There’s No Such Thing as Individuality

September 15th, 2008.

The two of us stood idly by the lake, shivering slightly as the breeze swept over the water. Periodically, she’d pick up a tennis ball and chuck it off into the distance. Her dog, a ball crazy yellow lab, would frantically dive into the water in hot pursuit. My dog, not much of a retriever but eager to play nonetheless, would follow enthusiastically.

We had absolutely nothing in common. She was fat. I was thin. She dressed in old sweat pants and a baggy, multi stained T-shirt. I wore blue jeans and a form fitting shirt with a collar. Her hair was slicked back in a greasy ponytail; mine was mussed and perfectly styled courtesy of my over expensive gay hairdresser. Her accent carried the faint hint of a southern drawl; mine contained nothing but the empty blandness of someone who has never lived anywhere noteworthy. She was single, a shut in really, and her time at the lake was her moment of excitement in otherwise droll and uneventful day. I’m a married woman, intensely busy, and my time at the lake is meticulously set aside to afford me one moment of peace.

Despite our numerous differences, we often met at the lake. We were friends simply because our dogs were friends. This phenomenon is something only other dog lovers, or perhaps parents, can understand.

For some reason, our conversation veered onto the topic of theology and the age old question of, “Why are we here?”

“People sometimes ask me,” she said as she watched her dog paddle towards the ball, “why I get up in the morning. I tell them it’s because I have to let the dog out!”

I laughed appreciatively at her joke.

“Then they say,” She continued, “’No, seriously. What keeps you going? Is it faith in God? Something like that?’ And I say, ‘No, seriously! It’s because I have to let the dog out!’”

She trailed off a little as we watched our dogs romp in the distance. For some reason, I felt slightly unsettled. I struggled to say something incredibly witty, but I mentally froze. Then, a thought hit me like a cold splash of water from the lake we were standing beside:

Her reason for getting out of bed every morning…was exactly the same as my reason for getting out of bed every morning.

It took me a moment to regain my composure, but when I did; my witty retort was replaced with a simple, “Yes. Me too.”

She nodded slightly in reply.

We both stood there for a moment, subdued. She watched the dogs race each other for another bite of the tennis ball; I found myself lost in the midst of thoughts as muddy as the water. For the first time, I considered all the days I had stood with her by the lake, mentally adding up all the ways in which we were different…never once noticing that in all the ways that mattered we were exactly the same.

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69 Responses to There’s No Such Thing as Individuality

  1. Nikki

    Awww…the sentimental V is just as thought provoking as the bitchy V. Good stuff.

  2. Andy

    “Not V” posts in 5, 4, 3, 2…

  3. Bethany

    I’d like to tell you it’s a good post… but I have to go let the dog out.

  4. dickscheese

    When are you going to post picturesof yourself? LEt us see those old titties

  5. Nancy


  6. Misty

    Beautiful post, V.

  7. Mike

    You’re completely right.

    If I don’t get up at the crack of dawn, the dog stands on my balls till I do.

    I get up at the crack of dawn.

  8. Ronnie

    Heh, I’ve been reading this site for the longest time. I’ve only now noticed the comments.

    When the hell were comments added?

  9. Marinel

    I ask myself that same question sometimes; “why did I get out of bed today?”

    I don’t have a dog, so my answer is usually along the lines of “Someone has to wake the kids and make sure they are ready for school”.

    Our responsibilities may be what gets us out of bed, but I’m fine with that.

    P.S. I missed you while you were absent for so long, so I’d just like to say thanks for writing again.

  10. Jadalina

    I figure a lot more people would kill themselves if it weren’t for the overriding concern of “who would take care of my dog if I’m dead?”

  11. b

    A single solemn tear rolls down my cheek as I too realize that some anonymous internet blogger and I both let our dogs out in the morning. My heart is fluttering. I feel so connected to you all right now I can hardly breath…
    That, or it’s the fact that I just threw up in my mouth.

  12. Les

    tennis balls wear down dogs teeth. Especialy when you fill them with fire crackers…no but really…they do.

  13. JK

    It’s amazing how pets show us that compassion, forgiveness, and joy still can exist in this shitbag of a world. Thank god something is sane around here.

  14. VA: There’s No Such Thing as Individuality

    […] Original post: There’s No Such Thing as Individuality […]

  15. Jules

    Dogs rule.

  16. Serafina

    I second JK! Pets make the world a better place. 🙂

  17. John Pettit

    Nice, for a moment there I think V was human.

  18. Deli

    I’m glad we can post comments because now I can post something. I’m pissed that we can post comments though, because I hate saying things that have already been said in forums & comments, so I always read (or at least skim through) comments before I post.

    This unfortunately means I, too, am subjected to the idiocy of alot of these commenters. It kills my happy buzz, and makes me lose more faith in the human race.

    It’s nothing personal, V – all internet comments do the same thing to me.

    But goddammit, I was happy with comment-less VA. So I don’t think I’m gonna look at the comments anymore after today.

    But thanks for coming back, V! Those of us with functioning brains missed your writing horribly. 🙂

  19. Jaxsdamax

    Finding this out kinds knocks you on your butt, doesn’t it?
    Or better put “the thought hit me like a cold splash of water”…

    Crap! Ya me too

  20. Molly

    Of course, then there are folks who don’t sit around thinking about our friends’ “greasy ponytails,” and other ways we’re better than them (though it was never said explicitly that you were better than her, in every comparison that what came across).

  21. Tachs

    I love having a hairstyle that I can cut myself, and only have to brush every few hours for it to look good.

    Hairdressers are a waste of time and money.

  22. Christina

    Beautifully said and alarmingly reassuring.

  23. Sassy Old Bitch

    Hauntingly true for almost everyone who reads it.
    Lovely and thought provoking.

  24. Myroid

    “Then my dog took a huge shit on the grass. It was fucking beautiful, you guys.”

  25. Heaven's Thunder Hammer

    Yeah… Letting the dog out is important, especially when they have projectile diarrhea like mine had for the longest time 🙁

  26. Heaven's Thunder Hammer

    Oh btw, *throws peanuts at the dancing monkey to keep dancing.*

  27. OttawaMike

    Life’s what you make it…..
    But I hope her dog lasts a long time…..
    We get up for whatever reasons we decide to make a priority. Period.
    She chooses god (oh my), he chooses his kids, you choose your dog and I choose to keep my job so that I can have Wine and steak into retirement….

    Nothing too deep here, but nice all the same.

    Why aren’t you ranting about that B*tch Palin yet V?

  28. OMG-V-ILoveyoumarry me!

    @ Molly,

    Of course there are A LOT of folks that sit around comparing themselves to friends and thinking, “OMGsh thank god I’m not like so and so cause I would TOTALLY not do that.”

    What do you think you just did when you posted your comment?

  29. OttawaMike

    Human Nature…
    Cold, Nasty and Dirty…
    OK I need a cold shower now.. 😉

    Keep it coming V.

  30. Dingo

    That’s fucking pathetic. If the best reason you have to get up is that something or someone depends on you, you need to stop being a self-martyring jackass pretending that you have some sort of superior virtue for giving as though there’s a gun to your head. Go steal a baby’s candy bar, emo kid.

  31. Bariko

    ^ A perfect example of “seventeenism”.

  32. matt

    very nice, V – a welcome reminder of the big picture. glad you’re back.

  33. Sami

    I never believed in the snoflake theory anyways.

    People who say they are individuals and “think outside the box” (me included) are rarely anything special anyways. They behave the same way as the rest of us.

  34. Aza

    Isn’t it funny when you realize things like that?

    My dogs are why I get up in the morning, too.

  35. OttawaMike

    The assficial SuperTroll !

    No really, Life’s not about you, it’s about those who love you.

  36. Dingo

    Oh yeah, because anybody who disagrees with what Saint V F. Kennedy says MUST be a troll.

    Or maybe I’m disgusted with V for not only selling out, but blatantly giving fanservice to you bobbleheads incapable of disagreeing due to a hero worship complex, patting you on the back and reassuring you that it’s all right to have no thoughts that aren’t handed to you.

    If you read a blog, or watch the news, or listen to the radio, and find yourself agreeing with everything they say, you’ve officially abdicated your ability to think.

    Which I’m sure is GREAT for V’s ad revenues.

  37. Jenn

    Molly and Dingo need to get a life.

  38. Les

    Dingo is the only person on here that wrote anything worth reading…including the actual post.

  39. lisa

    I can’t help but imagine V would agree with you.

  40. Anonymous

    V, I’ve never commented on any of your posts before (and remember when you didn’t have comments enabled), but this story really sticks out to me… When it really comes down to it, I think everyone that gets out of bed in the morning because our dog has to take a piss, even if that’s only a metaphor for giving ourselves one more day to figure out what the fuck we are doing on this little ball of rock and water, pretending that we are something more than a perfect soul trapped inside of a dying pile of flesh with no how we got there?

    Maybe you should disable comments again… does it really bring you the slightest satisfaction to let hypocrites, who (mostly) haven’t yet realized they are hypocrites, spout off?

  41. Anonymous

    Ahem, that was “with no _idea_ how we got there”.

  42. OttawaMike

    Dingo, Molly, Les…. you’re trolls because you post negative.
    Why bother ? Can’t V just express herself ? that’s her right yes ?
    I think V might want to have us register to comment, kinda solves things like this…
    But just so you know..

    An “Internet troll” or “Forum Troll” or “Message Board Troll” is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Forum Troll delights in sowing discord on the forums. A troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into flaming discussion. Flaming discussions usually end with name calling and a flame war.

    But you already knew this….

    And I’m sure V must get a charge reading some of this nonsense sometimes 😉


  43. TG

    Umm..I want to believe its V….but something just sounds, or rather *reads* off. It just doesn’t sound the same at all. Just because you rant and scream F*** every sentence doesn’t mean its the same writing style. I don’t know. Maybe she just stopped for so long its taking a bit to get back into the grind?? I hope its V though…I’m just not convinced yet.

  44. Ziah

    OttawaMike is the new Mary. Y?

    People are not trolls because they disagree. Not all disagreement insults your intelligence. Negativity is a part of life. The best conversation involves people with differing opinions. People can’t always sit around stroking each other’s egos.

    You guys are bitching at people for expressing themselves in the same way as V (who you praise for this). I hope you see how this is funny.

  45. Ibsu

    To me, this reads like every individual who has struggled with depression.

    People who enjoy life for its own sake don’t think about why they wake up in the morning, from what I’ve been able to gather.

  46. OttawaMike

    Ziah you’re a gas…I’m the new Mary…lol

    Go ahead and compare me (whom you do not know) with anyone you like…
    Doesn’t mean a thing….

    I’m just some guy that has access to interesting reading when I want to take a break….

    Choose the “Negative” remark in my post but ignore the quote of what a troll is…hummmmmm…

    Anyways, I have to get back to my work.

    Hopefully we’ll get another post soon and never comeback to these comments…..


  47. Darlene
    This woman’s blog makes me laugh a lot.
    For some reason, this old post of hers made me think
    of your website.

  48. radiovoice


  49. Jay

    OttawaMike, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Shut up.

  50. Goldie

    I posted a longish comment but I don’t see it anymore. Hmmm?
    Anyway, wanted to say that Molly for one does not meet the definition of a troll at all. In fact she made a very good point IMO. Ask yourself, how would the woman in the story feel if she read this post? Not very hot, right? Well there you go, that’s exactly what Molly was talking about IMO.

  51. Elizabeth Miller

    Goldie’s just jealous because her son cares more about V’s opinions than hers.

  52. Goldie

    Actually, my son stopped reading VA a few months ago, gee I wonder why.
    Don’t get me wrong, I *love* V’s old posts – and by old I mean up to and including the gift-giving one.

  53. Elizabeth Miller

    Sure he did.

  54. OttawaMike

    Jay, k*** my A$$ ! lol..

    I never called Molly a troll….
    But there’s a real need for moderation on this site.

  55. OttawaMike

    OOps, I did…omg.
    I shall now cut myself in the name of V !

    I find anonymous hate hilarious….

  56. JenDiggity

    Of course the other woman was less attractive and had a shitty life compared to the fabulous V. OF COURSE.

  57. Jeff

    And after your dogs pass on…?

  58. OttawaMike

    Thanx Goldie…
    I must be a masochist returning here to look for more abuse, but I had
    time waiting for a server stack to reboot, and am please to see not everyone
    here is ready to nasty.

    As for depression, I think it’s funny how many people don’t realize that it’s a very common thing, human nature….

    But I thought that my
    “No really, Life’s not about you, it’s about those who love you.”
    Comment was much more à propos.

    Cheers 😉

  59. Edwin

    Hi V
    I am avid reader of your blog. I live in a different part of the world, the east, in India. I pray to God or existence(in case, you dont believe in God) to lead you to visit India, the homeland of all spiritualities…so u could have a better understanding of your environment / the world and the real, clear purpose of you in this tiny ball of H2o and silica..

    pray, u experience the truth…

  60. Jen

    Only a crazed psychopath rants, raves and rails nonstop.

    You freaks want to make V the equivalent of the guy on the soapbox screaming about the end being near.

    I love this website…V’s posts make me feel like peeing myself laughing…

  61. yourmother

    Funny how many people are jealous of V on here. If you don’t like her writing or what she has to say why bother giving her the traffic to make money off her ads hmmmmm….. must have no life lolololol

  62. matilda

    Saw what you wrote about Heath Ledger.
    Go Fuck yourself, you homophobic piece of Shit!!!!!!

  63. Sarah

    What the fuck happened, since when does she allow comments?

  64. Louisa

    While I’ve enjoyed the writing on this blog in the past after a summer of less than bare minimal posting and bare minimal effort I believe I’m finished. V no longer seems to enjoy blogging and I’m surprised she continues it even piecemeal after arriving at this conclusion. This is the same author, her heart’s just not in it anymore. Thanks for the laughs, V. Go out with your head held high.

  65. Cj

    Nicely done.

  66. Psychomancer

    My, my, V is exhibiting signs of empathy…
    Somehow, one of the most poignant commonalities she shares with her “friend” penetrated a ring of vapid and vain differences she set up around her for the purpose to distance her from all that she detests. Don’t worry V. This one commonality does not mean that you are the same as this greasy, fat, illkempt, rednecked hillbilly. You are still superior. Although I reccomend you abandon this line thinking. Compassion, logically follows empathy. If that happens, then your self-appointed superiority will be jeopardized. We can’t have you thinking a wal-mart loving inbred is equal to you. Can we?

    -From the Ravings of the Psychomancer

  67. al_bedo

    I believe it was Arthur Janov who observed that there is no meaning to life…that we are just here…and that we assign our own meaning to our lives, eventually – with a little luck and a lot of hard work. (very crudely paraphrasing) The likelihood that there is no vindictive Creator sitting on a heavenly throne tallying up all our deeds, good & bad, can be a terrifying thought – (We’re all alone.) – the origins of religion and philosophy possibley find their source in early man’s nascent realization of this truth…an intellectual aide to help us face what often can be even (especially?) to this day, an absolutely overwhelming, terrifying and hostile world. (I guess I don’t have to tell YOU that, V.!) I tend to side with Janov: for me, the thought that we are an “accident” of the universe – or more kindly perhaps, the logical & wonderous result of a natural electro/biological process/evolution is a liberating concept – and for me, makes my life feel like a very special *gift*! (Incidentally, I developed a corollary to this belief – that contrary to what religions would have us believe, eternity does not come after we “pass on” – WE ARE LIVING IN ETERNITY AT THIS VERY MOMENT!)

    Of course by extension, in viewing my life or my self as more-or-less, an accidental gift from the universe, I now feel the same way about all lives – that *all* living beings are special: spiders, komodo dragons, DOGS & CATS, the fishies and the plant kingdom, the million or so innocent Iraqis we killed because our leaders lied us into another “war”, etc…even those pesky Iranians – and in a stretch, even Dick(head) Cheney! (Of course, you gotta protect yourself, at times!)

  68. schmoozer

    Hey V,

    Very interesting site. I’d been reading your articles on RSS and when I saw a new post (with comments enabled!) I thought I’ll come and check it out!

    And as usual, the post is right on the bloody button!

    Rock on!

  69. Exodus

    Heh. And here I was thinking that Bitchy-Tirade-Ranty-Psycho V would appear. How wrong I was…

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