There was a time, way back when, where I was dating a jack-hole. This particular (female) jack-hole was very self-obsessed. I loved her (or thought I did), so I made it ALL about her. So much so that I almost quit my comedy career. I don’t even think that registered on jack-hole’s radar screen because jack-hole was all about jack-hole. I see her around the scene today and she still pretty much is obsessed with herself. But, I’m not here to complain about jack-hole. Jack-hole did me the world’s biggest favor, truly, or I never would’ve met Wifesy.
What I do want to talk about is a feeling that I had, while I was dating jack-hole and our Titanic started to sink. I had this feeling that everything I was doing was wrong. Worse than wrong. I was losing everything and everything I was losing wasn’t worth a sh*t. I lost my apartment, left my job, and jack-hole was fleeing the scene. With that much coming down around me, all I could think was, “I should be building irrigation ditches in India.”
Over and over again, “I should be building irrigation ditches in India.”
I don’t know why India. I don’t know why irrigation ditches. What I do know is that I had a sense that I should be doing something larger with my life. I wanted meaning, probably because everything was coming apart at the seams.
The thing is…I still have that feeling today, albeit less intensely.
I heard a senator being interviewed on Public Radio. He’s the senator responsible for COBRA, which in the States allows people to have the same health insurance for a year after they leave their jobs at cost. He’s also responsible for the law that requires ANY hospital in the U.S. to stabilize you regardless of your healthcare coverage. I’m not saying that these things are amazing by any means. But, imagine if we didn’t have them. Imagine Americans left bleeding on the steps of hospitals because they don’t have coverage. It’s barbaric and that’s what could’ve happened if this gentleman wasn’t integral in pushing those things through. But, that’s not why I bring him up. I bring him up because of what he said about his job. I’m paraphrasing, but he said something to the effect of, “I used to work in finance and I went to work everyday. Everything was fine. I enjoyed my job. But, now I get up with this renewed sense of urgency and passion because I literally know that the work I do in Congress CAN change people’s lives.”
Often I think comedy is frivolous/ blogging is frivolous/ selling Netflix subscriptions, frivolous/ writing, frivolous/ a sommelier, frivolous, etc. You get the picture. Do these things really help someone? Do they really help someone who desperately needs help? Should those of us that care be out there -instead of inside on the computer- building irrigation systems?
That’s why I’ve always liked companies like Invisible Children or Tom’s Shoes. IC raises money to stop the use of child soldiers by tyrants in Uganda and Africa. Tom shoes GIVES a pair of shoes to a South American child in need every time YOU buy a pair. I felt this way about Pallotta Teamworks and the Boston-NY AIDs rides as well. They are companies with a social backbone.
I think, at one point, I’m going to have to give back in exchange for my “champagne problems.”
I first came upon the term, “champagne problems” during a Modern Family episode. Here was the exchange between Al Bundee and Gloria played by the beautiful Sofia Vergara:
Gloria: “Jay bought this bicycle for me, but I keep hitting my boobs with my knees.”
Jay: “Champagne problems, eh?”
I’m grateful for my life. I could go through it and every single problem I have is pretty much a “champagne problem.” That’s good fortune.
If I had my way (and tons of venture capital or at the very least a good kickstarter) I’d start what I like to call, in my mind…ALNU CON.
AlNu Con – it stands for, “Altruistic Nut-ball Convention.” At these conventions, entrepreneurs and social media nuts would get together and find ways to make the world a better place through real companies, much like IC or Tom’s Shoes.
Whenever someone wants to tell me that comedians are screaming narcissists (and it happens often) I remember I’m the girl who wants to dig ditches. I’m the girl who is grateful for her “champagne problems.” I’m the CEO of AlNu Con, of course.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll make that little thing happen and it will turn into a big thing.
Today, however, my Macbook is being a very slow feck-wad. But, then again them is some…CHAMPAGNE PROBLEMS.
Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest to 365 consecutive posts. You can follow this blog by clicking the “follow” prompt at the top right of the page.
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