Modern Life: Occasionally Terrifying
I don’t like to think of myself as a worrier. I’m a believer in the five-second rule (cheerfully stretched to as many seconds as needed if it’s something delicious that got dropped), I drink my tap water unfiltered; I don’t bother washing my hands after peeing.
But every now and again it’s hard not to get a little twitchy about modern life and its many charming poisons. For example, I recently pulled out of the fridge, opened, sniffed, and used some perfectly good heavy cream. Its sell-by date was almost three months ago.
In that same fridge I have a pitcher of water — not a Britta or anything, just a cheap plastic pitcher from Target. Or I had one, I should say, because we put the water in, went away for a weekend, and came back to water that tasted strongly of the onions also in the fridge. O Best Beloved and I came to the (not unreasonable, I think) conclusion that anything capable of leeching that much flavor was probably also leeching everything else in the plastic into our water, and switched to glass.
So every now and again I allow myself to be a little terrified of modern life. There’s a scary amount of people out there whose job it is, in one way or another, to make sure my food doesn’t have any especially toxic shit in it; and there’s an even larger number of people whose job it is to find cheaper ways to make my food without getting caught by the first set of people.
Does anyone else ever feel totally out of their depth on things like this? Are there times when you realize how painfully ignorant you are of the stuff you use every single day? And the key question — do you pick up some books and educate yourself, or do you go hide by watching five straight hours of My Little Pony on your possibly-carcinogenic smart phone?
I guess how much time we spend considering things outside our control — and ways to bring them into our control — is revealing. I’m beginning to believe that writers spend more time noticing the terrors of the modern world and less time actually doing anything about them…but maybe that’s just me, and I’m projecting myself onto others.
You tell me! I’ll be back on Wednesday with, I can almost promise, a post that does not involve My Little Pony in any way.