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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Get a Life
by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Sometimes, it just seems to me that I must be out of step with the rest of the world. You know, you canít really tell how other people live since you donít live with them. Does that make any sense? Not really, but I hope you can figure out where Iím going with this.

Now, my life seems fairly normal to me and to my wife. We have stress, we have problems but we tend to take them as they come and not get too upset over them on a daily basis. Most of the things we worry about never materialize and so worrying about them in advance seems to be pretty much of a waste of time to me. Also, there is a limited number of hours in the day as well as a shortage of years in the future for some of us older folks. So, why get concerned over some trivial stuff that doesnít amount to a hill of beans?

I am going to give you three examples of what Iím talking about. The point Iím trying to make is that some people have too much to worry about, and some folks worry about things that donít matter at all.

In the paper a week or so ago, some guy wrote in to one of the advice columns and was concerned over the burial of two of his pets in his back yard. He wrote that he was planning on moving out of state in the next three to five years and what should he do about bunnie and duckie? Is this important? Is this a major and critical decision in this poor guyís life? Is this all of the stress this guy has? What kind of work does he do? Weíve all had favorite pets, dogs, cats and whatever that weíve had to bury in the backyard or somewhere. Sure we miss them, but Iíve never thought for a moment about digging them up and moving them to my next home, have you? How many times would you do this?

The second example concerns a lady who has some piece of shrubbery planted too close to a rose bush. She writes in that she is concerned over moving the bush. When should she do it and where should she put it. Now, itís a good thing I donít write answers for these kinds of readers since Iím certain I would be fired for giving my answer. I wonder if someone actually wrote a letter like this or did the guy writing the column just make it up so heís have something to answer? I mean, I canít see someone hovering over a shrub planted too close to a rose bush who writes a letter, mails it, then waits three or four weeks to see if an answer gets published in the paper. Why not call a local nursery and ask them what to do if itís that big of a deal? Or just step out and o it, and see what happens, I mean shrubs and roses can be replaced. I do it all the time at my house.

Iíve saved the final one for last. Another guy writes in asking about where he can buy handkerchiefs. It seems he has always carried one and canít seem to find them in any of the local stores. He can buy them on line, but then heíd have to pay for the shipping and he doesnít want to do that. So, what is he to do?

I have a real problem with this ninny. First off, who carries nose blowing handkerchiefs around these days anyway? They carry germs, they arenít sanitary, nobody would touch one if it was offered to you. But all of that aside, even if he wants to carry one, why not buy a bunch on line and just be done with it? These things last forever. Iíve still got someone from when I was ten or twelve year old that my mother forced me to take with me to school. Iím amazed that he complains about the shipping costs but he apparently thinks nothing of driving across town to buy some at a local store. This makes no sense at all with the cost of gas per gallon going out of sight. Here again, who would take the time to sit down, write another letter to some advice columnist about where to buy handkerchiefs? Doesnít this guy have anything better to do?

I donít mean to be cynical but these folks need a life. Or better yet they need to belong to some society or club where they could do things for each other. Like moving the shrubs and burying bunnie and duckie in the vacant holes.

On the other hand, perhaps this is all these people have to worry about. In that case, it makes me wonder where I went wrong.


© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

Letters From North America - May 26 , 2005 column
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This page last modified: May 26, 2005