Sunday, September 12, 2010

Retail Lies

I'm one of those people that thinks you can 'buy' yourself into a talent, a hobby, or sport. That if I purchase something, that makes up for things like actual interest in said hobby or any real skill.

When I was 18, I decided I was going to become a rock climber. So I went to some lame-ass sporting goods store where the men inside it all reek of BO and the women don't wear makeup- I guess because they're 'outdoorsy'. (Um, it's called concealer, honey- and you need it.)
"Can I help you?" The sales lady, in some horrid wind pants that made her look like the Goodyear Blimp, approached me.
"I need rock climbing gear. Because...I'm going to be a rock climber."
$350 bucks later I was walking out of the store with shoes tiny enough for an infant, a harness, and rope. I was ready to rock climb or participate in some serious S&M.

The shoes I ended up losing, the rope I used to tie down boxes on the top of my car when I moved, and the harness I ended up giving to a girlfriend who had a hyperactive four year old boy. She'd put the kid in the harness, attach a long rope to the end of it, and watch him chase leaves in the backyard for hours like a dog.
"He's SO much easier to deal with now," she told me, as we stood at the window inside her house and watched her son gnaw on a piece of wood in the backyard.
"Is that a water bowl out there?" I asked.

Once I had a dream that I was Darius Rucker, the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish. The next day I told my dad that I thought this was a sign that I should play the guitar.
"That's pretty weird, sweetie," my dad said.
"That I dreamed I was a black man?"
"No..." Dad paused. "That you would want a guitar," he answered. "I wasn't aware that you had any musical interest whatsoever."
I knew he was referring to the year in 5th grade when I talked my parents into buying me a saxophone, played it for 30 seconds, and then ended up getting my forearm stuck inside the bell of the horn.
"Dad- I MUST have a guitar," I pleaded. "Please?"
A month later, after my dad purchased it, I ended up trading the guitar for a bag of weed and a pair of sheepskin seat covers. Naturally, my dad was right.

I was going to be a 'fashion designer' at one point and purchased a sewing machine. I made my sister a dress that looked like I had sewn together two twin sheets and then cut a hole in the top- which I did.
"Oh, wow, this is..." My sister stood in the middle of the living room, her twin sheet dress belted at the waist, confused as all hell. "This is interesting...."
"Isn't it great?!" I asked, lying. In reality she looked like a patient in a mental institution. "You should wear it out tonight!"

My basement is littered with all my fake interests- a punching bag when I was going to be a kick-boxer, skies from when I was a skier, and tons of painting supplies when I decided I was going to paint. I think the only time I used them is when a couple of my friends got drunk at my house, passed out, and I ended up painting pictures of dicks on their faces. Picasso I'm not.

If I truly want to be honest with myself- I really don't have any talent or interest in anything. The only thing I truly know how to do, and do well- is be funny.

And, luckily for me, funny is free.


  1. Guitar. Check. Painting supplies. Check. Sewing machine. Check. Plus-30 books on book writing, five origami books, 2 yoga books, 1 pilates video, 3 dozen cookbooks and one very expensive culinary school education, one year of computer programming school (probably should have stuck with that). 1.5 years of medical records administration certification education. I am thankful that I talked myself out of medical school after reading Eric Segal's book, Doctors. Oh yeah, left out $300 worth of linoleum blocks, paints, rollers and paper after conceiving a very unique line of block printed greeting cards. Unfortunately, I am not as funny as you, either. Here is a great, great you tube video about hobbies.

  2. A $600 professional-quality digital camera that was used twice - then dropped on the pavement by a drunk-ass friend. I could go get it repaired, but eh. I'm not a photographer anymore. That was last year.

    Also, last month I was convinced I was going to renounce society and live barefoot in the woods. Then I remembered I have too many shoes to do that, and also I like living in the city and having friends.

    I've spent the last three years being a theatre major, and I'm working on my last year...only to have recently decided I'm going to be a musician instead. Drawback: I can only sort-of play the bass guitar, and can sing sometimes, if I'm not too hungover/haven't smoked too many cigarettes the day before/am lucky.

    You are funny, so what do I have going for me? Hm. I guess I could get a sugar daddy or something.

  3. I have a variation of your problem--I get really serious about something for a couple of years, and then when I realize that there will always be a lot of people who are way better than me at it, I lose interest. It's pretty sad.

    I would not go around telling people I dreamed of being in Hootie and the Blowfish. Although, come to think of it, I have dreamed I was in the Dave Matthews Band a couple times. A lot of people wouldn't admit that

  4. Luckily for you and me, both, sister. You crack me up - thanks for that.

  5. Good trade ... I mean for the guitar.

  6. I am mr music. But only for listening. I can't do shit. Got a banjo. 3 years no product. A beautiful ukulele - freakily slow progress. I'm a disappointment to myself. I liked the uses for the rock climbing gear. It's surprising how many uses you can find for things.

  7. pffttt! (that was a loud mouth phart)
    this was an awesome post and made me feel better that i am not the only one who thinks that buying is the same as doing or being!
    i too have been a skiier, a boxer, a ninja, a karate kid, a pro athlete with 200 dollar shoes that dog liked to chew on...yet i never even had to step foot out of the house! isn't materialism fun>?> thanks for sharing love your blog xo