He was obviously at least twenty years older than she was. He was also ignoring her as she texted away, seemingly oblivious to my stares. Why was she with him?
They got into a Mercedes. I know I shouldn’t speculate but I have known many clients, often more female than male, who are attracted to people with money or power. I have a hard time getting my head around such a desire but I know it exists and is doing quite well.
If there is any moral lesson to The Wedding Singer it’s that you should do what you love, rock that mullet, and damn the money. Corporate sellouts with feathered hair and a taste for Heineken will ultimately lose the girl to the hobo guitar player and his pure love.
It can happen. Some people love musicians. I’m fairly certain, however, and I’m not really going out on a whim here, that more people, way more, like money and all the spicy things money can buy. If you fall in love you might as well fall in love with someone who is rich, right? Musicians may vibrate my crazy bone but a lawyer with a Maserati keeps on giving. The meek may inherit the earth but the rich suffer in comfort. Money may not buy you happiness, as the comedian said, but want to know what really doesn’t buy you happiness? Poverty, poverty does not buy you happiness.
Many of us find security important. It would be, for lack of a better illustration, on the Top Three List Of Our Values. It’s easy to be idealistic and want to save the world when you are twenty and will never grow old. It’s another thing altogether when all your friends are retiring and you are a greeter at Wal-Mart… again.
I want a ski boat. I’ll never get one but it’s still nice to dream of water-skiing on Alouette Lake on a warm Sunday
morning. It’s tempting to believe that my life would be incrementally better if I only had a boat. It’s not true, but it’s easy to that it is. It was easier to be idealistic when I was younger. I still want a ski boat.
Being true to who you are and what you want out of life can be hard. It’s tempting to wander down little side roads that promise something quick, easy, and free. It’s often difficult to continue to give when you see others benefiting so heavily from taking. Most optimists end up as realists, pessimists who aren’t very self-aware. The rich do get richer and sometimes the assholes win. Often. Other people do have it easier than you might. Some of my friends did fall accidentally into opportunities I never had. Some did worse, but they don’t support my argument so I’ll pretend they don’t exist.
So many bitter old people. So many of us who have forgotten what we loved about living, forgotten to tip our heads into the sunshine. We have taken ourselves too seriously. There has been too much trauma, too much ‘water under the bridge’. Life is routine and pain and boredom and drama, all wrapped up into a little financially strapped ball of poop.
Learning to understand why your life has meaning is perhaps the meaning of life. Making peace with your demons, putting your hurts to rest, and refusing to get old and bitter, these are the real spiritual quests before us. Amazing lives are no accident. Spending more time reading psychology and philosophy, even theology defines those who are on a quest to be more than they were. Wisdom is the goal, contentment the gift.
It’s my birthday today and I’ve decided that I don’t want to get bitter, growing older. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself, blaming things on others. There are still scary and challenging mountains to climb, it’s just more and more tempting to sit on the sidelines. I want to be that old guy who is so alive he cannot be ignored.
Like my dad.
- Birthday Reflections (scott-williams.ca)