Yesterday, I began — under the patient mentorship of My Fella* — building a LEGO Space Shuttle. It is, in fact, my first-ever start-to-finish LEGO project. A bit ambitious for a beginner, no doubt, but I’m hoping motivation will make up for inexperience. Also, it’s literally not rocket science: I am not building an actual spacecraft, just a plastic model. It’ll be ok, folks.
By the way, it wasn’t a lack of interest that kept me from playing with LEGO when I was a kid. Rather, it was my obnoxious, grabby brothers who’d shriek “MINE MINE MINE ALL MINE!” whenever I picked up a couple of blocks and wouldn’t stop howling until I surrendered them.
So it makes me laugh to see toy companies tying themselves in knots as they try to figure out why they can’t obtain decent market share among girls aged 0-12+…well, at least until they give up and just making a pink version with fewer parts, at which point a part of me dies inside. Which is why I’m going to share with all of you the answer to the age-old question of “Why Don’t Girls Like/Do X,Y,Z?” Ready?
BECAUSE OF BROTHERS.
Later on, it WAS a lack of interest…because when I play with toys, I like to invent my own stories. Which is why toys based on popular media franchises never did it for me. If LEGO had kept on being boxes full of plastic bricks and not morphed into brand extensions, I might have felt differently. But they didn’t, so I didn’t.
This dude knows what I’m talking about:
So that’s one thing.
The other is that I am attempting to read an entire novel about people who have cancer. Specifically, this novel. It’s supposed to be amazing and everyone I know has been recommending it to me for ages, mostly (I think) because I am snarky and so is it. But I didn’t decide to actual read it until a copy showed up, for no discernible reason, in the box sent to me by one of the publishers supplying books for my committee work.**
I hope I can handle it. Anything to do with cancer upsets me beyond reason, even when it’s fictional. I have similar reactions to beloved pet death, sexual violence, affluent middle-aged people having existential crises and/or extramarital affairs, and the upper Midwest. None of these are entertaining to me and I do not ascribe to the notion that suffering (whether through or from) is inherently uplifting and ennobling.
I’ve been thinking about why this should be the case, why I get so freaked out about cancer, because — when you consider all the ways human beings can die (and there are many) — cancer is not necessarily the worst. I’m not saying it’s definitely preferable to or better than other kinds of death, but it might be. I don’t know. Everyone’s different. I’m sure there are people out there who think, “As long as it’s not a plane crash/bear attack/getting electrocuted in my bathtub, I can deal.”
After some thought, I’ve concluded that it’s because I am cheap and cancer is not. Whether or not you survive it, you will bankrupt yourself and everyone around you. Or, put another way, it is a black hole of a disease into which you will be forced to dump all of your time, energy, and resources into fighting — and then you will probably die anyway. That just seems wasteful and inefficient and annoyingly pointless, kind of like being murdered.***
Going one level deeper, I also suspect that I am not the sort of person whose plight would inspire others to organize 5K “Fun Runs” to raise money for research. In fact, I *know* that I am exactly the sort of person whose impending demise would make people say “Huh. ‘Bout time” — kind of like Justice Scalia.
And, once again, this blog has veered into very morbid territory, so I’ll end by saying that yesterday I found a penny while I was digging up a dead stump. Nothing too exciting, but since it has slight monetary value and was technically underground, I’m calling it buried treasure. So I think I can go ahead and cross that one off my bucket list.