How do you deal with disappointment? I’m not talking earth-shattering disappointment or tragedy (deaths in the family, elections) — I mean, minor disappointment. Predictable disappointment. Not quite everyday disappointment (you’re out of gardenburgers again?), but on the monthly scale. Today, I found out I didn’t get a job that I thought I was going to get. All along, I told myself it probably wasn’t going to happen, and then it didn’t, and that was fine except for one thing: the turn-down e-mail I got from the personnel woman said there was nothing wrong with my application and my writing was “spectacular” and they really enjoyed talking with me and thought I’d be great for the job, but no. So it was sort of a “hey, there’s nothing quantifiably wrong with you” e-mail that should, and probably eventually will, make me feel better about the whole time-wasted ordeal, but right now, blah. I’m reading it like “and there was nothing you could have done,” which is terribly frustrating.
So. How do I deal with disappointment? Usually, I go to the movies, or find some other engrossing media-consuming way of distracting myself. Sometimes I indulge in “retail therapy,” though not of the “Sex and the City” shoe-buying kind (shoe buying, now there’s a recipe for disappointment) — I buy books, or a movie that I loved and couldn’t convince myself to shell out $19.99 for, or go on an iTunes spree. Sometimes I lurk in the office supply section at Target. Sometimes I just get cake.
Today, I think I’m going to indulge by getting my TiVo fixed. It’s been a shell of itself since last year, when the hard drive within had some kind of major meltdown, shortly after its warranty expired (I thought only Windows machines did that). I think I can splurge now and get it fixed, though I’m a little concerned that the desire to find a retail “treat” is going to lead to me getting talked into just buying the next level up (Series 3? I have no idea what the new TiVo technology is. Can they clean my room and write my novel for me yet?).
I came upon this idea thanks to The New York Times, which is never comforting except for the smug self-satisfaction I get from being someone who reads The New York Times. They had an article today saying that TiVo is trying to incorporate Amazon.com into its services — so that soon, when Jon Stewart has someone on to hawk a book, you’ll be able to click-click on the remote and voila, buy the book. That has all kinds of dangerous spendy potential consequences for me.
(The other interesting part of this article? Apparently, there was a trial of a similar gadget that would allow the purchase of items seen on TV in the 1970s in Ohio. It was called the QUBE. “At first, every QUBE console was equipped with five interactive buttons which were used to play games, shop at home, and answer questions like ‘Who should be the next mayor of Columbus?'” (Wikipedia). I would love to know who in Ohio got to test them. No, actually, I’d just like to read a short story about it).
And, if none of that works, I already feel a little happier because I know that there’s a guy out there who has a TiVo toaster.