It hit me last night while watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that we do not need Lacuna to drop things from our memories and our lives. We do it all the time and without effort, through the act of living on the path we chose or was chosen for us.
In 1975, my car broke down and the only way I knew to get to work was to run the five miles as quickly as I could because I was going to be late in 20 minutes. Back then, I could move it out, and while I didn’t get there on time, I wasn’t too awfully late, but I was covered in sweat. My boss just gave me one of his patented Chuck looks when I told him what happened and told me next time to call a cab. I suppose I had seen a few at that time in my life, but they were so remote from my life as to not exist.
Raised with four brothers on an E-4 Air Force salary, we just weren’t exposed to a lot of the so-called finer things. Never mind working your way from the outside in when picking utensils at a formal dinner, we were more worried about not getting a fork in the back of our hands when reaching for the last piece of chicken (or once, I am told, after I left the house, one of my brothers used a hay hook to grab what he needed and amazingly skewered only food with it).
But that path changed when I got that job at Price Waterhouse and began a career dealing with people who had more money than I could have even imagined and all that goes that. I have seen people order $250 8-ounce steaks in a restaurant and $1,000 bottles of wine and had to pick up the checks more than a few times at such events. I have flown more air miles than I care to even think about and stayed in more hotel rooms than anyone ever should in all but four of the states.
It sounds like that song by Charlene:
Oh I’ve been to Nice and the isle of Greece
Where I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed ’em what I’ve got
I’ve been undressed by kings and I’ve seen some things
That a woman ain’t s’posed to see
But in doing all this, she lost herself.
It’s the things from our youth that are comfortable, that relax us, they really are what we are. They guilty pleasures. Like the chair Frazier’s dad sat in. A recliner. How gauche, they say. Maybe, but very comfortable. Its rosebud.
It’s the things we take pleasure in when nobody is looking that define who we are. So, my listing (at least a few) Don’t get me wrong, I really like the high-class stuff too, but, then, well, you can’t take the country completely out of the boy.
Breakfast: Biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs and cream of wheat
Sandwich: Monte Carlo
Dinner: Fried spam, Mac and cheese (Kraft from the box), pork rinds, and RoC Cola and a Moon Pie for desert. Because it takes days for the house to air out after this, I can only do it on those are occasions when I am alone for a few days.
Movie: Caveman Yeah, I do know how bad this movie is, but Ringo cracks me up every time I watch it.
Music: ABBA. Yeah, I know. It used to that admitting you liked them was like admitting to being a child molester, but things changed at least a little with Mama Mia, didn’t they? And no, it has nothing to do with the short cat dresses. Well, maybe it does.
Writers: Stephen King. Say what you will, the guy can tell a story.
TV Show: Gilligan’s Island. The fact that the professor can make a radio out of three coconuts, salt water and a little twine but they cannot patch a four-foot hole in the boat says it all. I cannot help but wonder how different this show would be if it were made today.
Museum: The House on the Rock. Ok, so it called a roadside attraction, but it is so far off the beaten path, the suspension of disbelief is difficult. It is a museum of kitsch, or Americana.
Clothing: Hawaiian Shirts. Yeah, I could say I like them because I spent almost four years there as a kid (Including the day President Obama was born) hmmmm – I may have that shirt
Beer: PBR. (Goes great with the dinner above when you cannot find the RoC Cola.)
Wine: Barefoot. Pretty cheap and pleasing. I tend to think a lot of peoples taste in wine is in their eyes: that is, the price tag determines the quality, but this stuff is good and it won’t vaporize your wallet.
Musical: Come to think of it, many would consider any musical a guilty pleasure, but the guiltiest of all is Oklahoma in Discoveryland just east of Tulsa.
Hmmm. OK, enough peering into the deep dark recesses of my persona. What are your guilty pleasures?