You’ve been told all your life that you live in the best country in the world, that anything you want should be yours. Everybody should get married, have a house, a job, 2 weeks paid vacation (at the very least), 2.5 kids, a car, a summer cottage, a boat….
Then you wake up one day and find that you are just like every other schmuck in the world. All the entitlements you thought were yours just by rote of being born in a certain location have resulted in the biggest fucking piece of bullshit ever sold to the public.
I could tell you that this is the American Dream. Funny. We Canadians kind of got the idea we should have all this as well…though I am not sure why. And I have no doubt that cultures preceding ours have taken on this mindset in some fashion or another.
And what we have today is never good enough. We have to keep up with the Smith’s and the Jones’s, don’t you know.
I grew up in a family of six. We shared one bathroom. The worst part of that experience was using the facilities after dear ol’ dad had laid one down, if you know what I mean. I am attempting to be gentle in my vulgarity here.
At the present it is necessary to have more than one bathroom. And if you have a spouse that shares the living arrangements then, by God, best have two sinks.
No longer is it good enough to have a living room. Now you need a family room, a living room, a kitchen dining area and a formal dining area. The master bathroom requires a Jacuzzi tub, a shower, and attached to this should be a walk-in closet.
Of course you should have a king size bed that could easily sleep four adults comfortably. Then again, you never know, one of those wild and crazy weekends of yours may result in an orgy.
And yes, even the orgasm should be even more out of this world than it was a week ago. If you’re not having mind blowing sex every night, you have a serious problem sister.
Ah, yes, the cynical side of me has reared her lovely head.
Truthfully though, when I think of when I first started out on my own I found ‘furniture’ that was serviceable. And guess what? It wasn’t even furniture.
I used plastic milk crates for my albums and for transporting my goods when I moved. Talk about living green. Also, I turned them on their side, stacking them and used them as book shelves. Turning the crate upside down with a sheet of glass, wood or a ceramic tile to top it off turned it into a lovely side or night table.
Bricks were used as well with pieces of two by six to build bookcases and entertainment units. Old wine bottles made for excellent candle stick holders. If you had told me I lived in a dump I would likely have decked you.
How dare you enter my home and insult my simple ingenuity!
Velvet paintings were the rage. Elvis was featured prominently in many of them. I can tell you this…they got dusty and dirty and were a bitch to clean.
So I opted for posters. For years, I displayed the muses and Stonehenge on my walls. Thumbtacks held them in place. When they became far too worn, I headed back down to the art shop and picked up exactly the same posters, replacing those that had worn out with the new.
The day came though when I went in to pick up some new posters only to be told they no long made them. With stunned innocence I asked why?
Hell, I didn’t want a bathroom for every room. Just a poster. What I learned is nothing lasts forever. Change is constant.
I watch young mothers now with baby strollers that can hold every item possibly required to care for a child. These things are monstrous. It must take a month of Sunday’s just to pack them up for that afternoon cappuccino with friends. They have stylized wheels for ‘easier’ handling, enough storage for a week’s worth of diapers. (You never know when an emergency at the mall may occur).
And now we are expected to be a size zero, have a job that pays extremely well to be able to afford the very best in daycare. Gear the child up for every sport, dance and music lesson known to mankind. In our mind, they will be the next big thing and pay our way to an early retirement cushioned with all the amenities we were guaranteed in that mythical life of ours so many years ago.
Décor would easily be described as ‘loud and somewhat abrasive’ back in the day. Now the distressed look is chic. Furniture that is purposefully peeling now considered the rage, quadrupling in cost. I don’t get it.
Appearances are everything, but to who? So what if you have the 5,000 sq. ft. house with designer everything?
You’re working a 60 hour week, along with your spouse just to make ends meet. Credit has been extended again, and again, and again…
The children are enrolled in every activity known to mankind, and the little fuckers have absolutely no appreciation for the sacrifices that you are making.
That was the plan, dammit! They are making a mess of everything.
All of us look fabulous. We’ve been counting calories, hitting the gym, getting botox, doing cleanses. The house work was beginning to pile up so we hired help to assist. And as we raced through this perfect life of ours, the thought occurred that maybe, just maybe it wasn’t all that perfect.
The dream of life was a lie. And sitting there with debt so far up your asshole, with all your administering’s so far in flight you can’t recall why you chose that route in the first place, and the person sharing the king size bed has at some point become a stranger to you. Did you want this? Really?
I don’t need much to make me happy. That I’ve realized. Amazing what a beautiful sky will do for me. The scent of a fragrant tree, or the way the sun plays on the rippling waves. The excitement of a run, the joy of a smile.
That I’ll supersize. I don’t need a house that will inevitably become a maze that I’ll be lost in. God knows I pack things that at the time seem important into obvious spaces. Oddly enough, when the need arises to find said items it may come as no surprise that I can’t recall where the hell I put things.
If I’m having issues now, don’t give me 5,000 sq. ft. to play with.
All of this is just things. The big house, the fancy job, the car, the boat…
Are you happy? That is all you need ask. These won’t make it so. You may think because you have all these amenities you should be happy, but life is far more subtle and actually quite simplistic.
It is an energy, a rush, an awakening. When you open your eyes in the morning from the yawn of sleep, what transpires through that head of yours?
Do you embrace the day? Do you feel its energy, its wisdom, its beauty? Does the winter fog that hugs the trees and bushes excite you? Or do you even notice it?
If you don’t see these things, if you are so caught up in the life and drama you believed was due to you…ask yourself this. What makes you so special?
Women have been birthing babes since the dawn of time. How is it that yours is better? How is it that you matter more, that they matter more, that mankind should somehow be indebted, or beholden to you in some manner?
If you’ve figured out that I’m not a fan of celebrity, you would be correct.
Driving in on Tuesday, the DJ spoke of the deal Sandra Bullock got for the movie “Gravity”. It is a movie that I have seen. The special effects are amazing. The story sucks.
Sandra stands to make 100 million plus on this movie. The reasoning was she gave up 6 months of her life to this movie.
I don’t know if I’ve become just so cynical that I scoff at such things. I even scoff at the guy that is championing starving kids for the ‘Christian Childrens Fund’.
Sponsor a child…you’ve probably forgotten…didn’t have the time…didn’t write down the number.
Guilt. Such a wonderful tool. You are living this life defined by the stars that shine in the heavens…you must help those poor creatures that never asked for their existence. And yet, they’ve been saddled with it. So to appease their misfortune and your guilt and ego…you’ll pay your $27 per month to save a child.
Thirty years of these advertisements have convinced me that this method does little to remedy the problem. It is a band aid..nothing more.
That is and will always be the key. Provide knowledge, provide insight, provide confidence and you will be amazed at the outcome.
Yet there is this odd fear. Give ’em too much and they will challenge you.
What war are you fighting? What demons are you running from?
Think about it. Really think. Just one question. Are you happy?