Twice today I reflected upon the stimulating effect of youth. The second time – the one which will come as no alarm especially at Christmastime – had to do with the irrepressible magic of grandchildren. As I drove home this afternoon from my usual outing along the Appleton Side Road et al., I recollected how my beloved parents thrilled to preocccupy themselves not only at this high-spirited time of year but throughout the year with their grandchildren. The sous entendu is of course that I am not a “family man” (as was so often the object of initial and vaguely unsettling enquiry upon meeting a client). I insulated myself from complete fragmentation arising from this interrogative by recalling that most of my friends are sans child. Clearly there exists a forum set apart for those of us who haven’t entitlement to admission to that particular sect; that is, those devoted to or enchained with children by what I can only assume is for me at least an unidentified sinew of Nature.
More readily understandable is the imperative of such hereditary persuasion without which I suppose none of us would be here (though forgive my ignorance of the descendants of Adam and Eve whom I mention in the same breath as one might extol the similarly incomprehensible dogma of the Immaculate Conception). The more riveting absorption of heredity is, not its chemical composition or credo, rather the improving entertainment value of its digestible diversion. I mean to say, when all else fails, one can always take the little ones tobogganing or skating.
The second instance today of my focus upon youth arose at the car wash where I encountered an employee who was sweeping debris from about the vacuum area. I had very briefly chatted with the fellow on other occasions including the time when he first landed on site for employment. He had always distinguished himself though for reasons I never fully understood – that is, until today. Only as recently as yesterday I had remarked in casual conversation with another that the chap had in my opinion an undisclosed seam of intelligence and capacity. It was however a coalition I found difficult to align with his current duties of directing traffic into a car washing bay and gathering litter (without of course diminishing the value of an honest day’s labour). When at last I asked him today pointedly how his future favoured, he instantly became animated, smiled and replied without hesitation that all was well. Indeed exceedingly so, he said. He then explained to my entire gratification that when not working at Halo Car Wash™ two days a week he is engaged as a cameraman with the filiming of Hallmark films. His gusto was thus fully decoded. And while I suspect that the unperceived truth of most of the other employees at the car wash is similar (that is, the stepping stone of youth to greater heights) I am also anxious to acknowledge the insight of the employer/owner in hiring such individuals as they all unquestionably add the element of talent to the enterprise.
Now, on a far less evocative level, is my confession about retail. This I mention as completely discordant with the preferred ambition of society (of which youth are the most enthralling manifestation). If you haven’t already gathered from my monologue, it is youth who – at least on the periphery of old age – are to us ancient observers the unquestionable stimulant for enduring vivacity. Maintaining the erstwhile effervescence of youth is the proverbial uphill battle commensurate with aging. That is, apart from the stimulius of retail. Shamefully I admit my unrepentant alliance to retail shopping. The only quality which preserves me from entire vacuity is my doubtful acknowledgement of retail limitation. Basically I feel I already have everything I have ever wanted. Nor do I mean this at all unseriously. The greater confession is that I no longer have an appetite for anything else. Except of course the things I have lately purchased.
Now don’t imagine, dear Reader, that on the threshold of the Advent I am about to disclose what Santa has brought for me. It wouldn’t matter whether it were a tool box or a train set, a jewel or a clock, a leather bound book or a pair of new gloves. My simple (and, trust me, they’re all simple) acquisitions are things I use and enjoy. They are not complicated accessories or furnishings; just every day stuff which in my opinion are more noticeable for having met a specific need in a universe of immeasurable options. To this aready sufficient gratitude I have to add that my retail success has unwittingly evolved over the past half-year as we complete our adjustment to new digs. From the most expensive to the least expensive item, everything has proven to be perfectly complimentary (including for example the $50 elastic rib cage mesh I am now wearing about my chest). Certainly there are other more extraordinary things but the commonality is that I like my things whatever they are. And I am bound to applaud the accomplishment of those things. There is after all no pleasure in having something which doesn’t work as intended; or which fails to fulfill that gratification of usage or wear; or which hasn’t that unpredicted allure to it. I am but a squirrel completing my hibernation. And further I can say that certain of the things I’ve bought are yet unfolding in their utility and attraction. In a universe of singular merit it is pleasing to have some things that count.