Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Things Could Be Worse: You Could be a Beaver in Formaldehyde

Being sad over nothing is both my #1 hobby and my #1 source of shame in life. 

Having nothing (yet!) to actually be sad about, I get sad that I'm sad over nothing; and then I blame bad genes, bad weather, and the comparatively happier lives of everyone around me for my incurable spiral of shame and pointless sadness, all the while living in fear that one day--inevitably--God will smite me for my lack of belief in Him and my empty sadness over nothing by REALLY GIVING ME SOMETHING TO BE SAD ABOUT!

But then I cheer up, because I realize I could be even sadder. I could be a beaver in a jar of formaldehyde. 

For once, Instagram made me feel better rather than worse about myself when a friend of mine who is a wildlife biology educator insta-beaved this picture of a pickled beaver, with the caption "Just a beaver kit in a jar, #nbd," and truly, I instantly felt better.

I won't lie, I've been in a dark place lately. My eczema is chronically unbearable and I'm counting the days until I can get my hands on an expensive and dangerous new drug that has a 33% chance of working. The weather is a miserable slurry of snain buffeted about by lashing winds. We have a Neo-Nazi sympathizer and unrepentant misogynist in charge of us all. People around me apparently think that's also #nbd, and I am apparently supposed to go on being their friends and saying hi to them like everything is normal and like the person they are meh about doesn't literally employ people who want to send me and my kids to a gas chamber. 

I spend the majority of my free time silently and secretly crying over spilled friendship and relationship milk, telling myself that I would be truly happy if I had just pulled a Tracy Chapman and said the right thing at the right time to particular people. Like if my entire life were just a Choose Your Own Adventure book instead of an ever-tightening circle of limiting decisions that restricts all possible available options until I'm left alone, slurping down a cup of canned Del Monte fruit salad with a pair of dentures and die smelling of Ben Gay while wearing a plastic adult diaper soiled in skid marks.

But then I see this beaver in a jar of formaldehyde, and suddenly I'm happy, or at least less sad. He (or she) looks young, too. So not only is this beaver in formaldehyde, its simple, productive life of chomping on trees with its giant buck teeth and paddling logs with its adorable big flat tail was cut tragically short in the name of science.

I'm going to make this beaver in a jar my computer and smartphone wallpaper forever. Thanks, Beav. Please know that you were not pickled in vain.


  1. Awe ... I had no idea the little beav would perk up your day! Imagine my shock when I unwrapped the little fella from its bubble wrap ... yeah, didn't expect that one. I really should have taken the label on the box that read, "Preserved animals," literally.

  2. Well when you think about the matter critically, that beaver is considerably younger than you in 'beaver years'. Kind of like 'dog beers'. I'll admit the subject looks serene, however.


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