I remember when I was 12 or so a teenaged Ryan complaining to my Dad at the dinner table that it depressed him when Dad wore only plain white under-shirts with no shirt on top of it, one of which he was wearing at the time. He added that seeing fruit flies in the house depressed him as well (BigRy, am I remembering this right?). My parents laughed at this, but I sat there on the yellow linoleum floor quietly contemplating it; pondering how seemingly random things have the power to spontaneously transport us to a bad place. You can see or smell or feel a thing that injects pure despair straight into your bone marrow.
We all have pet peeves, but I’m talking about something different. Pet peeves are things that annoy or anger you. I’m talking about things that depress you. Things that douse your spirit and make you feel like there’s something to be sad about. Often this process is subconscious. You’re not aware of what’s going on but you realize you are feeling badly and you think “Wait a minute, that’s why I feel this way; the light in here is dim” or “I’m in a run down strip mall with very ugly, cheap signage” or “Oh, right it’s because that woman has straight, long hair going down past her bum” Or “The women with the long hair is also wearing a fanny pack.”
Here’s an example. When I was a teenager I came upstairs and found a grown up sibling of mine—who shall remain nameless—fully sprawled out on the couch. I think he might have been sick that day. So what’s wrong with lying on the couch, Christian? We all do that, right?
Well this person was doing it in sweats and undershirt. And these weren’t Juicy Couture sweats either. These were 80’s sweats. Remember how sweat pants used to have tight elastic bands at the bottom of the legs? The thought of lying in those sweats, having them bunch up more and more with every movement you make, that alone gets me down. Nothing in this world worse than bunching. And this was on a warm day. In the middle of the afternoon. And if we haven’t lost any readers to suicide in the last two paragraphs, that’s because you haven’t heard the clincher yet. In between this person and the couch was a solid layer of…newspaper. He was reading the newspaper and the pages he wasn’t holding in his hands had wormed their way under his entire body, which he didn’t seem to mind. I hate the feel of newspaper even on my fingertips. But the thought of lounging around on it on a warm day; that dry material touching my bare feet and elbows and maybe even the part of my back skin which would be exposed through my shirt riding up from moving around on the couch. That scene depressed me and still does when I remember it.
But I know I have been, and surely still am the cause of other people’s depression. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, and if I do it’s usually in the evening. But every once in a great while I want to watch TV or a movie in the daytime on a Saturday or some other non-work day. This is quite depressing to Reba. Or I think about how much lazing around and TV watching I did on my honeymoon and I get depressed. Back then I thought that an ideal vacation was one in which you just lay around. Not even at the pool or the beach. But just lay around and read and sleep and watch TV inside. Even on the bed. It didn’t help that the place we were staying at had a cable channel that showed Magnum P.I. and Rockford Files almost all day long. We were in beautiful Florida and I spent most my time watching TV in bed. Yuck.
You know what else depresses me? Goths. What’s going on there? That sounds like a Jay Leno Joke and also makes me sound like I’m 90, but I mean it. What the freak is really going on there?
Also people yelling at their kids in public places.
And most of Wyoming.
Seeing a bunch of cars in a strip club parking lot in the late morning/early afternoon. Or even better on Christmas or some other holiday.
And split level homes.
People spending a lot of time in casinos.
And the way old people’s homes look on the inside.
And most Russian people.
And the drive from Salt Lake to Reno.
The thought of sorting through coupons, then shopping with them (which Reba does sometimes).
And pet hair on people’s furniture.
Seeing a family out to dinner where all the kids are on their own gaming system/movie player. Saw it the other night. Even the 4 year old was hooked up to on his own little machine the entire dinner. Slit my wrist.
Over-31 Mormon single adult wards.
What depresses you?