April 7

Balance in the Force

Endor and Naboo versus Tatooine and Hoth.

Ewoks and Gungans versus Sand People and Tauntauns.

Most Star Wars fans would readily admit that they prefer Tatooine and Hoth and their inhabitants to anything featuring Endor or Naboo. Among the geeks, the sappy ending of Return of the Jedi with its dancing teddy bears and Episode Oneís ridiculous Jar Jar Binks are considered travesties that nearly sunk George Lucasí epic.

Judging from my Facebook wall, though, most people seem to want to live on Endor or Naboo. They post all these maudlin, cheesy pictures of unicorns and rainbows. They share positive thinking memes with rainbows and puppies. They wish away winter for “flip-flop weather” and sunshine. And I fight my gag reflex.

Things that make other people giddy with joy leave me cold or make shudder. Let me show you what I mean. Here is a list:

  • Morning
  • Sunshine
  • Warm weather
  • Dogs
  • Sleeping with windows open
  • Dinners out with groups of friends

Does this list make you happy? Youíre not alone. Seems like 99% of my 500 Facebook friends love all that crap too.

I donít.

In fact, a few of those things would be on a list of things I despise. Mornings? Ugh. Sunshine, well, thanks to a childhood eye injury, bright light gives me a migraine. Warm weather? No, thanks. Iím always hot anyway, plus I donít want to see my neighborís fat rolls in a tank top or Uncle Bobís hairy, sweaty back as he mows the laws. Not to mention the fact that warm weather makes people temperamental, loud, and obnoxious.

Dogs would not be on my ďhate list,Ē but their barking sure would be. You know that show, Inside the Actorís Studio? And the host acts famous actors what sound they hate? Yeah, dogs barking would be on that list. Growing up, I was traumatized by too many nasty neighborhood dogs to ever truly trust any of them, but I have made a few canine friends over the years. †Still, I scroll right past most dog pics on my Facebook wall, and if youíre one of those people who has to rush home from a wedding, a holiday, or a party to take care of poor little Snookems who might be lonely because youíve been gone for two hours, Iím not sure we can ever be real friends.

Now sleeping with the windows open does SOUND nice. We did have a long, cold March, so I understood when people were excitedly posting about getting to open up their windows at last. Unfortunately, in our house, leaving the windows open after sundown is an invitation for a major asthma attack and/or laryngitis.

Dinners out with groups of friends always sound like a great idea too. And I admit that when I see Facebook pics of some of my friends eating at a long table at some restaurant, I get a momentary pang of envy. Then I remember: I HATE going to restaurants with big groups of people! First, those pictures on my wall are lies of perspective. Sure, it looks great: all those friends gathered together, enjoying food I didnít have to cook, smiling happily for the camera. But most of the time, if youíre actually sitting at the long table, you donít get to talk to even half the people gathered. (Since I usually have to bring my kids with me, two of the people are always my own ubiquitous offspring.) That is, if you can even hear your friends. The kinds of restaurants where people tend to gather for such chatty, informal meals are usually so noisy, I canít hear anyone beyond the person next to me. And then, thereís the problem of service. As a former server, I remember all too well the feeling I got whenever ďa 10-topĒ or larger. I cringe every time one of my friends asks for another drink, sends back an order or makes a special request from the kitchen. Too many painful memories. So whenever my parents or husband ask what I want to do for my birthday, I tend to beg for a gathering at home. I want to be able to see ALL my friends, hear what they say and not worry about the server spitting in their drinks in an act of passive-aggressive frustration.

After all that, I guess itís no wonder that my friends think Iím a morose freak.

Ahhh,† but hereís the twist. My friends hate things I LOVE!

  • Long, dark nights
  • Cold weather
  • Snow
  • Cooking
  • Hosting large parties
  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Grammar
  • Public speaking
  • Writing essays
  • Classic literature
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Snakes
  • Old movies
  • Teenagers
  • Desolate, empty landscapes

So when my wall is full of whiny grumblings about how much people hate winter, how much they hate black and white films, how much they hate doing laundry or going grocery shopping, Iím shaking my head, wondering what is WRONG with these people?!

I try to toe the line, though. People get mad if I post about how much I love snow; contrariwise, people get mad if I complain about the travesty that is Daylight Savings Time. Instead, I keep my preferences quiet these days, posting on individualsí walls rather than on my own. I know the few soul mates who share my love of the long, cold nights of winter, classic books and films, homework and Tatooine-like deserts. I share my strange loves with them individually. We are a dark and twisted group, but there should be room in the world for us. Weíre heavy, so we provide some balance to those light-hearted folks who cannot sustain their smiles in shadows. †Even George Lucas recognized that a universe with too many goody-goody Jedi Knights could not be maintained. The Force must have its Dark Side.

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Posted April 7, 2013 by jpmahoney49 in category Family and Kids, Popular Culture