Tuesday, April 6, 2010




: to tease or torment by or as if by presenting something desirable to the view but continually keeping it out of reach

As I get older, I find I want things less and less. This is not how the system is supposed to work. I started out okay as a child, desiring a life that my mother could not afford. There are a few things I begged for and actually received:

1) Umbro shorts (I wore these on only one occasion, realizing upon social interaction that i was hardly sporty enough for the silky briefs),

2) An oversized tee shirt showcasing Loony Toons dressed as pop culture icons (I desperately wanted one to wear on the school band trip to Six Flags Amusement Park. I pleaded with my mother the night before the trip, crying like a child [I was twelve], until she gave in and took me to Kmart to buy a rip-off version of this popular shirt. I didn't want the phony shirt, I wanted the real thing, but I knew it was all we could afford and I couldn't turn it down. I lost this battle—forced to wear a knock-off that I was too stubborn to appreciate.),

3) A flute (All of the pretty girls in band played flute. I had wanted to get on that train, but got stuck with my second choice—clarinet. I was incredible at playing the instrument, but convinced that I got pushed into those ranks by being homely and unattractive. I forsook all other possibilities of Christmas gifts in exchange for one used flute from Banko's Music, thinking it would make me more desirable to boys. Not the case.)

This is totally normal—coveting the things of others, believing that if you have those things, you will then be as cool or as beautiful or as socially graceful. I realized early on this does not work. You are TANTALIZED by these objects, believing that ownership will alter your fate as a perpetually uncool person. When in fact it does nothing but make you feel like you accidentally walked into the bathroom designated for the opposite sex. Something doesn't feel right, you think, but you don't realize until you are peeing in a stall with no door.

As an adult I hardly ever want things. I have goals. There are things I would like to achieve. But I feel as if my material desires were supposed to escalate—as though the need for umbro shorts should have graduated into the need for Louis Vuitton accessories. As if I should be endlessly longing for a life just out of my reach. I like that the things I want are possible, and when they are achieved I am genuinely satisfied, not left wanting more. I guess this makes me...content?

I like books. I buy books sometimes. It's nice not to have to beg for them.

Come on, mom!! Can I pleeeeeeease have the new collection of Best American Essays! Please?

God! It's not fair!

1 comment:

  1. silly adolescence. seems we're all trying to blend in before we learn we're awesome and unique. i had the shirt with the exact pic you feature as well as umbro shorts. i'll have to hunt down a pic of me wearing the combo. absolutely ridiculous. who the hell starts these trends?