Monday reflections on (venting about) annoying platitudes and lame advice

Tonight for dinner, I'm having wine with a side of grilled pizza. It's as simple as that, and I'm damn excited. Speaking of damn and related expressions of frustration, after my dear sitter showed up 63 minutes late this afternoon (I knew about the first 30 and she was lost the rest, poor thing), I hauled ass to the gym and the first treadmill I saw. I pounded that belt like nobody's business and then for good measure hopped on the bike, such was the level of cortisol coursing through my body. While biking, I read through some back-issue of Oprah that had piled up near my bedside, waiting in vain to be read, and during said perusal came across the ever-smiling, slightly plastic-looking (like, literally, I wonder if he's had some work done) Dr. Oz. He was musing about the negative effects of cortisol which it doesn't take a surgeon to understand -how good did you feel last time you were stressed to the nines? exactly!- and he said that sometimes he just has to stop and take a few breaths and his cortisol waves subside like he's freaking Moses and God parting the Red Sea. That's like telling a seriously stressed out women that if only she would sit down and sip a cup of tea, she would surely feel enormously improved and all her troubles would be put into perspective.

You know what also might make her feel better? Throwing that cup of tea across the room, or heading to the spa where someone meticulously grooms her feet, or pounding the damn pavement in solitude. Yes, yes, yes, sometimes the deep breathing definitely works and a cup of tea is always nice, but can magazines and self-help "gurus" please stop ascribing panacea-like results to these sorts of interventions? Really, at times they come across as a patronizing pat on the head: "just drink your tea, dear, and the hysteria will wane."

It's like when the times when only a cuss word will do but someone suggests to you a totally vanilla alternative. Gee does not, in any way, carry the same weight or sense of venting and/or frustration, as god-damnit. And no, I'm not attempting to slander any god, but joe-damnit also doesn't suffice, nor does gosh-darnit. Shit.

Some days are just B.A.D. and there is no getting around it. Some days, a cup of tea won't do. Some days, what you really need isn't possible, and those days are hard. I believe it serves us well to simply acknowledge that. To let others be upset, pissed, sad or whatever without trying to platitude it away. To do so can feel awfully invalidating, and being on the receiving end of such superficial glossing-over doesn't improve one's spirits, in my opinion.