The Price of a Decent Burial

23 May

I like old movies. Maybe it’s because I am a historian. Maybe it’s because, like some people have said, I have an old soul. But, whatever the reason, I like old movies. I say that because it leads me into this post, but also because it makes me a little different that most of the people in my life that are my age. And, that leads me into this post as well.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is an old movie that I try to watch when I catch it on the guide. I have never seen it from start to finish, but I have seen it all in pieces. Kind of like Gone With the Wind. It has great quotes. Burl Ives should be in every scene. Elizabeth Taylor is at the top of the hotness meter – to the point that I wish the movie was made today so she could lose that white slip at least once.

All of that is great. However, there is one line by Paul Newman that has always struck home with me. While arguing with Big Daddy, Brick says, “I’m not worth the price of a decent burial.” When I find myself in the throes of a depressed state, this line plays over and over in my head. Since I find myself in that sort of state at the moment, that is what this post is about. So, if you are here for some movie history or a happy time, then you should probably stop reading now.

Like the movie character, there are times when I feel that “I’m not worth the price of a decent burial.” People see me as a financially successful person, but all of that came from the monetary seeds planted by my parents. Some see me as an involved member of the community, but I do a good job of serving on boards and committees without leading them. Others say that I am a good history teaching (which I believe sometimes), but that is really the only thing that I am good at. In fact, I can’t think of another job in the world that I am qualified to do. What’s funny is that I am pretty sure I got that job because the folks who did the hiring thought some donations would come with me. In short, if I didn’t have my last name and live in this town I am pretty sure that I would be a bust in life. On second thought, maybe I am already with a few frails and dressings to hide it.

Through the years, I have been told numerous times how useless I am. Perhaps, they didn’t mean it that way, but I took it that way.

You’re a man. You are supposed to know how to change a tire.

What do you mean you don’t grill? If you knew how to cook you would be married by now.

I can’t believe you don’t mow your own yard.

You sleep late and stay up late. Normal people get up in the morning and start accomplishing things.

I can’t believe you want to sit around and read when you could be up doing something.

The list goes on and on. And, it’s true. I’m not good at anything. I’m not good around the house. I’m not good with finances. All I am good at is filling my mind with information, and that is not enough in the eyes of many.

Maybe, I am just different from the people around me. I don’t see the importance of spending my time working in dirt or grease. I don’t believe in a supernatural being. I don’t care how other people live their lives and definitely don’t judge them for it.

It seems that people want me to fit in a cookie cutter pattern that everyone else has jammed themselves into. I just can’t make myself do it. Obviously, I need to go back to therapy.

7 Responses to “The Price of a Decent Burial”

  1. John May 23, 2012 at 17:39 #

    Forget cookie cutter. Anyone can do that. Being your own unique self is much more interesting.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles May 23, 2012 at 21:43 #

      Thanks. You are right. I just have to convince myself of it.

  2. paintlater May 24, 2012 at 12:44 #

    You forgot to mention what you are good at – blogging! Don’t sell yourself short, your obviously passionate about history- it shows. Frankly, I do give a damn! Cheers Sue

    • surroundedbyimbeciles May 24, 2012 at 15:09 #

      Thank you for your encouragement. Positive feedback always helps.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles May 31, 2012 at 04:56 #

      Thanks for the reblog.

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