could just have easily said “we are all in search of our own excuses.” It would be great if I could put a label on my quirks, call it a dysfunction, get grant funding or social security for it, and never work again in my life. My dad punished me with a belt when I was young – okay – can’t work anymore because of the mental trauma I suffered as a child. One of my brothers hung a spider from and long hair right above my sleeping face and gently woke me, I can still remember it and see it 45 years later. I applied for grant funding for all of us with “spider-trauma” and I expect to research it from my couch and big screen TV for the next 20 years. Then I will find another dysfunction, find a college professor to research it for me, and then take more years off.

My friend could just as easily have said “we are all in search of a reason to shirk responsibility.” We all feel that tendency, especially today, if coffee spills and burns us it is MacDonald’s fault for making the coffee too hot. If a small traffic accident, a mistake, happens then both insurance companies fight over who will pay what to whom, lawyers seek a slice and mistakes become excuses for others to be irresponsible.

After an accident I admitted that it was my fault and the policeman didn’t believe me. He made me write it down and say it again in front of someone else. I am still paying for it in high premiums and a “record.” I am not perfect, in fact FAR FROM IT! But I refuse to use my dysfunctions as an excuse for not working. Nor should you because it is our nature; we are all in search of our own dysfunction.

I like Jack Nicolson’s response in “As Good as it Gets” when someone tried to share their dysfunction. He said “peddle crazy someplace else, we’re all full up here!” In my opinion so is this world.

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