Monday, April 25, 2011

Atlas Either Shrugs or Develops Knees of Adamantium

One lesson I've learned being an executive's wife: if you poke up above the crowd, someone's going to attempt to kneecap you and bring you down to "equal" (i.e. their level).

There's nothing more dangerous than being successful. It makes people "feel" bad. It makes them want to bring you down.

As if they had a clue what it was like to be above the crowd. It's really awesome to be in the top 5% of earning households. Which is obviously why I buy groceries at Costco and Super Walmart and buy sides of beef at a time to save money. We're just rolling in it.

There is an impressive amount of suck attached to being near the top, both financial and strength-wise. In fact our neighbor gave a name to it about a week ago when discussing my grandparents being on their final days and my father's lack of deal.

"Don't worry, Mel can handle it."

He meant that sarcastically. Too many people mean it literally, as an in-built excuse for whatever gets thrown at us.

It's very close to "don't worry, the rich can afford it."

"Don't worry, it's only one more regulation on small businesses."

"Don't worry, it's only one more law."

"Don't worry, it's only one more tax."

At some point, the final straw appears.

Let's wrap up what's happened so far this year, shall we?

September: the kids are taken from us on a flimsy legal pretext, requiring another legal fight, this time in Canada. After all, we can afford it!
November: Chris has a hypertensive crisis, requiring me to essentially stay within an hour's travel of his bedside. But we can handle it!
January: Chris's brother dies and we fly out to Boston for the funeral. Also, the IRS decides the kids and I don't exist and therefore Chris should give them an extra $100K in taxes. Oh, and the thyroid tumor is found! But that's okay, we're strong and it's the rest of the family that needs to be taken care of!
February: Chris is disowned by his grandmother. Tumor is measured. It's over 3 1/2". And is most likely cancerous...
March:...but the tumor can't be removed yet. That's okay, he's strong, he can handle it!
April: Mel receives word that her grandfather most likely has stomach cancer and is not long for this world. He is 94. This is when she decides to go on Chris's business trip with him, where she visits grandparents and discovers father is not dealing. After all he doesn't have to deal, Mel can handle it for him!
Today: Official contact from IRS. After all, we can afford it! We're obviously not paying our fair share! It was only $60K last year!

The urge to give up everything and go become a hermit is strong. However, there is no such thing as Galt's Gulch. There is also SO much that we want to do that, by definition, becoming hermits would prevent. We can not bow out.

So if Atlas can't shrug, he can at least develop knees of adamantium for the inevitable attempts at kneecapping.

And that's where this turns from general rant into specific rant, aimed against family, friends, and everyone else we come in contact with.

There is only so much in this world two people can take.

Your emotional crisis/ slight irritation/ sense of ennui/ general inability to deal = NOT OUR PROBLEM.

The petty bullshit? Yes, we're intentionally ignoring it. The drama? Banned. Y'all put on your big boy/big girl pants and deal.

It's not that we didn't notice that you don't want to grow up. Or that your marriage is falling apart (dude, you have a pre-nup for a reason). Or that old age somehow "snuck up" on you.

We just don't have the energy to say anything, or the willingness to wade into the drama right now.

Please, please do not insist that we wade into it with you. You will find that knees of adamantium also equal spine of adamantium.

To all of those we have invited into our lives recently, you're here for a reason. You're here because we've determined that you will be a joy, not a pain, and we need more joy in our lives. Thank you for that.