Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Margaret O'Flannery Ruined My LIfe

I've been an angel for about a year now, and over that time I've noticed some patterns emerge. I've talked about a few of them already, like the spike in depression over Valentine's Day and the sorrow drowning excuse that St Patrick's day provides. Now I've got some categories, and one that's especially prevalent in New York City is men age forty. It sounds like a demographic but what it really is is a trigger. Lots of men who hit forty feel like their god damn lives are over, like anything they haven't achieved to that point will never happen. This happens with both professional and personal goals. When I noticed this, I said to Archangel Michael, "We should form divisions, like have a Job Frustration Department and a Turning Forty Department."

"Oh, We tried that about 400 years ago. It was too structured, the angels didn't like visiting the same issues over and over again."

Makes sense. Nevertheless, my latest job can go in the Men Age Forty file. Ron, we'll call him, is forty, single, and lamenting a lost love. "I hadn't thought about her in years," he said, "then this guy at work asked me who I'd rather be with, a girl who's smart and ugly or hot and stupid. Right away I said, 'hot and stupid.' Then that reminded me of a girl I dated a few years after college. She was blond and beautiful, but she was also a summa cum laude at Columbia University."

"Brains and beauty," I said.

"Exactly. Great girl. She was perfect. But she was actually still in school at the time. She got a B on a paper and acted like it was my fault, like it was because she was spending too much time with me. Then I lost my job. It was a horrible job and it turned out to be a blessing, but at the time, I don't know. I was unemployed when I met her and she didn't care. But after a few months . . . I don't know, maybe she thought if her work was suffering, then it wasn't worth it to be with some unemployed shlub.

"You broke up?"

"Yeah, she dumped me. It was years ago, but I don't know. I'm still single, what if I was like, meant to be with her, and it got screwed up somehow, so now there's no one for me. You know what I mean?"

"That's an interesting theory," I said. "Don't think I buy it though. If there really was fate and destiny, we wouldn't have control over our futures. Look at it this way, if you had a destiny, it would have to come from somewhere, like from God, or some kind of supreme being. Do you think God would be so cruel as to condemn you to a life of misery because of some bad luck that happened fifteen years ago?"

"I guess not." He took a long pause and said, "If there is a God."

So his current state still left him with doubts about both himself and universe. Life can be hard on faith. But at least what I told him gave him hope that his soul mate was still out there somewhere. Michael told me there was no fate, so I felt good that my words were true. Then again, his problem made me feel relieved that I had someone to go home to. Is that ok?

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