On Easter, I had two long Zoom calls with each side of my family. It was just a bunch of people happy to see that a bunch of other people were relatively okay. For my uncles to joke in the same way they have my entire life, that was nice.
I tried hard to amuse my nieces and nephews with my pirate puppet. He and I reacted, whispered to each other, and eventually made out a little bit. (It’s not serious.)
Then I put on this TV show that seemed stupid, and started coloring in my new mandalas 4 ever coloring book.
I listened to the show and colored or like 6 hours. Not sure. It was very hard to make myself stop and eat something. So I didn’t stop til like 1 in the morning.
Of the self-soothing strategies, coloring in my mandalas is a really good one. I’m fine with using that as my obsessive/compulsive compulsion. It’s the new organizing your house!
Possibly stranger than the coloring, the show I was watching is called “Fatal Attractions.” Each episode features two or three stories about a particular kind of animal, and how its hubristic owner is mauled or eaten by it.
It’s so relaxing.
In every story, there is clearly no one to be blamed but the dumbass who thought his hyena/cobra/tiger/hippo was totally safe because he loved his hyena/cobra/tiger/hippo. In every story, the narrator says things like, “His luck was about to run out,” or “as luck would have it.” In most stories, a friend or relative of the person who loves his hyena/cobra/tiger/hippo says something like, “I couldn’t keep [dumbass] from being with his [hyena/cobra/tiger/hippo], because that was his whole life. He wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t get to [care for/feed/sleep with/swim with/manage the Grindr account of] his [animal who ends up killing him].
I was praying for a show that would engage me so that time stood still. This was that show.
The moral of every episode is, don’t keep dangerous animals, dude!
There were some women. But mostly men. From the U.S., Australia, Germany, South Africa.
It’s a perfect catharsis, according to the ancient Greeks:
–an important man (in his own eyes)
–flies too close to the leopard/rattlesnake/lion/crocodile
–shake head and understand I am actually lucky, though it looks like I’m a person trapped in my home obsessively compulsively coloring in a coloring book
Now, I don’t want to mock the friends and family of the dumbasses (and certainly I have been a dumbass many a time). I figured, though, getting interviewed about their loved one for a TV show might be cathartic for them, too.
The stories are reenacted. That is probably amazing, too, in its own horrible way, but I was busy coloring mandalas, remember.
Another thing that makes this okay is the animal is almost never punished. Sometimes the animal is wounded or killed during the attack, but hey, them’s the breaks, predators. No one blames the animals. Every single person is like, crocs gonna croc.
In a time with no certainty and no clear path forward, storytelling that follows a template is welcome. And we must thank the stars if our coping mechanisms are as harmless as sensational television and coloring books.