Monday, March 4, 2013

SOLC 4: Arcade Games for Grown-Ups

...What? What do you MEAN you don't see an SOLC post for yesterday? That is SO WEIRD. My assistant* must have dropped the ball. That girl is getting SACKED.

Ahem. Moving on.

I had a super fun weekend with my ole college roommate/best friend (going down to hang out in Boston, see an awesome play for which she's worked her tukhus** off, coming back up here, eating our way through Portland, and going to collect her new rescue dog), and took today off for same. Just spent a few hours with my adoptive family here, commemorating their oldest child's senior year on varsity basketball. And came home to start contemplating the week.

And just like that, it starts: the slowly building, adding up, merciless process of stress. (Now, a sidebar: I am so aware of how stressless my life is compared to plenty. But the premise is the same, regardless of the details.) And I got to thinking, perhaps because I've recently downloaded Letris to my phone, that stress is like a really lame arcade game for grownups. It starts as a few blocks dropping into place--maybe singly, maybe in clusters. Some fit together, if not naturally, at least semi-helpfully. Others seem determined to be in everything else's way. And just as you start to find a system, something trips you up--it seems to get faster, or the clusters are less easily nested. And you feel your shoulders creep up and press to the back of your head your muscles twist tight, your face crunch into an expression of anticipatory pain.

This isn't meant to be a depressing entry--in fact, I don't have time (either for the sake of sleep or getting this in under the wire for SOLC) to make it depressing or uplifting. It's just an idea, a mental picture I had.

So here's hoping you and I find ways to be more than gamers in a world of real life.

*If you think I really have a personal assistant, I have some employment paperwork to send you. There's totally an opening. The paycheck might get lost in the mail a lot...

**yes, I did just go look up how to spell that... ahh, Wikipedia, how did I ever know anything before you came into my life?


  1. Everyone's stressors are real. I do, however, think that we could all be less stressed if we tried (myself included). I think it's like the busy trap (Did you read that article in the NY Times?). It makes people feel good to say their busy.

    I digress.

    I think your slice is completely appropriate and not depressing at all. And, I love your intro. BTW: Maybe your assistant is hanging out with my personal assistant (who is nowhere to be found).

    Sorry about all the parens. It's late and I'm really tired.

    1. Never apologize for parens. They are the best ever--with the possible exception of the m dash. (Notable also-rans include the footnote and the comma.)

  2. This was such an apropos analogy for stress. I never really thought about Tetris. I've never been very good at that either! In any case, this was a funny piece. It's always nice to know that other people get it. Makes things a little less stressful knowing we aren't alone, huh?

  3. Ugh, I could never stand Tetris for that same reason...and the music would get faster and faster as your impending doom approached. That was the worst! And I will totally be your personal assistant, although I would probably not at all help you in getting things done, since I'm behind on my own to-do list.

    1. If there's something that stresses me out more than real life, it's probably video games. I have never seen the appeal, only because they turn me into a nervous wreck in a terrifyingly brief time...
      And YES. Personal Assistant. Because we needed more terms for each other. :)