I had a free week.
I won a visitor’s pass to a luxury athletic club not far from where I work. It was like getting to test drive a Ferrari — something mere mortals like me rarely experience.
If I were to rate the establishment on Google, I’d probably give it 5 stars. But would I ever join? No.
One simple barrier keeps me from making that part of my lifestyle… I can’t afford it.
Yes, it was great to put my clothes in a mahogany-faced locker. I loved the gourmet shampoo and body wash (in two flavors). I liked the fact that I could get a few free initial consultations with a professional trainer, so I could learn how to exercise better.
But for approximately five times what 24-Hour Fitness charges, I can’t justify the hit to our monthly expenses.
Heck, I can’t even justify 24-Hour Fitness at the moment.
Gotta stick with free bicycle commutes.
(I took the photo from the balcony, overlooking the tennis courts.)
I don’t do teeth whitening.
Before you read further, please understand that I am not judging anyone who likes to do teeth whitening. This is merely a description of my personal journey.
The photo above is my teeth — altered by Photoshop. Reality is dark, stained teeth that have seen years of coffee drinking, tetracycline ingestion as a kid, and general abuse. (However, many of you know that I am a fan of toothpaste.)
Why don’t I invest in making my teeth whiter?
- Time. It would either require a laborious application of teeth-whitening strips or several visits to a dentist. And then, a year from now, more of the same.
- Money. Strips are expensive, and visits to the dentist for whitening are more so.
- Lack of caring about cultural trends. I don’t care enough about what our culture values to participate in this particular exercise.
- Saving the whales. Studies have shown that excessive use of white strips causes stunted growth in fetal whales, from the chemicals being washed out to sea and entering plankton.
Well, that last one is made up.
“Gray accent leather on the doors and the top of the instrument panel is called Porpoise, but, like other hides, it comes from land animals and not sea creatures” — from a Car and Driver article about the Bentley Continental GT V-8 S.
Why is it that the thought of someone killing porpoises for our use is more repellant than the thought of someone killing cows for our use?
When I was a kid, Flipper was a TV show about a friendly sea creature that came to the rescue of different people every week. Think Lassie in the sea.
I don’t know of any TV shows about friendly cows.
The quote about Bentley’s choice of an upholstery name made me think of the whole veganism culture and philosophies — one end of the animal rights spectrum. Porpoise killers might be the other end of the spectrum.
And then I thought of my friend who is a cattle rancher in Oklahoma. She loves her cows more than just about anybody I know. And yet she sells them to be slaughtered.
I don’t know how to reconcile all these things.
- The photo is courtesy of the Bentley website and is used without permission.
- If there are any modern TV shows starring animals, I wouldn’t know them, since I watch very little mainstream TV.
We all love to make assumptions.
When we are at a busy intersection and see someone holding a sign asking for money, we assume they lack employment and a solid place to live.
When we see an older person in a car going 20 m.p.h. below the speed limit, we assume they are challenged in all that by takes to manage a 4,000-pound vehicle.
When we hear someone singing next to us and they can’t carry a tune, we assume — well, what do we assume?
I can definitely carry a tune — I’m close to having perfect pitch. However, I cannot carry a beat, for the life of me.
One of the most challenging aspects of living in Africa for five years was dancing in church. (Dancing is part of worship in Kenya, at least in many of the churches we attended.)
Since I can’t carry a beat, I can’t dance. I can’t clap and sing at the same time.
So the Rhythm Discovery Center is not the place for me. And I disagree — not everyone has rhythm.