‘Stress’ is, I guess, a relative term. I feel like I have a pretty stressful life, with a high pressure job, a house and kids to take care of. But, I also don’t worry about where my next meal is coming from or if a tiger is going to stalk out of the jungle and eat me in the middle of the night.
But, we feel what we feel. So whether I have any right to be stressed does not affect whether or not I am stressed. And I am. So being in a state of more or less stress all the time, I don’t tend to want stress in my entertainment.
And honestly? I think I’m the only one.
I am sympathetically hypochondriacal enough to worry about every little cough and blemish on my loved ones. A brief pain in your knee? Obviously knee cancer. Have it checked.
Therefore, the last thing I need in recreational time is a medical show where people die of things I hadn’t thought you could die of before.
As a trial attorney whose success or failure can sometimes result in someone seeing – or not – their children, I get shots of adrenaline at work. I do not need to dangle from a bungee cord off a bridge, hoping that the 25-year-old stoner who buckled me in the harness got all the straps right.
Don’t get me started on blood and gore. Why watching someone get disemboweled is what someone wants to do with their free time is beyond me. Even a ‘cleaner’ gunshot wound is a bit much for my tastes. I can’t quit thinking about the fear in the person facing the gun, not to mention the spouses and children and parents of the dead guy who now have to have a funeral.
Empathy can be a real bitch.
I prefer low-stakes entertainment. Make me laugh, not wince. Let me come out of it with something I’ve made, even if it’s just a good memory. Friendly competition like bowling when we all know we stink and can cheer on each other’s strikes. Experience adventures like sightseeing or wine tastings.
Judging from the talk around the water cooler and water coolers everywhere, even virtual ones like social media, I’m in a small minority in this opinion. I guess I’m extra-sensitive to adrenaline and I don’t especially like the way it makes me feel. Everyone else likes watching people get killed in creative ways on television. A beheading? Bring it on! Horrific car wrecks along the route of a chase with bullets flying? Oh yeah. Murder in cold blood? Ooh! A mystery!
So, put that in the column of the myriad of ways that I’m not like everyone else. Am I cowardly? Wimpy? A big baby? Perhaps. But, like Popeye says, I yam what I yam. And I yam a person who prefers laughing to cringing.
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 My lawyer tells me that here I should state on the record that I KNOW not all 25-year-olds are not stoners, nor are all, or even most bungee-jump operators. Most of them are just entrepreneurial people trying to work for a living. That said, I can totally see me going head first into the rocks below and some guy looking over the cliff edge and saying a meaningful, “duuuuuuuuuude.”
 Or, in my case, non-gutterballs.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.