Diction-ary.com says the absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement is apathy. My son, a fairly new transplant himself, told me he suspected my struggle to write this month's column was due to the fact that I've become apathetic since living in the South.
He started listing things I've talked to him about that normally drive me crazy, or at least irk me enough so that I should want to write about them.
I've pondered the local fascination with fireworks and wondered how shops dedicated to selling them manage to stay in business. Should any person be allowed to purchase and ignite gunpowder for the fun of it? When I was growing up in New Jersey, we only saw fireworks displays conducted by pyrotechnic experts on the Fourth of July at public shows. Here in Fort Mill, I'm regularly treated to the rocket's red glare just when I'm about to go to sleep at night. It seems nobody else but me is looking out their window though and praying a hot Roman candle doesn't land in a storm gutter full of dried leaves.
I've questioned the absence of laws I was accustomed to having in the North, such as no hand-held cell phones while driving, wearing a helmet when you ride a motorcycle and my all time favorite: gun control. Rules like that were enacted and enforced in Northern states to protect people from others and sometimes from themselves. I've been told that down here those kinds of restrictions are considered unwanted government interference.
I'll certainly defend your right to suffer permanent brain damage or total paralysis if you'd like, but I personally take comfort in the idea of somebody looking out for my safety.
Issues like these could easily be singled out and kvetched about for days, something a friend of mine insists is my favorite pass-time anyway, but I just haven't felt like it lately.
I wish I could say it's because I'm reading the latest Oprah Book Club selection, "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. While it does give great advice on existing in the now and not sweating the small stuff, I'm afraid I haven't made the complete transformation to being my highest possible spiritual self yet. The truth is I'm running out of steam because I'm not sure anybody else cares about these things.
It used to bother me to see one employee turn out eight hours of work while another spent the better part of a day surfing the Web and making personal phone calls. Then an acquaintance of mine in middle management at a corporation in Charlotte told me she and her colleagues would rather have their subordinates do half the amount of work and be twice as much fun.
"It'll all get done eventually," she said.
None of this is what I'm used to, but who can fight forever? I've been seriously contemplating a total surrender to procrastination and oblivion. I just keep worrying that I won't do it right.