by Slo Mo
Time to fess up: my transition from Pissed-Off City Girl to Blissed-Out Beach Bum isn't going quite as planned.
I started with great intentions. This land of sand and sunshine was my passport to A New Mo! I was on a path of personal growth and enlightenment, and I had it all mapped out - eat healthy, get fit, sleep more, smoke less, stop procrastinating, start writing, unplug the t.v., learn scuba, buy a guitar, volunteer, use public transit, let my highlights grow out... And, above all, I pledged to rekindle my spiritual spark and demonstrate more love for humankind. Hell, I'd be the next Buddha! Only skinnier, and with a better wardrobe.
Wanna know what I've really been up to? For starters, the "eating healthy" concept has gone right out the window, unless you're a fan of the three Cs (chips, chocolate, and coffee coolattas). And I doubt that I've become fit by sitting in a beach chair all day, every day. Sure I get more sleep, mainly during the afternoon, but that benefit is negated by the fact that I'm now a poster child for the tobacco industry and a card-carrying member of The Jose Cuervo Fan Club . I did manage to cure my little procrastination problem, but only because I gave up on setting unrealistic goals for myself, like "empty the dishwasher" or "balance the checkbook". On the other hand, I haven't written a word, unless you count the crossword puzzle at the back of TV Guide. And speaking of t.v., I really did intend to unplug it but the satellite hook-up appeared pretty confusing and then I noticed there was a Real World marathon on MTV and then CourtTV was covering a really scandalous murder trial and before I knew it three months had passed and, uh, that pretty much accounts for why the scuba/guitar/volunteer concepts fell by the wayside. And public transit seems pretty silly when there's a perfectly good convertible sitting in the garage. And I could cancel my weekly appointments at the salon but then I'd have to smash all the mirrors in the house...
As for that spiritual spark and love for my fellow man? Oy!
So I was thinking about this stuff today while I drove Dog to a barbecue with his little friends Fido and Fifi (don't ask), and I got to feeling kinda bad about myself, you know? I took a good, long look in the rearview mirror and saw someone who was not simply unenlightened, but also spoiled and slothful and unworthy and in general just very, very un-Buddha-ish. Definitely ix-nay on the uddha-Bay.
Tears welled up, blurring my vision and fogging my fake designer sunglasses. I wondered if maybe I shouldn't give up this useless charade of an existence and drive straight off the intracoastal bridge.
Then it happened - a car with one of those America: Live Free Or Die bumper stickers pulled in front of me at the exact moment when a butterfly appeared on the windshield and Dog, completely out of character, leaned over from the passenger seat to give me a big, long slurpy lick upside my face.
And THAT'S when I had my revelation:
Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and a beach chair with a cupholder for my tequila beats spiritual self-righteousness ANY DAY.
Who knew that a tacky display of patriotism plus an insect plus a wet and stinky dog kiss would add up to a moment of personal clarity? But maybe that's the point: enlightenment is where you find it, even on a bridge in the middle of a traffic jam with drool running down your cheek and a bug on your windshield. Somehow, I don't think Buddha would entirely disapprove.
Now pass me an ashtray, hand over the remote, and excuse me while I go fire up the jacuzzi - I have plenty more goofing off to do.