At least you’re not Dwayne

Confession time. I’ve been a bit consumed by the political process lately. But rather than write about it and risk offending some or possibly most of you, I think I’ll just keep my discourse to myself. For now.

In the meantime, while we can probably always find SOMETHING to complain about, this old post reminded me that if nothing else, at least I’m not Dwayne…

Anne Geddes image courtesy of

I was recently the recipient of one of those emails that your sweet Aunt Martha tends to forward to you.

You know the ones I’m talking about.

Those emails that have been forwarded so often and to so many recipients that you have to scroll down half the page before getting to the body of the email, only to find that much of the body is filled with cute pictures of babies dressed as flowers and/or those annoying flashing emoticons?

I’ll be honest. I usually delete these emails unread. But for whatever reason, I was feeling generous and decided to read it. You’ve probably read it before, or one very much like it. It was one of those well intentioned object lessons which are supposed to make us count our blessings and be grateful for what we have:

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesnโ€™t have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam…

That’s just a portion of it, but you get the idea: Maybe things aren’t as bad as you think, because someone has always got bigger problems than you do.

I’m not a big fan of this kind of reasoning. Mostly because for me, there’s just something inherently wrong with making yourself feel better because someone is eating a bigger crap sandwich than you are.

Comparing ourselves with others–whether their lives are easier or harder–is never a good idea. If you’re struggling, rest assured there are others who are also struggling. Life is a series of peaks and valleys, and while no two life experiences are identical, we all have our share of high and low points.

Sometimes life is savored and enjoyed.

Other times it feels like an act of endurance.

And even though I just finished telling you that comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, I’m about to ask you to do just that.

Because on my very worst day, I could have honestly said,

“At least I’m not Dwayne.”

Editor’s Note: I may or may not have written that entire introduction just so I could post the above commercial.

“Man, that thing does not like Dwayne.”


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17 Responses to “At least you’re not Dwayne”

  1. Glynn November 17, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    One of my family responsibilities is to manage My wife gets a boatload of those emails from friends – and the ones that claim some awful thing happening or the serial killer trapping people in the cars and, well, we’ve all gotten those — she forwards them to me to check on Snopes. They are almost always frauds.

    I think of these emails as chain letters. I delete them. Life is too short.

  2. Louise G November 17, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    You crack me up!

    and I’m so glad “Sweet Aunt Martha” of mythical fame sent you the flowerpot babies, comparisons and all so that we could share in

    Man, that thing does not like Dwayne!

    I’m smiling.

  3. Janet Oberholtzer November 17, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    I had not seen that commercial … so I’m glad you wrote this whole post just so you can post it.

    I’m also glad you wrote this post because I like this line … “thereโ€™s just something inherently wrong with making yourself feel better because someone is eating a bigger crap sandwich than you are.”

    After being severely hurt in an accident, I often had people tell me stories of someone else that was hurt EVEN worse, as if that would somehow make me feel better. It didn’t work that way, instead it made me feel worse, because I knew how much pain I had and if that person had even more, I felt so bad for them.

  4. Michael Perkins November 17, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Ugh. I hate those emails. Honestly, the amount of them I receive has went up ten-fold since becoming a pastor. Old people love to send those things out.
    Now to your point, I think you are dead on. I think that too often we don’t say anything because we feel alone, but I guarantee you that your situation isn’t unique. There are others going through it.
    And thanks for the commercial. My wife thought I was nuts for laughing during it.

  5. James Williams November 17, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    My mom is the one who usually sends these. Sometimes she sends me stuff about Obama or other Democrats. I am conservative myself but chastise her because (a) those stories are often inaccurate, and (b) I am convinced we are to pray for our president and not tear him down, no matter who he is.
    So I send her links to Snopes on most of them, then she replies that Snopes is “a site run by a California couple”. As if that renders Snopes irrelevant.

  6. Billy Coffey November 17, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    I freakin love that commercial.

  7. Jim H November 17, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    you had me at “crap sandwich” – I saw this commercial for the first time last night – I’m so glad you crack yourself up, because we have very similar senses of humor!

  8. Laurie November 17, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Good lesson and a good laugh! Thanks for both. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Helen November 17, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Now, I see that commercial, and my heart just breaks for that poor man’s family. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • katdish November 17, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Don’t you just know Dwayne did something to really piss that thing off?

  10. okiewife November 17, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    This “old person” (I’m 74) hates to get those kind of emails, I have a friend who sends me 8 to 12 daily. Guess what? I delete 95% of them unread. Many of them have been around several times before so why waste time re-reading smooshy drivel. I’d rather spend my time reading blogs by @katdish and @billycoffey and others. Oh, yeah, I’m also glad I’m not Dwayne. Ha.

  11. Jason November 17, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Right now, I am Dwayne. But I won’t always be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you’re so right about the crap sandwich. I’m fortunate in that most of the friends I have around me don’t go there. They realize what a crap sandwich it is.

  12. Jason Stasyszen November 17, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Kat, I think it’s genius that you played up the email angle to show that commercial. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a good one for sure!

  13. karenzach November 17, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    What you mean to say is “At Least I’m not Dewayne…yet.”

    The day will come when you’ll feel as though some monster crashed through your house…

    We all have days like Dewayne.

  14. CorinneC @ ourdogjess November 19, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Great post! I love the very first photo! And the commercial is just great!

  15. jake November 19, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    I hear this all the time where I work. “We have it so much better than the people we serve.” Which is entirely true, but it doesn’t mean that we’re entirely without our burdens. Love this.

  16. Melissa from the Blue House November 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m just thankful that insurance companies are finally making decent commercials…

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