Most of the people who commented on the fact that I was linked on the pay-subscription section of Fark.com the other day in an apparently non-flattering light told me to not take it seriously, don't lose a whole lot of sleep over it, and so on. And sure enough, I didn't: I've been blogging for five years and I was on Usenet for five years before that, so believe me, the faces behind the paid-subscription wall at Fark are going to have to come at me with a lot more than "Overalls and long hair, ewwwww!" if they want to disrupt my dreamtime at night.
But one thing I have thought about just a little was the comment that apparently launched the thread. It was nothing more than a link to the main blog page (i.e., not to a specific post) with this comment: Do I really envy this guy's life, or does it make me want to shudder? I can't decide.
Well, there are aspects of my life that are certainly shudder-worthy. In terms of career accomplishments, you might think that a guy nearing 36 years of age would have a few more ladder-steps beneath him, I suppose. But what else? The trappings of having grown up? Is my life somehow shudder-worthy because I as yet don't own a house and still wear my hair long and I'm not in middle management and I'm not doing what I studied in college?
Certainly not. The way I see it, I've got a family that's currently coming back into Joy after some very serious detours into darknesses no one thinks about. I'm good at a variety of things, and I'm constantly learning new skills. I work for a company that's been repeatedly named one of the best in this country to work for. My hobbies don't require giant amounts of cash, and they make me smarter and more artistically aware. My daughter does well in school. My wife is very good at what she does. My marriage is intact after being tested a few years back by everything the Fates could throw at us, short of a direct meteor hit. I eat well, and for not a whole lot of money either. I don't get to hear live music as much as I might like, but I can take ten bucks in my wallet and treat my family to a fine day on just that. And I live in Buffalo, a city where things aren't freakishly expensive and where the weather's just fine most of the time (OK, I'll be honest, spring here sucks). I live where chicken wings were invented, for God's sake. Ninety minutes down the road is one of the world's great cities. I've got friends, I've got cats, I've got Tolkien and fountain pens and candles and an antique writing desk. I've got electric light, second sight, and amazing powers of observation.
Go ahead and shudder at my life, if you must. But before you do, ask yourself: Whadda you got?
End of sermon.