signed, sealed, delivered. / by laurel


Happy Wednesday, children. Let's discuss opinions today, shall we? We all have them, don't we? Oh? Just me? Okay, well, apparently I have a lot of them, and whether or not this is news to me, let's pull up our carpet squares and opine. Oh, what a beautiful mooorning. 

Last night after a few collective glasses of wine, Mike made a comment about my opinions [again]. Something to the effect of, "Is there anything you don't have an opinion about?"

At that moment, my fluidity of thought coagulated into an unwieldy lump in my skull and my face went slack. Anything? Anything I don't have an opinion about? Why would you ask such a thing of someone? Also, wow, that wine was good.

I think that qualifies as one of those questions that is more rhetorical than anything, because if Mike and I really sat down over a cup of joe (Diet Coke for me, natch) and I enumerated the many, many items about which I have no opinion whatsoever (garbage trucks. Toilet paper. [no, really]. Hands-free earpiece devices. The list goes on), we'd be filling our bellies with caffeine for hours. Days, even, and at the end of it all, we'd be so hopped up on chemical stimulant that there would be nothing left to do but run wildly with flapping chicken arms, head-first into rush hour traffic to play tag and yell silly phrases like "All work and no play makes ring around the rosy, pockets full of Poseys!"

Also, I'm fairly certain it's not really a question Mike necessarily cared to hear answered. Unfair, right? Totally. TOTALLY. It's like asking a presidential candidate their feelings on abortion and then saying, "Oh, well, that was rhetorical."

Speaking of, wouldn't rhetorical questioning change the very core of political primaries and campaign trails? "Would you say you're more of a lover or a fighter, Senator? Don't answer that. Next question: If you were a bear, what kind of bear would you be?" Ah, yes, and now it's time to break for lunch. Fantastic. I hope the caesar salad dressing isn't too fishy. I mean, not to sound opinionated or anything, but I might actually discuss politics if the questions asked where rhetorical "Would you rather"-s. 

Would you rather...grow antlers or run the United States of America?

Don't answer that. 

Rhetorical schmetorical. So of course, as I am wont to do, I began thinking about that comment and how much it irked me with its implied sense of disapproval (not Mike's intention, nor Mike's fault). And of course, as I am also wont to do, I didn't let the subject drop--I might let any number of balls drop in any number of ball-related games (such as baseball, kickball, softball, volleyball, basketball, football, tennisball, rogueball, etc-ball), but the subjectball game is the one where I cling to that ball, I dribble the ball, I bounce the ball, but I never, ever DROP THE BALL.

Yes, I realize this could be perceived by some as an annoying trait. 

I like to think of it as the only game wherein balls are involved that I can actually win. 

Any normal person would have brushed the comment off with a grain of salt, because any normal person doesn't actually have well-articulated thoughts on melon or the city of La Habra or lab puppies vs. all other puppies. Any normal person, I suspect, lives their life in blissful undecidedness, rapturously delighted at all the choices life offers, and aren't they all just wonderful? I envy their fortunate unawareness that, in fact, every detail of this life can be decided upon, weighed, compared, liked, disliked, opined, and finalized. It's a heavy weight to bear. And it's made even heavier by the fact that I feel compelled to share all of those opinions with The Internet. 

Descartes was definitely on the same page when he said, "Know thyself," and I was like, "Oh, you KNOW I do, Des. You know I do." (To which Descartes was like, "Dude, I think, therefore I am. Plato was responsible for the knowing of thine-self, idiot.") 

And maybe that's part of it, this knowing of myself, my preferences, my likes and dislikes. All those who have ever digested a chick flick raise your hands to the heavens and give me an "Amen!" if this is at all familiar to you: You know that scene in the seminal Julia Roberts-Richard Gere flick Runaway Bride, wherein Julia's character finally considers which way she likes her eggs? The part where she admits bafflement as to what her preferences are regarding America's favorite pre-abortive breakfast food? That part has always annoyed me, y'all, because who DOESN'T know how they like their eggs?

I digress. Some people don't, I suppose, and that's fine. It's as fine as knowing precisely how you like your eggs (over hard, pinch of salt, piping hot), and neither knowing nor not knowing is any lesser of a state of mind to be in. 

Later Mike walked me to my car and, being the long-suffering friend that he is, patiently listened to me babble on and on about what, to him, was such an innocuous comment. There was quite a bit of "blah blah-this," and "blah blah-that," while I also noticed that the sprinklers in the field next to my car had sneezed on my windshield and above Mike's head I could see the handle of the Big Dipper.

"Don't keep thinking about it." He pragmatized. [No, that's not a word. I just made it one]

"Okay," I agreed, not really agreeing, but thinking definitely that something needed to be done about the sprinkler situation as rivulets of runoff carved fingers into the sidewalk. 

"Don't ever change," he added, verbally signing my life's yearbook for the summer break.

"Sure," I agreed again, because there's no risk of that ever happening. 

So okay, stay cool. U R 2 Kool 2 B 4gotten. Also, call me this summer. We'll hang out and maybe swap opinions on cola-flavored Slurpees vs. all other flavored Slurpees.