The writing, observations, and general solid ideas of John-Michael Bond
Anyone have $50k to invest in my smoothie truck business “Please Kale Me”?
I adore comic books. As a kid they made me question my faith, learn about science, and even appreciate the values of being married. Reed Richards and Susan Storm are married and they’ve figured out how to make love work whether they’re fighting Dr. Doom or with each other.
The recent news that DC Comics has decided none of their heroes can be married, specifically the lesbian character Bat Woman, bummed me out. Marriage is ripe for super hero drama. So in the interest of proving how cool marriage can be in comic books I present the following ten story ideas for married characters. Tell me this isn’t gold DC. Let Bat Woman get married, and then put her in story idea 9.
1. Arch nemesis finding out you regularly say you take out the trash even when you didn’t.
2. You’re not faster than a speeding bullet but you’re close to a four minute mile *wink*.
3. Someone forgot to separate the laundry and now your cape is pink.
4. You get the date of your wedding anniversary mixed up with the date of the day your parents were murdered.
5. Her parents are eating Kosher this Christmas?
6. Despite the promise that he’s the last person alive from his home planet in-laws keep dropping by, and he hasn’t come out to any of them.
7. Your in-laws move in, leaving you only one room in the secret hideout for “you time.” The wife calls it “the man-cave of solitude” and doesn’t see your tears.
8. Non-powered husband loses an arm after a surprise “tickle fight” incident with wife.
9. There’s a break out at the Super Prison just before your daughter’s middle school debate and you promised you’d make it.
10. You’re Baptist, she’s a Amazon.
The last good and serious funk I found myself in started the last week of 2012 when I was unfollowed on Twitter by someone I respect. For the following month and a half it was all I could think about. Having beers with friends? Bring your self doubt along! Have a great set? Sure, but so-and-so probably hated it. The wife wearing a hot little number and promising lust? That can wait, I’m short a goddamn follower!
Of course the issue wasn’t Twitter. It was the feeling like I’d given someone I respect a reason to write me off, leaving us connected only via real life and Facebook. And guys, no one uses real life or Facebook anymore. Ask a friend who does social media. If you’re in your 20s you probably have nine of them.
Eventually I had to make a choice. A) I could keep being depressed about something I have no control over or B) I could realize I’ve been crying into my beer about a social network which in all likelihood wont matter in a couple of years. Don’t believe me? When Myspace relaunched everyone lost all of the friend’s they accumulated during their time on the site. Exactly zero people reading this were effected by that change. Perhaps I was giving weight to stupidity.
The human mind is a stupid dangerous place sometimes. Your mental health is basically a community, and depression is the guy who wants to fight because of you stepped on his shoes in the hall. At its best depression is something that drives you to fight harder for the life you think you deserve. I’ve been told that sort of depression exists. In my experience depression has never been so honorable as to have a purpose. I’m jealous of those people with neat, meaningful sadness. A lot of us are. And I think that’s why we give our petty depressions so much weight.
You want to believe the thing keeping you up at night is as bad as it seems. But your sadness over the girl who unfollowed you on Twitter or feeling out of shape isn’t on par with real problems like crippling debt or medical issues. Those are the folks with the pure, uncut, reasons to feel glum. It’s not to say we aren’t allowed to feel shitty unless we’re standing on a seemingly sinking ship, but maybe since we’re not in immediate danger we could take the time to have perspective.
When you find yourself in a funk ask yourself if you’re in danger or if you’re being bullied by your mind.
Danger is “holy shit, I’m going to be on the street if I don’t get that money by Tuesday!”
Mind bullying is “but why wont they follow me on Twitter!” Or “I’m not funny enough.” Or “I don’t have any friends.”
Look at your sadness through a lens of time. Ask yourself if the monkey on your back is surgically attached or if with effort and enough bananas you can shake it. When your mind takes a swing at you for stepping on its shoes ask yourself what you can do to fix the situation.
If you feel lonely go and join a book club, or talk to a stranger at a bar, or start going to church. You don’t even have to believe in God, it’ll be your little secret. If you’re struggling with art, welcome to art. Everyone struggles with art. The people who become great are the people who never stop struggling. The people who find friends are the ones who stop dwelling on the people who don’t like them, and seek out people who do.
Life is too short to be hung up on Twitter, a gut you can run off, or the human who doesn’t want to rub funny places with your funny places. I’m saying that as someone who has wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for myself for all of those reasons. The time we spend dwelling on our problems is time we spend not working on fixing them. That’s time we could be spending reading books, going on walks, creating art, finding a better job, making out or finding someone to who wants to make out.
Yes. Your depression is real. No. Your depression is not productive. Examine it and ask yourself if it’s really as serious as it seems.
Then go outside and have a walk.