10 Reasons I’m Sad This Week

Picasso's "Woman With Arms Crossed," 1901
Picasso’s “Woman With Arms Crossed,” 1901

I’ve read a few more reviews of Inside Out and just about every one notes (if not celebrates) its validation of the occasionally necessary triumph of Sadness. Some of the reviews themselves have made me sad (see #4 below) but in the spirit of being sad when we’re, well…sad, here is a list of some things making me sad lately.

1. This. Nothing more to say.

Clementa Pinckney's wife Jennifer and daughters Eliana and Malana, courtesy of abcnesw.go.com
Clementa Pinckney’s wife Jennifer and daughters Eliana and Malana, from abcnesw.go.com

2. The SCOTUS decision on gay marriage is wonderful, without a doubt. However:

  • Mississippi performed exactly three same-sex marriages before they turned couple #4 away. How is this possible?
  • I have reservations about 5 men and 4 women, all educated in Ivy League schools, not one a native midwesterner, making decisions with such autonomy. YEAH, I KNOW: MISSISSIPPI. Even so. I said reservations. It was the right thing to do, but I wonder about the process.

3. The SCOTUS endorsement of the Affordable Care Act is also a good thing but ACA is not perfect. A nephew of mine has a decent income (after cobbling together many different jobs) but a lot of college debt. Do you know that his college debt does not figure into the premium he has to pay? Also, here in MN some people may see higher costs/fewer options for care with the federally funded program vs. our MinnSure. The bugs will be worked out, but there are bugs.

4. Anthony Lane reviewed Inside Out in the New Yorker and one of his comments made me sad: So much to worry about, in such a good life! The reason this made me both sad and a little angry is because there’s some truth to it. (I believe that anger can substitute for sadness, especially when we want to feel certain about something.) I’m NOT certain Mr. Lane is wrong. But I do know that my mother, who grew up in poverty and all sorts of abandonment, says the best hour of her week as a child was listening to fairy tales in the radio. In other words, children sometimes like an escape. Maybe not all children’s movies have to replicate a difficult life. The reviewer also called the movie “another tale of childhood defined by its belongings.” Again: Yes. The family in Inside Out is privileged in its material possessions–a home, its furnishings, computers (even for kids). But I know the house and the neighborhood and the family and the philosophy in which Inside Out director Peter Docter was raised. His childhood was defined by parents who cared about creativity far more than belongings.

5. OK, now time for the self-absorbed ones. My left knee hurts. I mean really, really bad. Like there are Legos in there. The wonderful PA who I saw yesterday said, Yeah, like that packing material that goes “pop-pop-pop.” And I said, No. Like Legos. You know, those little ones with the one dot. A handful. Like you kneeled on them and they went in.

6. In part it hurts because I did something stupid, which adds regret to pain–not a great combination. Shouldn’t a fairly fit 57-year-old woman be able to conduct a 30-minute session of alternatively walking and running? APPARENTLY NOT.

7. My husband also has some musculoskeletal woes right now and it’s summer, for goodness sake. Couldn’t all this debility have happened in winter?

8. No. Well, I suppose it could have, but that’s not in our control. The fact is that we are privileged to be getting older. (See Sadness #1, above.) That privilege probably should sound like Joy but today it feels like Sadness. And griping about getting old sounds like Anger, too, a particularly pathetic variant of anger which is foolish and self-centered and petty. Sometimes, however, in contrast to the entirely egotistical anger I feel about a painful knee in my own generally-very-good life, we really do need to be angry. Seriously angry. Heartbreaking, so very unnecessary example: Sadness #1, above, once again. Let’s all stay angry about this.

9. And by the way, why, in Inside Out, is Anger clearly a man?

10. Did I mention my knee hurts? And my heart, too.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *