Chapter to Chapter: Topic - You Know the Drill

Chapter to Chapter

By Christopher Collins

Topic:  You Know the Drill


     I know that what I am about to write may not be “appropriate” or even politically correct.  However, I really don’t care.  We’ve lived in a politically correct petri dish for so long that I, for one, am sick of it.  It’s as if perception and feelings are more important than truth and trust.  I’m not advocating for us to release the tongue and proclaim every cruel and inappropriate idea that pops in our heads.  I do, however, see that we are so worried about how someone may not like what we say or may be angry at an opinion that challenges theirs that we opt to remain quiet.  The problem is that the caring and decent-minded folk—and yes, I said it, there are decent-minded folk—are the ones to bite their tongues while the bold and the rude and brash scream their ideas to the world.  As a result, many quiet folks brood and develop heart disease from pent-up silence and end up slurring words because they’ve bitten their tongues so often.  All the while, the snowflakes of the century float around in the cool atmosphere, never challenged by the heat of truthful sunlight.  Okay.  That was fun.  I’m moving on now.

     What is it that is inappropriate to say?  It’s that I am sick and tired of hearing about pandemic, isolation, social distancing, and the like all the time.  All the time.  ALL THE TIME.  The media are dire and depressing. Do I believe we should be careful?  Yes.  Should we social distance?  Yes.  Should we protect the vulnerable?  Yes.  Do I follow all these suggestions?  Yes, I do.  And notice I said suggestions and not rules.  They are suggestions that are reasonable and make sense. We want our elders to be safe.  We want to prevent illness and especially death. However, there are many illnesses in our world.  Are we willing to stop everything for weeks, months, or years to prevent illness? Is it worth losing businesses?  Vehicles? Travel? Fossil fuel? Restaurants? Schooling? Dental work? Sporting events? Movies? Knee replacements?  Church? Human contact?  If that’s what it takes to be safe, life as it has always been will be gone.

     And on a lighter note, which we all need, one definite change we are seeing is in personal appearance.  Haircuts, hair colorings, and styling, by and large, have disappeared.  People are shaving less than they even have in the past.  Frumpy has become the new fashion.  Folks are online wearing wrinkled clothes, sweat shirts, or robes.  The world has probably gone barefoot more in the past six weeks than it has since the Roman Empire.  I am quite sure that people are still bathing and brushing their teeth and taking care of themselves.  But with more opportunity to eat 18+ hours per day, with Netflix becoming the biggest industry in America, and with being stuck at home with the same people week in and week out, we are changing.  Inner change sometimes causes outward change; in this instance, that outward reflection of the inward change is exponentially higher.  Some folk are lackadaisical, some are sleeping all the time, some are losing their ability for conversation, living with people they can just glance at and get their point across.  Yes, we are learning to appreciate the simpler things in life.  I get it.  I’ve said it in previous columns, but at the same time, let me just state the unpopular truth: this stinks to high heaven and is making us not only feel rough, but look rough.

     I’ve the seen the old photos, usually black and white, pictures from years back.  People who were 30-years old looked 70.  People had severe wrinkles at 28.  Their hair was not kept well.  In fact, a lot of those folks were downright ugly by today’s standards.  Every once in a while, you see a photo a beautiful woman, but she was married to a guy who looked twice her age, though he wasn’t, and looked as if he were beat in the face with the mire of life. But the fact is that that was the average choice.  That’s how people looked.  They lived hard lives.  They were baked by the sun, they had shorter life spans, and they didn’t have skin products, hair stylists, or modern medicine.  They were what we’re becoming.  We can never look on them the same again.  Considering their world, they were gorgeous.  And what about us? We look bad.  I’ve seen some of your social media.  And we are going to look worse.  However, we cannot allow the inside to match the outside.  We have to retain our sanity, talk with each other, and not allow one disease to wreck our civilization. We are better than that, smarter than that, and prettier than that.  It’ll anger people when we try to return to what we were, but we have to.  It’s our lives we’re talking about, and they’re more than beating hearts.