In times of woe I’ve often found comfort from Mick Jagger’s crooning, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might find,you get what you need.” Yeah. That’s it. Thanks, Mick! You are so right, man. Everything’s gonna be just fine.
The Rolling Stones words would comfort me when an audition for a job I really wanted didn’t come through. I would trust the next audition would--and it would be for an even better job with the bigger paycheck I really needed.
“You can’t always get what you want,” I’d quietly hum to myself as I scoured every rack at DSW (that’s Designer Shoe Warehouse, for any gentlemen reading this) only to find nothing I wanted in my size. Because of that song, my pulse would steady and I’d leave content with a few pair of much needed socks instead.
In my single days Mick’s words often talked me off the breakup ledge. So the guy who just dumped me and whom I so desperately wanted was someone I apparently didn’t need. I’d move on reassured, “Yeah, adios sucker. And, by the way, Mick thinks you’re an asshole.”
I’m finding The Rolling Stones less helpful these days. Now when I hear that song it actually makes me mad. I shout back at the radio, “Get what I want? Are you kidding? We’re in a recession, dammit! I can’t even get what I friggin’ need!” And the Rolling Stones are rolling in it so how do they know what I’m going through?
I obviously needed a new song, something a little more optimistic—maybe from a light hits station, light spelled like the beer, L-I-T-E. “Lite Hits. Less fill. More fulfilling.” I hit the preset for XM’s “The Blend” channel. “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. It’ll be better than before. Yesterday’s gone. Yesterday’s gone.” Yeah, well no shit, Sherlock Mac. I know yesterday’s gone, but I liked yesterday. When I had a job. Yesterday, when I could actually afford a drive-by shoeing at DSW. Yesterday, when I lived in a delirious whirl of instant gratification.
My anger levels were beginning to concern me. As I pulled into the post office to mail my unemployment form I took a deep breath and turned on 94.7—The Wave. “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...” Oh, God. The Carpenters. I am now dangerously close to going postal.
Music wasn’t working. I needed a new tack. I decided to try a little Eleanor Roosevelt philosophy, instead. You know, “light a candle instead of cursing the darkness,” blah, blah, blah. I used to like the saying, “This too shall pass,” because in the old days, inevitably whatever “this” was did pass. And “that” which didn’t kill me did make me stronger.
But “that” was then, and “this” is now and “this” too may pass but does it have to feel like an 18- pound kidney stone? And, yes “that” which hasn’t killed me has made me stronger, which is good--because now I have the strength to kill myself.
Oh, calm down, I don’t mean that last part, it just felt kind of cathartic saying it. A little black humor. Not funny humor, just dark and pathetic—but that’s what being out of work for almost a year does to people. It makes them dark and pathetic. Get over it.
Wow, that was harsh. I don’t mean to be a black cloud over someone reading this who is in the same place, seeking camaraderie and a little lightness of being. But who am I kidding? If you’re looking for sunshine and lollipops go watch Rachael Ray. I’m just a little too bitter right now, OK?