OVER & BETTER
Being retired gives me a lot of free time.
Being old gives me a lot of things to think about because I have seen and gone through a lot of stuff, good, bad and mildly okay.
Especially while washing the dishes.
It occurred to me between a saucepan and a cheese grater that two words have played a major, often devastating, role in my lifetime movie, “You Married Whom?” They are “Over” and “Better”.
Over does not refer to the space above a rainbow, but, rather, the conclusion of things I happened to enjoy a great deal. Most people feel somewhat disappointed when the parade finally ends, with the last Cub Scout Pack and its long-suffering Den Mothers with their water bottles and dropped neckerchief slides. Later in life they may be saddened that this or that lovemaking was far too brief to be historic. My problem with over was more interesting in my mind and often life-threateningly different.
Two minutes into a taste, an activity, an experience, as soon as I sensed that I really really liked this taste, activity, experience, I began to worry that this taste, activity, or experience would end.
My mind would instantly take over the whole stage play and inveigle me into wondering how I might possibly obtain more of this thing I had not even finished yet. Food, love, fun, laughter, whateveryagot.
Dangerous? Well, consider my view of the second martini. My lips were wrapped around the second but my mind was planning the delightful demise of the third. My tongue was enraptured by the crème fraiche on top of my dessert, but my eyes were examining your dessert in hopes that you were not going to finish it and I might cop a dollop so’s I could keep going into the land of enough.
The problem with enough is that it is another way of saying OVER. I was against OVER, so I feared ENOUGH and went past it like Stonewall Jackson’s army fooling General Pope in Virginia.
“Bring Back The Parade!”
I do not go into this detail of my misspent youth to lash myself with the whip of conscience, but to warn my fellow travellers that this view of OVER can become toxic, but not ultimately suicidal.
All it takes (and I mean ALL quite ironically) is identifying the maladjustment, seeing it for what it is, and letting it go, one taste, event, experience or activity at a time.
OVER is not the same as DEATH and it does not mean NEVER AGAIN. OVER can often bring something new and—wait for it—BETTER.
We shall take up the subject of BETTER next time. In the meantime, listen to