The other day when I was trying to create a facebook page, a minor annoyance became a major issue.
See, because Ave Maria is a pretty new little town-like thing, facebook doesn’t recognize it as a town. When you try to tag your location or create a page, you can’t tag Ave Maria, Florida, because according to facebook, it doesn’t exist.
This mostly just annoyed me when I was trying to change my profile information, but I chose the closest city and called it a day. But when I was trying to create a page it posed a serious dilemma. After all, if I listed the address in Immokalee or Naples, it wouldn’t be accurate. But if I didn’t list the address at all, it still wouldn’t be accurate. Either way, if anyone came to the facebook page they would have the wrong information.
Luckily for me and Ave Maria, I have friends in facebook places, and they fixed it within a few hours of me sending a facebook message. (This is, btw, one of the reasons that I adore facebook…they really do try to fix anything they can. Also, because facebook is amazing.)
I was so psyched to be able to tag Ave Maria that I got on the Ave Maria facebook group and sat down to tell everyone else about the modern-day minor miracle I had performed on their behalf. So I typed it up. And then, much like the inversion of Devon Sawa in Idle Hands, I stopped myself from hitting enter.
Stop it, Calah, I admonished myself. Read that back. Really? You fixed facebook for Ave Maria? Jeez, talk about hyperbole. You happened to have a friend in the right place at the right time who fixed facebook for Ave Maria, and you didn’t even bother about it until it became a personal issue for you. Seriously. You sent a message that took you fifteen seconds to type. That’s all you did. Try again.
Twice more I typed, and twice more my better self gave me a swift kick in the ass. Finally I typed up a brief PSA in which I did not mention myself or the role I played in the facbook tagging drama. I just let everyone know that they could now tag their location correctly.
And oh, how it burnssssss. It burnssssss to see them thank facebook and not me. It burnnsssesssss, my precious!
Seriously, my ridiculous reaction brought into sharp relief exactly what kind of virtue I need to develop. And how.
In September, I was blown away by how Pope Francis saved so many people when he was the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina during the Dirty War. I thought it was just awesome that he risked his life. (Oh, and as a sidenote, he never said anything because he’s so humble or whatever, but the main attraction was definitely the clandestine life-risking business.)
This is November, and holy crap, I can’t believe he never said anything. I can’t believe he never said anything! Recent events have made me aware that I don’t actually have trouble with doing good things. I’m actually kind of good at them. But if I do something good, you can bet your ass someone is gonna hear about it. Even if I don’t mean to say anything, it spills out of me. It’s horrible. It’s like I can only do a good deed as long as someone is around to see it, or around to give me a slow-clap later.
If a good deed is done in a forest and no one is around to see or hear about it, did Calah do it?
It’s so messed up! And it’s not even charitable good deeds, it’s like, just doing what I’m supposed to do. I mean, after years of refusing to deal with budgets or money or anything resembling number-like shapes, I finally just cowboyed up and started doing it, seeing as how I spend the money anyway. (On bling, obviously.) The Ogre has definitely lost track of how many times I have reminded him of the fact that I’m hanging here on the giant BUDGET CROSS while he’s skipping around campus, doing fun stuff like editing and grading hundreds of papers. I’m not even kidding. I cannot stop myself from mentioning the budget any time I am even the slightest bit upset.
The Ogre: “Hey, I have to go to the writing center early tonight, so can you handle bedtimes on your own?”
Me: *colossal sigh* “Yes, I suppose, but then I have to do the budget so it’s not like I’ll be able to relax and enjoy life ever again anyway.”
(Three days later)
The Ogre: “Hey, it’s late and you’ve been up working the last few nights, so let me finish the dishes and make lunches and you head to bed.”
Me: “Well, I would, but I have to do the budget anyway, so you might as well go to sleep because I won’t be sleeping this week.”
(The next day)
The Ogre: “Would you mind washing my jeans today?”
Me: “Well, I would, but the budget is on top of the washing machine.”
The Ogre: “That doesn’t even make sense.”
Me: “I know. Maybe it would make sense if I had slept more than four hours last night, but I didn’t, because the budget.”
For the last few years, the Ogre has often asked me if I’m listing off all the things I do because I want to be applauded for doing…exactly what needs to be done. I’ve always gotten huffy and offended and done something mature like stomp off and eat ice cream while muttering that he just doesn’t get how hard this is.
But actually, yes. That’s exactly what I want. I want my own personal light-up sign and studio audience to respond on cue to anything I do that isn’t wrong.
This is not cool. I hate this realization. Doing good things is not that hard (although it’s harder that not doing them, I’ll give you that much). But shutting up about them? Impossible. I mean, I’m a blogger, right? How the hell am I supposed to learn to build virtue by shutting up?
(PS: YOU’RE WELCOME AVE MARIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)