When Reality Disappoints
There is an author I greatly admire.
She is a novelist and essayist, a columnist and, well, I guess although the word is out of fashion, you could also call her an orator.
She is profound and brilliant.
She is also on Twitter.
And so I am following her on Twitter.
I am a fan.
But something confounds me. I think something has changed with the terrific writer. Or perhaps, it has just taken me a while to notice. Perhaps my admiration got in the way of my perception. (which, in today’s world, is probably often true)
Her tweets are not exactly profound.
As a matter of fact, they consist mainly of the same thing:
Oh dear, how she complains. Nothing makes her happy. Everything displeases her. And there seems to be no tiny incident not worth her scorn. There is no sense of proportion. She is as upset that her hairdresser kept her waiting as she is outraged about sexual harassment. She doesn’t like the temperature in her hotel room. She’s angry at restaurants and hotels and cars and clothing. And she can be ruthless and sometimes embarrassingly petty to anyone commenting on her posts.
How disappointed I am that she is not happy.
After all, she is a successful and renowned author. Shouldn’t that make her unceasingly happy?
How dare she be unhappy??
If she is unhappy, does that mean that if I become a successful and renowned author, I may also not be unceasingly happy?
I think I would be unceasingly happy.
It confuses me.
So I go back and reread her tweets. I reread hundreds of them.
I look for happy ones.
And I find some.
Actually, I find quite a few.
So I am confused again.
Why did I think ALL her posts were so angry and unpleasant?
I suppose it is because the angry ones stand out – not because she was disappointed, but because she disappointed ME.
How dare she be human?
From now on I am going to concentrate on the tweets that express her pure joy – and there are many – because they will bring joy to me.
And the petty, sad, irritated, angry tweets?
For those, I will comment once in a while, and risk her withering wrath.
What I will say:
“Oh, I’m so sorry. That must feel so bad!”
Come to think of it, I think I will say that to everyone feeling sad.