It was never a dream of mine to, while sitting in the backseat of a car going 55 mph, hold hands with someone sitting in the backseat of another car…but I did it. It was not one of my brighter decisions, though I must admit it was exhilarating. It was an impulsive risk, and it’s the kind I’ve taken at times throughout my life.
As the song goes, I know a little bit about a lot of things…I am Jack(ie) of many trades, master of none. And though I live my life to learn and grow, there are parts of being an expert that I don’t ever want to achieve.
When I was in high school, the Walkman came out. You could put a cassette tape (!) into it and go wherever you wanted to and listen to music of your choosing. It was groundbreaking. Our band director thought otherwise. “I could never listen to that crap,” he scowled when he saw several students with Walkman players. I asked him why, and he said because the sound quality was “absolutely atrocious.”
Wow, I thought to myself. If he needed big speakers and proper acoustics to enjoy his music, he wasn’t going to be listening to it nearly as much as I was with my Walkman. I felt bad for him.
For me, I’d rather not have such high standards that I end up missing out on a lot of life.
Like the wine connoisseurs that need a certain vintage before they’re willing to enjoy a glass. It’s one thing to know what makes a good wine, but another thing to be so “expert” about it that few bottles make the cut. As someone who has been a cocktail waitress, there were a few people I served that made me think that they might even send back the wine that Jesus made from water. (No. This won’t do. It’s not herbaceous enough for my taste…)
Same goes for the craft beer authorities. I truly enjoy trying all kinds of beers and I like certain types over others, but…pour me another, my friend. I’m not that picky.
Don’t get me wrong…I have standards…I just like to keep them low enough that I have more opportunities to enjoy life.
“I don’t do movies…I only view films that are worthy…” That’s too bad. Guess you’ll never be able to appreciate the splendor of Talladega Nights. Of course I love Ingmar Bergman’s work as much as the next film buff, but I must admit I cried watching The Notebook (only the part at the end where Duke reacts to Allie forgetting him all over again—not the rowboat kissing scene. I do have some standards.)
As for humor, I’m a big fan of both high and low brow. I like to laugh. If it’s funny, it’s funny. I like to make people laugh, too, but I’ve always said if there’s only one person I can amuse, then I’ll pick me—because I’m stuck with me all of the time, so I might as well get a kick out of things. I like being easily amused—it means I’m amused more often than not.
For too many years now, being jaded is “in.” Back when I taught high school I used to tell my students that of course they could go through life acting like they know everything and are bored with it all, but they’ll be the only ones impressed with themselves…and they’ll be missing out on a whole lot.
I guess maybe it makes people feel better that they’ve “been there, done that” with life? I don’t know.
What I do know is that when you’re open to adventure, you’re usually going to find it.
When you approach life with wonder and curiosity, you may just discover some extra beauty in the day that you would have missed otherwise.
I really have nothing against connoisseurs. In fact I think that there should even be connoisseurs of connoisseurs. But if being a connoisseur means that I can only enjoy the very best of things, then I’ll take a pass. That’s a price I’m not willing to pay.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour myself a glass of Oak Leaf and contemplate the finer things in life.