I Can Rationalize Anything

[UPDATED three days later in the POST SCRIPT below, after my 50th Rockford High School reunion, the reason I had to get to Michigan that very day!]


I had a boyfriend (first love of my life, actually) who said he had realized, “I can rationalize anything.”  I never ever knew how I felt about that, until this past year, when I realized that one of the big problems, if not the biggest problem, of the human species is that “we can rationalize anything.” Meaning we can take whatever the reality is, and make it sound like something else, that fits inside our world views, our small brains. Big brains, supposedly, for animals.

(It’s always funny to me how people say, “The animal part of us” or “Humans are like this and animals are like that.” What part of us is NOT animal? The part that’s a rock, a plant? We are totally animals, and yet we take all of our animal experiences and turn them into rational thoughts. We make stuff up all the time.)

Today I have a huge thing to rationalize. I am flying from Oakland to Detroit (I am finally able to laugh about it, just now, as I write) and it’s costing me $1000 more than I thought it would cost yesterday! My flimsy excuse is that …   (see OUTTAKES for the stream of consciousness that I excised from here!)

… Back to my flimsy excuse. Excuses are a frequent mode of rationalization, eh? (I like the Canadian “eh?” just like the Southern “y’all” for you plural.) I made reservations using Southwest Airlines flying out of San Francisco, and then Southwest changed it to bad flights and I called them up. We went back and forth between SFO and OAK and somehow I didn’t get that BOTH departure and arrival flights were Oakland (I live in Oakland), so this morning I went to SFO. Yikes. (see OUTTAKES for extraneous details.)

I used to rationalize extra costs by saying, “Will I even remember this when I’m 65?” Now that I’m 67 (the summer of love), what should I say, “Will I even remember this (or anything) when I’m 100?” Now my fall back rationalizations are that I live in a community house — which is wonderful in so many ways — and I don’t own a car and so I save $1000 every month or two over what it would cost if I lived in more “normal” ways. Also, I rationalize by remembering people, especially rather poor-but-proud people who say, “Yes, that was an extra expense. But thank goodness we did have the money!” Hearing that always reminded me of how lucky I have been in my life, when I really look at it. Maybe some other day I’ll blog about the real wealth, which is … health. Knock on wood.

I’ll post this blog now, with outtakes at the bottom.  I’m at Phoenix airport and we’re boarding right now for Detroit!

I WOULDN’T HAVE MISSED THIS REUNION FOR A THOUSAND BUCKS!!!  I got to Detroit about 2 hours later than intended and my such-a-good-soul college friend Lenore was there to pick me up. I made it to all reunion events and had a great time. I love the fact that people DO grow up, and growing up is a good thing.

OUTTAKES – TMI (Too Much Information) on my airport mess-ups!
At SFO airport on Friday, I looked at the board for departures and didn’t find my flight to Las Vegas. Was I confused and should I be looking at arriving flights? No. Hmmm. I even asked the seemingly also confused man standing nearby if he was going to Las Vegas, thinking maybe there was an error on the departure board. Then I looked at the boarding pass I had printed out and saw for the first time that it said … OAK. I still didn’t immediately understand! But when I did I ran for the nearest taxi; 110 dollars later I was at Oakland airport; and then at 10:32 I was at the gate watching my 10:35 flight pull out.

Carolyn at Southwest was really helpful but we realized there was NO WAY Southwest could get me to Michigan, at all, in time for my 50th high school reunion activities the next day. So I check Orbitz and they teased me with a $504 flight departing in an hour from OAK that would arrive in Detroit only 2 hours later than my original plans. But the listing said I had to call the airlines to reserve. A very helpful woman tried very hard to reserve that flight that had 3 seats left, but she couldn’t actually reserve it, because it was such a short time away, but I should go to the US Airways folks in the airport, and there it turned into $870 and by this time I just put my credit card on the counter and said OK.

THIS SHOULDN’T even make the “OUTTAKES” pile!

(BTW, will I get a meal on this trip, or not, since I’m flying first class? I’ve already gotten two glasses of red wine on the Oakland/Phoenix flight, wondering why they serve Merlot only, and not Cabernet Sauvignon. Nope, no meal this flight, but I should get dinner on the Phoenix to Detroit trip, right?)

P.S.  I’m not even going to preview this.  Times are changing. Perfectionism is out.


About Laura Wells: Solutions
Write-in candidate for Congress, District 13, in June 2018. I ran for Controller in California in 2014 on a State Bank and Tax The Rich platform. I am part of the “No Corporate Money” Campaign, in which candidates pledge to take no corporate money and voters declare our intention to vote for no-corporate-money candidates. As a Green Party candidate for Governor of California in 2010, I was arrested outside a gubernatorial debate for “trespassing at a private party.” But we won't stop, and so let's create a "public party" where we debate solutions to California's finances, like implementing a State Bank and taxing the rich -- to reduce the disparity and open up opportunities. Twitter: @LauraWellsCA Gmail: LauraWells4Congress

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