Be a man.

The gas went out in my apartment last Wednesday night. It was a combination of us not switching the gas service to our names when we moved in and the fact that our landlord owes the gas company $3000 in bills from December 2003. How $3000 in gas heat can be used in a vacant (work was being done before we moved in) apartment for five months is beyond me. Needless to say we switched the service and the gas will be turned on sometime today. However, that still meant that we had unheated water for five days.

I tried to take it like a man. Oooooooo it was cold. Nothing made me happier than Friday when it was so hot and muggy out that the water was almost lukewarm for 30 seconds after I got back from the gym. My roommates did it differently -- one went on a planned vacation, one showered at his girlfriend's and one showered at his parent's. I yelled at them that I was a man. They yelled back that I was not.

This got me thinking about all the hardships we are without in this age in this great country of hours. Most peoples' problems involved their Internet service being cut out for an hour. I'm the first to admit that I enjoy a Dunkin' Donuts within throwing distance of my house; an extensive public transportation system at the end of my street; a computer in my bedroom and about a zillion cable channels on TV. However, have I lost the ability to tough it out?

I spent 20 minutes frantically plugging and unplugging the cable modem and router in my apartment because the Internet cut out. I was still in my bathing suit from coming back from the beach, growling at a couple pieces of electronics because I couldn't bear the thought of being unconnected. I get whiney when I have to drive too far for anything. I hate handing my money over to gas stations and to supermarkets that overprice their products.

What am I getting at? I guess I'm wondering where the line is between what the human race deserves and what the human race wants. It seems like we're way beyond that line in 'deserve' territory -- practically on the other side of it, in the 'excessive' zone. As far as I can tell, we deserve for everyone to be healthy and unoppressed -- good reason to invade Iraq. Do we deserve door-to-door chauffeur service or stadium-style movie theaters? I don't know anymore. Maybe I'm a communist. Maybe I'm overly grateful.

100 years ago my one of my great grandfathers was in a coal mine, the other three were farmers. Here I am at age 24 working in front of a computer with enough free time to write what you're reading. Things have gotten good in the last century, I just sometimes wonder if I could do what they did.

I'm sure I deserve more time to think about this subject, but I'll probably just let it lie until I take my medium black coffee on the T on the way to a movie -- maybe I'll just forget once I take that long-missed hot shower.


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