Is This All There Is? Yes. But It’s Better Than Being In High School – Part 2




Orangeburg High School front entrance circa 1970. Look at those cool cars. I wonder who they belonged to? 


Since my friend was not satisfied with the advice I gave to his question: “Is This All There Is,” in Part One,  I have spent valuable time giving him yet another brilliant answer to his question. You would have thought he he had thanked me and not complained. People are so ungrateful. You have no idea.

The rest of this post is written in that most rare of literary conventions: the epistolary form. That is, in the form of a letter. This writing convention is no longer used today since people have forgotten how to write letters and epistolary is hard to spell. People also think the word has something to do with firearms. My second explanation to my friend, Bill, about “is this all there is” and etc.


Dear Bill:

You are comparing your life today to a standard which is way too high. You need to reduce your expectations of life to how people lived during the Great Depression. Then you will realize how much better your life is and you will be happier, even if all the people you come into contact with have lots more money than you do and are incredibly happy.

Besides, most incredibly happy people are on anti-depressants as the photos below will illustrate.


This beautiful young woman, let’s call her Amber, doesn’t take Prozac. She is depressed, unhappy and feels trapped in her is dull career selling  cemetery plots in Florence, South Carolina. She doesn’t do hardly anything and mopes around the office all day long wondering why Biff doesn’t ask her out again. Or Brad. Or Chad. She blew each one of them on the first date.  Men are dogs, she thinks. (Honey, you got that right)

dominatrix Francesca 2

While Amber moped, her co-worker, Caitlin, started taking Prozac, began to feel incredibly happy and up and quit that boring job at the cemetery.  Now she has a new and fulfilling career as a dominatrix. 


Now Bill, let’s also put the cards on the table and let the four or five people who read my blog know this important truth about your past: you grew up in Oklahoma. And you know the old saying, “never ask a man if he’s from Oklahoma. If he is, you’ll know it. If he isn’t you’ve just insulted him.”

However, even Okies or Sooners or whatever the hell you people who live in that Godforsaken state are called at least know that everything is better in Oklahoma in this modern day and time than during the Great Depression. True, your state continues to be ravaged on a monthly basis by monster tornadoes which storm chasers film.

Truth be told, it is these firm clips of tornadoes which keep the Weather Channel on the air. Horrifying storms get the ratings and that brings advertising dollars since who in the hell wants to to watch the weather all day? (Maybe its Kansas that has the tornadoes? Well, Kansas, Oklahoma, no big diff).

I know these days you live in a beautiful home in Georgia but that is beside the point. You may not realize how bad the housing situation was in Oklahoma during the Depression but if you meditate on the following you will realize how much better off you are than your forbears.



average home in Oklahoma in the 1930s. Grandpa Bill at left.


An average home in Oklahoma today.

Bill, I’m sure you will agree that a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado is far more spacious and comfortable than the shack as pictured from the 1930s. As reputable statisticians, mathematicians, opticians, and other ticians will tell you, a family of four can live comfortably in a 67’ Eldorado, which has more square feet of living space than a studio apartment.

Another usually forgotten side benefit?  You can live in your car but you cannot drive your house.

Doesn’t this make you much happier and pleased with your life now? I’m sure it does. 



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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: