Monday, February 09, 2009

shimmer

So who said that I’ll never see any more snow once I bought my 4x4? It didn’t take long. Waking up this morning to the little bit of crippling white dusting that unexpectedly came overnight, I said a prayer for those in parts of the country with real weather struggles this morning. After all, I’m still down at the beach, the coffee is hot and wonder of wonders, so is the fireplace. Maybe that body wash I used this morning really does make a difference.
It, and by “it” I mean the body wash, is supposed to make a difference in my life. It is supposed to add shimmer, whatever that means. A friend this past weekend said that she noticed a new glow about me. I think she’s full of crap, she just had some insider information from my wife regarding our personal toiletries. ( I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence) Anyway, I’m never at a loss for amazement when it comes to advertising claims. If I’m ever at a point in life where I need the advertisers to shore up my self esteem or to create a better self image, then I’ll know that I’ve been swallowed by the dark side.
Of course I’m really not one to talk I guess. I’m sitting in here at Starbucks nursing some fairly good but undoubtedly overpriced coffee. I’m sure at this point in my life, the coffee snob in me would never allow me back into “Flo’s Diner, home of the ten cent cup”. I’m sure that there are some things that are beneath me. After all, I have shimmer.
I’m fortunate to be in this point of life. If ever I were to really forget the lure of “the next greatest fix”, I am quickly brought back to earth by the people I get to interact with all of the time. Mostly the less experienced, which is a kinder gentler way of saying younger, remind me of the constant fascination with shimmer. I can still remember the lure of “The Midway” at the New York State Fair, when I was a kid. It was mostly the games that promised incredible, status building, prizes that could never be won. Everyone knew they were rigged, but that all you had to do was figure it out….like the WWF. Then if you did spend enough to “figure it out” and won the 8 foot gorilla, you discover that you had actually paid enough to take an African safari. It is a great system, built on the American dream. Everyone wins….except me. “I got a rock.” No matter how many times I lost my kid savings, the shimmer always called me back, like the ticket guy at the bearded lady’s tent. As my own children grew up on the Midway, I was finally able to see the shimmer for what it really was…quicksand. It still lured them though as it had me, so we set limits, allowed them to be fleeced for every quarter they had, have a little fun in the midst of it, but over time, the shimmer left for them as well.
I’ve realized that it is only experience that dulls the lure of shimmer. I can influence others who are less experienced than I, not because I am “above the lure”, but because I have experienced it and that experience has worn the shimmer like 60 grit sand paper. Some aren’t as appealing as they once were. Some still have the slightest hint of attraction. I now have more empathy, pretty hard to believe but it’s true. I understand more the more the experience wears on my own items with shimmer. I once heard someone say to a group of students, “Don’t demand the right to make your own mistakes”. I thought that to be true at the time….not so much anymore. I wish it were different for people. I wish they didn’t have to go through the fire of their own mistakes, but I remember my own and realize that it is only through living with their own that the shimmer will fade. After all, it’s only 9am and mine has faded already.

1 comment:

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