I have a friend named Diane. One day, Diane met me for coffee and announced, "I have to break up with Jonathon." Jonathon was the love her life. He was funny, sexy and thoughtful. He knew how to make little sculptures out of Post-Its. But the night before, she'd realized she had to break up with him because she's always had problems with depression and she could never go off her meds. So if they got married one day and they had the baby, she couldn't breastfeed that baby without harming it. So she couldn't have a baby—or Jonathon, who really, really wants children.
The obvious solution to her angst was—hello?—formula. Then again, that would have required me to validate her imaginary horrible scenarios. I'm not above such scenarios myself, ones in which my marriage crashes and burns due to all kinds of ornate and ludicrous things that will never happen. Instead, I gave her my phone and hit the calendar app. The world's oldest calendar dates back 4,200 years, which means that for quite some while we have had the technology to free ourselves from hurtling forward in space and time to the terrifying, insane conclusion we least want to come to pass. Because that little white square with a number in the upper-left-hand side that proves that something much larger and logical than ourselves, the sun, has determined that today is, in fact, today.
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