Monday, August 22, 2011

evil eye, reprise

So. This is how the evil eye works.  You acknowledge (just to yourself, mind you and not even out loud) that everything's just fine thank you.  Or worse yet, just fine and dandy. Or worst of all, actually, you can't complain. But deep down you know that things are frakking great.  And that's bad, really bad. Really really really bad.

You have activated the evil eye, by just knowing what you know and completely denying it.  Too late.  Too late.

I am so bummed out by this.

Actually, there's a sequence that comes just before the bomb drops.  It's the warning signs.  Warning that your life is just a little too good right now for words.

I won't say what the good is.  Won't admit the truth of it.  In fact, I'm happy to deny the whole bloody thing.

Things are shit.

How's that? Does that sound convincing enough?

The thing about the evil eye is that somehow some force out there knows better.  Knows when you're lying.  Knows that no matter how long your face, that deep down you're actually thrilled to pieces, solvent, just plain happy, won the lottery, having the greatest sex in your life, paid off your house, have kids who are thriving — whatever it is that you're trying to hide behind that sad sack look.  It doesn't work.

Initial warning sign:

You're doing okay financially, and decide to purchase some little indulgence.  Your first iPhone, maybe, or some other indulgent Apple product. Opera tickets. Um, clothes to wear to the opera (unless you live in San Francisco, where you can go to Opening Night in jeans), or how's about an elliptical trainer to pretend you're really really going to get in shape?

And bam. You car goes out.  Or the roof falls in. Your back goes out. Your dad drops dead. Your girlfriend walks out.

Something. Really. Bad.

I'm sick of trying to outwit the forces of nature.

Actually, there's another way of thinking about it.  And that is, that good fortune and bad fortune are just waves in the ocean.  It's not volitional and it's nothing personal.  Things happen, and not just shit.  Take it in stride (somehow).

Remind yourself that you're not living in Somalia. That you don't have relatives in Afghanistan right now. That you actually have a job. That your teeth haven't fallen out of your head.  That the pain in your hip isn't currently so bad that it makes you cry and keeps you up all night.

See?  Counting your blessings is not entirely antithetical to the evil eye.  Done right, you can still do it and not incur the wrath of whatever forces run things like this on our little planet.  Keep the counting of blessings fairly generic and impersonal.  Not too emotionally charged.

Say something like, isn't it great that the migraines don't come every week but only once (or twice) a  month at the opposite peaks of your lunar cycle.  Say wow, I only have to up the dosage of my heart meds just a little bit, I mean, how cool is that?

Say something, in other words, where the blessings being counted are also being countered by some big implied downer.

This goes for compliments as well:

—"Wow, your dog is sooo beautiful..." [with even more effusive chatter following].  Oy yoi-yoi, appalling behavior. Your poor dog is in for some major health problems to follow. You've got to ward it off and protect her.

So you say,

—"Well, she's a little hard of hearing / has a touch of cancer / just had surgery / lost her pack mate / is getting old and arthritic / is incontinent / you should see what her meds cost ..."

Something. Anything. Anything except "Thank you."

The problem with 'thank you" is that it implies recognition and acceptance of the good. And you don't want to do that.

Girlfriend gets effusive about how much she loves you.  On and on and on she goes.  Yikes! Ouch! Feel the evil eye giving itself an evil little wink to self, gearing up for some serious action.

Drive shaft breaks.

Air bag sensor goes berzerker.

Mum slips and almost breaks her hip.

Pup gets major runs.

Something.  It's gonna be something.

Solution?  I'm just not sure.  Because once you stop curling up into a little ball and start to unwind some, you just want to unwind a whole lot more and finally just let the sunshine in.  I mean, should a little bit of happiness really be quite so fraught with drama?

Note to self: 
Wave theory. Good stuff in. Good stuff out.
 Stuff just happens, both the good and the bad. 
Get over it.


  1. You're an idiot. You don't deserve anything good in your life. Why do I even bother to post a comment, your computer will probably go up in smoke. Your bird has herpes. The loft on the third floor is infested with termites. Your kettle leaks, your leeks have sand. Your wampeter is past its expiration date.

  2. God I love you! That was perfect, just perfect! Thank you.

  3. Shit. Did I just say I love you?? Shit. Did I say that was perfect?? Double shit. Did I just say thank you? I'm in trouble now...

  4. When will I ever internalize this Evil Eye thing and recognize the formula at work? You complain about Kj's barking because it keeps her safe, where to praise her yummy soft cuddliness would put her in grave danger!

    Good dog! Keep barking!

  5. How I love the smell of Barking in the morning...