Historically speaking, when a Dalai Lama dies, a very lengthy process takes place in choosing the next one. It involves quite a lot of mystical stuff, like which way the smoke of the funeral pyre blows and then – most importantly – what toy the child picks from the line-up of the former Dalai Lama’s personal artifacts. See, the Dalai Lama is believed to be reincarnated, so when the child who gets through the initial interview process for the Lama-ship is presented with the Former Lama’s toys, he should say “Hey! That was mine!” Then, after he chooses what was previously his, he is rewarded with a life full of exile and strife, and, of course, a book tour of the United States.
Now, on my 30 minute exercises I don’t have time to research my writing, so I don’t know if any of this is true. I’m relying on what I’ve learned in my earlier studies and I’ll be the first to admit that my 44-year-old brain is a little rusty. All I know is if I’m reincarnated (which I don’t believe that I am) I keep choosing the wrong freaking toy. I’m trying to leave a post-it note in my rusted out brain for my next trip into this realm (for when I’m wrong about the whole reincarnation thing) to remind me to step away from the freaking Fisher Price toys. They haven’t served me well at all.
I know that I’m incredibly hard on myself. It’s been a trait that I’ve fostered my entire life so I’ve become quite an expert at self-deprecation. I was never as pretty or smart as my sister. I’ve not measured up to my education; I’m an overqualified for and under experienced for everything. I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. It’s a chore living this life. And I think I’ll blame it on Fisher Price toys.
They were my favorite. I had the village (which was surprisingly similar to my hometown, minus the jail), the A-Frame schoolhouse (and the bus), the boat, the airport, the house, the farm… I loved them all dearly. And, for some reason, I liked to chew the braids off the little blonde girls’ hair. Maybe that’s why this life hasn’t worked out according to plan? I’m poisoned by ingesting all that plastic. Surely that affects the old brain waves. I know that Fisher Price has stopped manufacturing the little girls with braids. Perhaps there’s a whole slew of girls like me who haven’t had their lives work out according to plan because they chewed the hair of their Fisher Price dolls? In my quest to further my education so I’ll become even MORE overqualified and under appreciated, perhaps I will do my doctoral thesis on that very topic.
I’m still big into toys, however. I graduated from Fisher Price to Barbies (very short-lived) which made way into music. Music, you ask? Yes, it can be a toy of sorts. Collecting albums, cassettes, CD’s, and, of course, making sculptures out of those yellow disc inserts for 45’s. Those were also good to use as plates for Barbie. It just takes a little imagination.
I guess that’s what it all comes down to: imagination. And I have that in spades. My brain is my very favorite toy. It might be a little rusty and becoming a bit antiquated, but I have no intention of setting it on a shelf in its original packaging waiting for someone to pay me a fortune for it on eBay. Nobody will ever pay me what it’s truly worth. It’s mine. I’m keeping it. And I’ll use it until I get some terrible brain dissolving disease from eating all that plastic during my youth.
Thank you, Annie Adler, for supplying today’s word. You are a sweet and sensitive soul and I’m glad to call you my friend. We’re alike in many ways (although I’m sure you were smart enough to not eat plastic) so the connection we have is very special to me. You’re smart, funny, and appreciate the difference between they’re, their, and there. That means more to me than I could ever express.
Thanks for being my friend for all these years. I treasure our conversations and look forward to knowing you until our brains rust out completely.