Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stupid guilt.

I feel guilty about things that would barely rise to the level of acknowledgment for other people. Sure, we all feel guilty about some little things---badmouthing a co-worker, dropping trash on the street, foreclosing on a sickly old widow---and well we should.

But I suffer stupid guilt, about things other people probably wouldn't even think about. Here are five examples.

1. Renting a Redbox movie and failing to watch it. Not because I blew the $1.25 plus tax, but because someone else may have had their heart set on watching Scooby Doo! Meets KISS and I ruined his Saturday night for nothing. If I'm going to ruin someone else's night for my selfishness, by depriving him of seeing the long-awaited teaming of Scoob and Doctor Love, at least I ought to get something out of it.

2. Doing something naughty in a dream. I know I don't have any control of the programming; as a fellow I knew once said, "The things in your head are for entertainment purposes only." But I always kind of think that the evil thoughts I've piled up lead me to dream of doing wicked things. Frankly, though, even in my dreams they're pretty tame. But I still feel guilty.

3. Taking an elevator to the second floor.

Seriously, I got legs. What the hell's wrong with me?
4. Taking the last cookie. Or brownie, or whatever was put out at the office. Yes, it's the Piece of Shame, an appellation that would indicate that taking it ought to bring one shame and guilt, but when I take it I tell myself I am rebelling against tribal groupthink. But I make sure to take it when no one is looking.

(Don't get me started on throwing away food; I was the kid who actually wanted to put my leftovers in a box and mail them to starving Third World countries.)

5. Not playing with apps. I have a crossword puzzle in progress! The Languinis need me! That Candy won't Crush itself! Who gives a damn? I do!

I don't think counseling will help me. I need to be persecuted; it's the only way to relieve me of my guilt. But I'm a white male American Christian; I'm supposed to be the guy doing the persecuting. And I know that billions of people would like me to feel guilty about that.

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