Are Things Really That Bad?
By Catie Gosselin
Today was grocery shopping day. It is always a highlight of my week (note the heavy sarcasm), but today was noteworthy. As I whizzed through the aisles at breakneck speed, hoping desperately to be home in time to get my oldest off the bus, I saw some really weird things in my supermarket. By the maple syrup, there was a book rack containing a title that caught my eye briefly. The fact that a book rack was near the syrup was strange enough, but its content really threw me. There was a book entitled "Choose to be Happy" (or something of that sort-my apologies to the author, but I was in too much of a hurry to note the exact wording). At first I just thought it odd that someone would choose otherwise, or need to read a book on the subject.
The next strangeness occurred in the papergoods aisle. There were Dixie cups with little affirmations on them. I swear, you can now buy Dixie cups to remind you to stop and smell the roses. My kids prefer the Funky Fish pattern, so I had to get those, but this new style caught my eye. Again, I wondered why someone would need to be reminded to stop and enjoy life from a paper cup of all things.
The icing on the cake was one of my favorite bumper stickers, "Mean People Suck", seen on the bumper of a car going much too fast through an intersection. Now it seems to me, I have stumbled upon the smiling yellow "have a nice day" Happy Face of the 90's here. Life has become so complicated and fast-paced that our popular culture now celebrates our discontent. Smell that? It is heavy irony, folks! The very mechanisms that feed into the general feeling of being constantly rushed, over scheduled, under paid, misunderstood, etc are also telling us to enjoy life in 10 easy steps.
How very strange life is nowadays, huh? Well, I never liked the smiling yellow face of the 70's, and I suspect the latest incarnation will be just as irritating as well. So, in place of the above noted observations, I'll offer three words that I promise really will lead to a feeling of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. They don't even cost a dime, they can be applied to any situation, and work best when you feel overwhelmed by soccer practices, meetings, grocery bills, mountains of laundry, etc.
The magic words for the 90's really are Keep It Simple. Try it, you'll like it. - Catie
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