• We can make it if we try.

Over the weekend, two articles were floating around my online universe—two separate groups of people basically talking about the same thing—both of which are coincidentally related to notions of “independence.”

The first is an essay by Tim Kreider entitled “The Busy Trap,” written for the New York Times‘s typically thoughtful Opinionator section (specifically, under the topic of “Anxiety”). Kreider, an essayist and cartoonist, criticizes the excuse “I’m so busy” or “I’ve been so busy” when used to explain why a person hasn’t seen you or can’t see you. Like a brilliant stand-up routine, I chuckled because it’s true and winced because there’s a bit of self-recognition in there—this is one of my reflexive responses and I am frequently called out for it (one of my friends asks me how I’m doing just so that he can make fun of me when I say that I’m “busy”). Kreider nails it when he says, “It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint” (though his example for the default response, “‘That’s a good problem to have,’ or ‘Better than the opposite,'” is bizarre—thankfully, most of my friends speak English, not smarmy dipshit).

Kreider even has me going with what appears to be an anecdotal nut graf: