Friday, September 9, 2011
Lesson 15: Know Your Weaknesses
For most of us - scratch that - all of us, there is at least one situation that not only tests our ability to make our own decisions, but proves we're completely lacking in it. A specific circumstance that, when the conditions are duplicated time and time again, we perform the exact same action, regardless of any preconceived plan.
"Not I," I can hear you muttering under your breath. Sorry, but I'm not buyin' it. You're just as vulnerable as I am. I actually like to think I'm pretty good at exercising that whole 'free will' concept, but because I am already sensing your growing skepticism before I've hardly completed my second paragraph I'm willing to give a few personal examples in order to shed some light on my end of the argument.
For instance, if I at any time I discover a piano within walking distance, I will play that piano. If a stray cat comes within a 20 block radius of my current location, I will find that cat and I will pet that cat. If at any time I find myself within reasonable proximity to cake, a small portion of that cake will be missing by the time I leave. These things are entirely out of my hands, people. It's cause and effect. Just as simple as that.
Still shaking your head in denial? How about when you're at a friend's house and there seems to be some kind of food preparation taking place. Do you consistently weasel yourself into performing a certain cooking task? Like chopping? Or mixing? Or taste-testing the brownie batter/cookie dough? Right, that's what I thought.
So now that we're on the same page, I'd like to share with you the specific item that causes an avalanche of chaos the moment I come in contact with it. My own personal 'life landmine', if you will.
Last year was my most recent encounter. It was a random Saturday afternoon and I found myself in a Barnes & Noble, browsing the shelves for a book to entertain myself with until I felt like doing something more productive. Just killin' time on a lazy Saturday, that's all. Frolicking about...doo-doo-dee-doo...just a lookin' and a readin'...not hurtin' anybody...
AhhhhhI'mlying. I lied. Just now. Sorry. Spoken like a true addict I've sugar-coated my story to make it seem more innocent than it is. But I can't lie to you, faithful follower. You're just so damn pure...
You see I never just casually "end up" at Barnes & Noble. I go there with a specific purpose, and once I am there, I never just nonchalantly drift among the various genres, letting my interest rise and fall depending on the selection before me. I more or less stall, attempting to navigate in a strategic way that allows me to "accidentally" arrive at the giant wall in the back left corner. "Act natural," I tell myself. But I can't act natural, I'm too excited. That wall, you see, is the "forbidden section".
The "forbidden section" is the travel section. And on that wall, at the very top, is a book that is completely off limits. In my mind, I describe it as about four feet tall and two feet wide. A monster on the thrown that is the top shelf. It radiates a soft comforting music that draws me in like a moth to a bug zapper. Oh yeah, and it glows in the dark.
Okay in real life it's nothing all that fancy, but this is my story so that's irrelevant. It's the National Geographic book Journey's of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips. It's honestly not even allowed in the house. I would be completely broke if it were, my savings account having been drained to purchase plane tickets and pepper spray. But in Barnes & Noble, it sits on that back wall, beckoning to me; the staff completely oblivious to the havoc it wreaks on my imagination.
The last time I saw it, I texted my boyfriend to let him know of my dishonorable intentions:
Me: I found a very bad thing.
Boyfriend: Um...what's that?
Me: I'm in Barnes 'n' Noble.
Boyfriend: Marlee, put the book down, and slowly back away.
Me: I can almost reach it.
Boyfriend: It's dangerous.
Me: It's so pretty...
Me: It has PICTURES!
Boyfriend: On my way.
And 20 minutes later I was rescued.
Someday I will own that book. It's not like it's incredibly expensive or anything, it's just something I can't have at the moment. My impulsive nature being as strong as it is, there's no telling what would happen if it were being consistently provoked with pictures of gardens in the south of France or stunning landscapes of New Zealand. No, that's just not a good combination. So for now I wait.
And what about you? Do you have any 'life landmines' that you're aware of?