Well, this wouldn’t be a good day for Karen Carpenter—at least if the lyrics of one of her songs accurately described her feelings—because it’s a Monday, and it’s raining. Since both of those things, according to the song, always got her down, then the combination of the two seems likely to have done so doubly.
Unless, that is, the combination follows the rules of multiplication rather than addition. Adding two negatives produces a more negative outcome, but multiplying them together turns the product positive. Maybe then the combination of a rainy day that’s also a Monday would have boosted her spirits. I think she could have used a boost.
As for me, well, rainy days don’t tend to get me down particularly. They don’t necessarily cheer me up, either, though sometimes I enjoy them. Right now, the rain is here either as a consequence of or as part of the cause of a slight drop in temperature, which is nice, because it’s been quite hot and muggy with little to no respite for quite some time.
You’d almost think I lived in south Florida.
And as for Mondays, well, even when growing up I never had a big dislike of Mondays, and that’s not my only divergence from Bob Geldoff. I certainly didn’t dread school; I was always a pretty good student, and school was where I had my friends.
Also, I have usually preferred to have a purpose of some kind, so whether it was school or work, I never particularly disliked getting up and going in to either one. I like having a schedule, with things to do and a place to be at a particular time. If anything, weekends sometimes make me feel a bit lost, at least when I don’t have any family structure or any reason to do anything in particular. I just loaf around feeling rudderless.
Of course, this weekend, I definitely welcomed the rest. As I think I mentioned, all last week I was fighting a virus, and didn’t get a chance to take a day off, so I needed the break. As it turns out, I had to go briefly into the office on Saturday morning, because the other person with whom I alternate Saturdays had lost his keys, and our boss was already well on his way to Key West*, so he was much farther away that I was. It happens; I wasn’t too upset about it, but I really didn’t feel very well.
Honestly, I’m still not really feeling very well, physically, though I certainly feel better than I did on Saturday, when I was tired and grumpy and a bit out of breath. Now I’m just a bit out of breath, and a bit tired; but I don’t feel particularly grumpy.
Give it time, it’s early in the day.
I even brought my book of all Radiohead song chords to the house over the weekend, just in case I got the urge, during that time in which I was supposed to be undisturbed, to play guitar. I did not, of course—I could have told myself I wouldn’t—but then again, I wasn’t actually undisturbed, but rather got no fewer than four surprise impositions on my time and space. But I don’t want to dwell too much on those, or I will get grumpy.
I’m really just physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued, I think, and it’s not something I enjoy. I certainly don’t get any kind of secondary gain from it, unless it’s the secondary “gain” of fulfillment of my self-hatred, since I can’t really socialize very well anymore, I don’t have the sort of personality that makes people want to spend time with me—I also don’t enjoy doing things such as most people seem to enjoy—and I frankly don’t even want to take the chance of trying to get involved with other people, since I have an almost 100% track record of alienating those closest to me, the people I love, and on whom I rely, the most.
Maybe Tennyson was an idiot, or at least simple-minded, when he said that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Or maybe he was thinking more along the lines of someone like Voldemort, who was incapable of love and lived a life of misery, making other people suffer, before dooming himself to an eternity of pain. That really doesn’t sound so good.
Shakespeare was a bit more on the money with Hamlet’s inclusion of the “pangs of despis’d love” as one of the things a person wouldn’t willingly bear if they could avoid it. And then there’s Fiona Apple, who in her song, Paper Bag notes that “Hunger hurts, but starving works when it costs too much to love.”
Not that poetry (or song) automatically has any access to truth, even if it’s beautiful. Just because someone can put words together nicely, in ways that catch people’s attention and appeal to their cognitive biases doesn’t mean that those words actually bear any deep wisdom. As witness: “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit.”
That’s the problem with rhetoric, as opposed to dispassionate argument. Often it “persuades” people because of the clever manipulation of the foibles of the human psyche, forged as it was in the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa over the course of a million to a hundred thousand years, depending on when you start your cutoff. People can embrace non-sequiturs and internal contradictions without giving them much notice, if they trigger the right emotion or have a catchy beat or sound or structure.
This is why, unlike Mulder from The X-files, I don’t want to believe. I want to be convinced by evidence and argument…preferably the dispassionate kind. Passion is nice to feel, but when considering someone’s attempt to persuade you, it should be a warning sign, in them or in you or in both. Being passionate doesn’t guarantee that you’re not right, but even if you are, it may mean you’re right for bad reasons, and it doesn’t help your chances of getting things right. Passion is a decent servant but an unreliable master.
Maybe I worry about such things too much. Though even the words “too much” carry assumptions that, for the most part, people don’t notice or try to pick apart. Too much for what purpose, by what standards, according to whom, for what reason? If this much is too much, how does one determine how much would be just right? How much would be too little? What would be the good and bad consequences of any of these states, and would they be different depending on external conditions?
Probably I’m overthinking it. But what do you want from me on a rainy Monday?
*How ironic. Well, not, not really ironic. But it is an amusing coincidence of words.