“I get knocked down
But I get up again I get knocked down
But I get up again I get knocked down
But I get up again.”
This past Thanksgiving I ran a 10K with my family. At the time, I hadn’t run over a mile in over a year. And it was sleeting. As I Gimli-ed across the land I watched the people who were passing me. First an old man, then a pre-teen Amish girl in a skirt, a pregnant woman pushing a stroller with twins, and finally a two-legged dog with a wheeled contraption fixed to his abdomen, supporting his immobile rear leg stumps.
I realized I would need some kind of mantra, a chant to get me through the impending doom. I settled on, “I have no pride.”
It’s hard to hold on to pride when you keep getting knocked down. But it has been my experience that everything bad leads to something good. When I was five, my mom suffered a major disappointment, something about work. She recounts that, in reaction to her pain, I said (with 5-year-old wisdom), “Sometimes the ice cream falls off the cone.” I then added what could be the fat-kid only-child mantra: “But there is always more ice cream.”
There is great misery in trudging 6.2 miles flanked by chipper parents. In “High Fidelity,” John Cusack said, “Which came first, the misery or the music?” For Chris Martin there is misery in being too pretty and getting too much tail from Gwyneth Paltrow. For Cat Power there is misery in not being the greatest. I, too, would like to be the greatest. I am highly motivated by commercials such as the one for “How She Move,” where a down-on-her luck girl proves she is a dance master by slamming her bulk on top of a car. The only things I am learning are how to write and read and it is tough to break car windows doing that.
Unless I become a literary great!
Or steal because I am poor.
My dad told me that saying we are “knocked down” gives too much credit to some unseen sinister agent. And that risking an emotional investment in some hoped-for outcome is courageous and honorable, and in itself a positive. I say, that is sweet, pawpaw. CLICK.
I don’t call it settling. I call it waiting for the good times.
Yesterday, I left my room wearing a backpack. This was my notice to the Fates that I was down, out, and ready to be reinstated. That evening I sat studying in an abandoned WLH classroom. Not five minutes later, the motion sensor denied my presence, denied the movement of my fingers and the blinking of my eyes, in fact, DENIED my very humanity and left me in total darkness.
(I swear this is because backpacks make you invisible. I think Tyra should do an “experimental segment” about this. Instead of wearing a fat suit or a man suit or getting dudes to pretend-roofie women, she could just wear my Targus booksack.)
I’d like to wear a Tyra suit.
I get nervous when I think I may be approaching the Olympus of cool. This happened one day when I watched eight consecutive episodes of X-Files and stood up to realize that I was still alive.
So I attempt to avoid the FALL by not letting too many super cool things happen. Strangely, this has not been that tough!! Hah! Hah! I breathe a sigh of relief after tripping or losing my high school class president election two years in a row, because I know I’ll be safe for a while. If you are cool all the time, you probably have some secret constant woe. For example, I know someone who is so permanently cool that it was no shock at all to learn he has both eczema and a mole, the most embarrassing of afflictions.
This happens to everyone and everything! One of my suitemates recently was elected treasurer of the Dramat board, and now she has to wear Invisalign retainers. When my cat shat on the rug out of joy, he was sent to the basement. Similarly, when Koffee 2 got too popular, it was renamed after a toilet.
Sometimes all you have to do is accept your fate. For me, every New Year’s Eve ever has sucked a big dong! Bad parties, bad games of UNO, granny panties, etc, you feel. But when I finally decided to stop fighting I ended up having a great time watching Waterworld.
Did you know Kevin Costner has muffin top hanging over his sea pants? Guess no one can be as toned and sexy muscly muscle hottttttttttttttttt tamale rrr as the Adonises that call themselves Zeta Psi.
Molly Green is one of the great women of our time.