Saturday, August 18, 2012

F*** You, Me First

Are you getting what you deserve in life? I mean, you’re a good person, you work hard, right? You are entitled to a vague, unspecified, completely subjective level of proper treatment from the world. There are certain things you should expect to receive, including, but not limited to, love, respect, hard cash, material goods and convenience. And if you ever perceive, at any time, that your right to these items is being infringed upon then you should complain, loudly and persistently, until the situation has been rectified. Am I right? I know I am. I feel that this is correct, this is The Truth, so therefore, it must be. This is kind of the American Way, I think.

I’ll give you some examples. You recently spent approximately $1,040.20 on a round-trip plane ticket with multiple stops on your travel itinerary. You were willing to spend the extra money because you thought you were purchasing an extra special vacation experience. The day before you are scheduled to leave, one flight is cancelled. On the tail end of the trip, another flight is cancelled. This is an outrage. You paid all that money! You deserve something in return for that money. Do not rest until you achieve a sense of justice, until you feel that the air travel provider has properly compensated you for the inconvenience you’ve just experienced. Don't be deterred by the fact that you will never have any contact with the one person who is directly responsible for your pain and discomfort (if that one person actually exists, which he/she probably does). Take out your anger on the company representative on the telephone. She probably deserves it anyway.

Here’s another example. You are in the market for a new home. You think new construction would be nice but you like the sense of community found in an existing neighborhood filled with all older homes. One such older home is up for sale. It is structurally sound, it has a certain "character," but it is old and the closets are hopelessly small. The price tag is somewhere in the $400,000 range and you are conveniently wealthy. You should buy it, tear it down and build a new, bigger house. Make sure it has a “Master Suite,” complete with a walk-in-sit-down-and-put-your-feet-up-while-you-choose-your-outfit-for-the-day closet and a bathroom with a bathtub and a separate shower and maybe a Jacuzzi and a chandelier. Put a chandelier in the closet, too. You deserve it! You are entitled to live in a manner that provides you with the optimum level of comfort and convenience. Walk down the hall to the bathroom when you want to take a shower or relieve your bladder? Oh my, that is so pedestrian.

On a less material note, don’t forget that you deserve the best treatment from all the people with whom you have relationships in life, be it your spouse, your postal carrier or the lady cashier at the grocery store. You are a good person. Don’t let other people’s unknown personal lives and emotional issues influence your happiness. That is not right. It’s not fair. So what if you are making a personal phone call on your cell phone at the same moment you are paying for your tank of gas. Just because you are on the phone and not making eye contact with or even really paying any attention to the clerk does not mean that they have the right to treat you with any less than the utmost courtesy. Conversely, if you are the teen-aged cashier at a store and you are engaged in a conversation with your co-worker about what you did last night while ringing up a customer’s purchase, just because that customer is smiling politely at you and handing you correct change, don’t let them make you feel guilty for sharing important information with said co-worker. Social interaction is not just important, it is essential to your well-being. Plus, if you don’t tell Kelly about how you twisted your ankle while dancing last night in those platform sandals, she might see that photo on Facebook where you are falling down and then tell all your other friends you were drunk. And that is just not true. You were buzzed, but not wasted. Not at that point in the night, anyway.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? We deserve something in life; something vague and unspecified and completely subjective. It’s called fairness or justice and if it doesn’t really exist it should. I feel that I am entitled to fairness, therefore, it must be right. What about the other guy, you say, or the other side of the issue (or, say, the environment)? Fuck you, me first. That sounds fair to me.

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