Saturday, August 13, 2011

No, I will NOT F-Y-L.

A couple nights ago, I watched a Louis C.K. stand-up special on Comedy Central. During the set, Louis began talking about the pretty incredible times we live in and our seeming ingratitude, the way that we let the smallest inconveniences become the biggest tragedies ever. (You can see a clip of Louis doing the bit on Conan">here). It's something I call the FML Syndome.

Of all the cheesy Internet/texting acronyms, FML is the one I absolutely cringe over every time I see it. For the less text-literate out there, FML stands for "f**k my life." Yeah. You read that correctly. In theory, it's one of those things that should be trotted out only in very serious situations, like when you're at the absolute end of your rope, facing death, destruction, and total ruin.

And yet, I don't think I've ever once seen someone use FML in those kinds of situations. No, I see FML's thrown around in cases like, "I have a science test tomorrow. FML" or "My favorite pair of pants are dirty. FML."


The things that we find to complain about kind of blow my mind. And we complain with such passionate vehemence. Things are no longer merely inconvenient; they are things filled with the power to level us with total and absolute rage. It's as if we've completely lost sight of perspective. As Louis C.K. says, "We live in amazing times." We do things now that seemed like science fiction twenty years ago, and yet we are constantly unhappy and annoyed with things if they don't go exactly as we want. Imagine what we would do if we had real problems -- or at least problems more significant than our cell phone not working.

Of course, this is another case of my hypocrisy in action. I have most definitely been guilty of complaining over inane things. A trip to Wal-Mart gives me complaint fodder to last me days. But never once have I thrown around the "FML" because, quite frankly, I don't feel like there's anything so bad in my life that warrants it being f'ed. In the grand scheme of things, I know that the problems and annoyances that I complain about are champagne problems -- the checkout line is too slow, my cell phone microphone doesn't work unless I have a headset plugged in, I have to wear bifocals to read. These are luxurious problems to have because I don't have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from or where I'm going to sleep. We need to keep that perspective in mind, though, and stop treating our malfunctioning cell phones and iPods like it's the end of the world and they are most definitely not something to f- your life over.

As I close out my 30's (a decade which, while it didn't necessarily contain all the things I thought maybe my 30's would, has otherwise been pretty darn great), I am setting a new goal for 40something Mel. I am going to try to be more in touch with perspective and not let those champagne problems become these sources of consuming rage and frustration. I am going to try to practice compassion for myself and others by letting the small stuff roll off the back. In other words, I am not going to f- my life nor am I going to ask others to do it for me. My life, friends, will become a total, un-f-able prude, and that's okay by me.

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