When I first sat down to write this column I spent twenty minutes scrolling through BuzzFeed articles that were completely irrelevant — articles about dogs, about biodegradable coffins, about how the art work on the covers of Sweet Valley High novels rivals pornography. I don’t know why I wasted twenty minutes of my life doing such a thing, but I did and while I can regret it, I can’t get those twenty minutes back.
To be honest, the dogs were adorable and biodegradable coffins are a creepy, yet brilliant idea. But that’s beside the point.
The fact is, I spent twenty minutes — on top of all the other increments of twenty minutes I spent on the Internet today — ingesting pointless information so that I wouldn’t have to experience my reality.
In this case, a deadline, but more often than not it’s a headache, an email, an item on my to-do list that has been there for two months, a bill or an apology. I like to think I am in love with my life, but then I spend twenty minutes looking at hedgehogs in Halloween costumes and I start to wonder — would an enlightened person be doing the same thing? Does Louis Hay run from her joy, straight into the arms of Rich Kids of Instagram?
Lucky for me, I could only pity myself for so long before I remembered I’m not alone. We, as a North American society, were generally running from something this past week.
Case in point, the media storms that were caused by both A) the little white and gold (or was it blue and black?) dress and B) the two llamas that took off like a hot damn down the Arizona interstate system.
People all over this country and the next were taking time out of their day jobs to scroll through Twitter or Facebook or even CNN to find out if the Thelma and Louise llamas were caught, were safe, were even farther down the freeway. We spent an extra ten minutes at the water cooler asking colleagues whether they saw the right colors or the wrong colors.
For as long as we could justify it we latched onto the bizarre viral rollercoaster that was just another week in the age of social media.
“We’re bleeping idiots,” I texted. “Honestly? Llamas?”
But yes, llamas. And judging by the speed at which it picked up, we needed it something fierce.
I hope this doesn’t make me sound ignorant, but I find my bliss in avoiding day-to-day news. I read Maclean’s and hope that will get me through any dinner parties in the near future. The news of today is not good for my anxiety.
For example, after finding out about the most recent earthquake off the coast of Vancouver Island I was afraid to have a bubble bath out of fear the big one would hit just as I climbed in and I would then be soapy and nude, crawling through the rubble of my 1970’s 15 floor apartment. This phase lasted two weeks. Two weeks!
Eventually I learn that my anxiety is calmed if I keep a robe beside the tub, and I move on to the next big thing — war, poverty, immigration, dangerous new diseases, carbon taxes, the melting arctic.
The world is a powerful, incredible, terrifying, beautiful place — and it’s a lot to handle some times.
Whether we were running from our day jobs, running from G.A.D, S.A.D, A.D.D or being the D.D, a couple of funny looking animals and a chameleon dress was clearly what we needed last week.
— Andria Parker is a 20-something blogger from Kamloops