|"Snow Storm ..." by J.M.W. Turner|
Every day, when you drive down Grand Avenue in Laramie, there’s this guy walking back and forth on the sidewalk along the same block carrying a sign. On the sign, it does not say “The world will end.” It does not say “Down with the government.” No. It says, “AT&T Mobile.”
It’s always the same guy on the same block in front of the AT&T store. The guy carrying the sign invariably has on a pair of earphones. He carries the sign hugged to his body next to his ear, so that he walks with his shoulders hunched forward and his head hinged off-center away from the sign. It’s as if he’s lurching slantwise down a hill.
Every time I see him, I think, God what a horrible job. Maybe I’m projecting, but I don’t think I’m alone here.
Whenever things are tough at the office or we’re doing something we don’t like to do, my husband and I have this thing we say. “At least we’re not doing X.” X is that job you did when you were young that you absolutely hated. For me it was chasing cows on foot far from home in a freak early fall or late spring snow storm, the ones in which the icicles hang off the horses' noses and the snow or fog make it hard to see and you never have enough coats so you have to stomp your feet to keep warm. (Us kids walked; some of the older cousins had horses.) For my husband, it’s cleaning out an un-air-conditioned hog farrowing house in Nebraska in August with a power washer. Remember to keep your mouth shut.
I think it’s a good thing to remember. We have so much here in the United States and so much more than our ancestors. And we so take it for granted. I must remind myself of this every so often.