Thursday, August 7, 2008

Being Happy Ruined My Life

Darn. I got the call today that every author dreams of. A nationally syndicated television show wanted to fly me out to talk about my midlife crisis.

It was my moment to shine. I was already practicing holding my breath to look skinnier and seeing if clear packing tape would hold up my extra chin long enough for the interview.

But then, in the phone pre-interview, the producer started asking me questions like, “What trauma made you realize how terrible midlife crisis is? Did you husband leave you?”


He explained, “That’s what we want to hear about. Overcoming trauma to get through a midlife crisis.”

I was confused. “But if I think about it as trauma, then I probably haven’t really overcome it.”

He persisted, “But for the show we want to talk about the trials and tribulations, the problems of midlife.”

“But I’m really happy. I like talking to other people and realizing that I’m not alone in this midlife crisis thing.”

He was frustrated. “That’s not what we’re looking for.”

“You mean if I’m not depressed I can’t be on the show?”

“Well, it’s not our focus to see midlife crisis as funny.”

I thought for a moment. I could have run into the other room and asked my husband to leave me so I could be on the show. I considered it for a moment. A very long moment. After all, it is national television.

But then I thought about what I stand for. Yes, I’ve experienced the 3 Ds. Death, Disaster, and Dimpled thighs. I’ve also been depressed, flat broke, and had a bad hair decade.

And if I focused on those things, I could sound just as pitiful as any person who’s ever cried their way through an episode of Oprah. But that’s not how we in the south get through a crisis.

Maybe the national media needs to realize that the kind of survival that gets us southerners through hurricanes, deaths of loved ones, and yes, even midlife, is the kind of survival that says, “You get through it, you move on, and after a respectful amount of time, you make fun of it.” (Unless it’s a president you don’t like. Then you don’t wait the respectful amount of time.)

So I’d like to share my email to the producer with you.

Darn!! Wish I focused on my traumas a little more so I could be on the show!!!

But I can't -- that's the biggest emphasis of my midlife crisis. I have to find the humor in my trials and tribulations or I'd have gone crazy by now. Oh wait... I think that ship has already sailed... Never mind...

So, a healthy sense of humor, a good supply of Prozac, and my fancy car that goes from zero to sixty in just under a weekend -- and I'm good to go for midlife.

Thanks for talking with me and please keep me in mind if you ever decide to do a show on “Using humor to laugh your way through midlife” ... or “How to embarrass yourself in six easy steps.” I'm an expert on both of those...

So, yet again, I’m still one step away from the ‘big time’ – and all because I’m contented.

I’ve never been so depressed about being happy.


Shauna Roberts said...

Well, that is really silly. Was that producer 25 or something?

Unknown said...

How did you guess????

Shauna Roberts said...

He had assumptions about life and getting older that suggested he hadn't experienced much of either.