The Really Wise Kind of Wisdoms: Web Edition

Someone surprised me with a copy of some life improvement literature not too long ago. I remember the specific disappointment felt when I reached out a hand for said surprise and got 300 pages on why I suck at parenting and need to live exactly as I am not living. I learned that day that not only does “surprise” not always translate to “treat” but also “treat” doesn’t always equate to 3 pound bag of Skittles or box of puppies. This treat felt like getting kicked in the shin while a pastor hits you repeatedly about the neck and shoulders with a chunk of Corinthians.

Ever the polite one, I graciously accepted the book, ever so lovingly sat the treasure upon the table, and my beer- with much care and manners and gentility- parked its icy, brown bottled bottom on the superior smiley face of the author’s über elite cover-flap biography. You went to Harvard. Your wife is pretty.You drive nice cars. On Sundays you fine tune your custom tennis racket. Your doubles partner is actually Jesus H. Christ. The glossy sales pitch of Be Like Me was dangerously close to working. I felt a twinge of failure for having not stuck to tennis lessons as a kid. Just when I was prepared to kick myself for not having a pretty wife and a Harvard degree, the sight of Bud Light’s water ring skewing the photo and forming a hilariously unfortunate mustache across the fancy author’s fancier wife’s face seemed to stomp out that little flicker of effort all a’flaming from within me.

Some time later, the How To tutorial stays blissfully untouched and watermarked. My thought is not that I am beyond improvement. My life is certainly not void of a need to be enriched (extra on the “rich-ed” part).  See? Just the fact that I just cracked a money joke when we’re talking about fixing one’s mind, body, and soul is enough proof that I am the hottest kind of mess. I’ve just found that for me- little, old, tennis-less me-  the best way to elicit personal growth and change is to, well, make it feel a lot like sitting. When someone made the mistake of dropping the old adage “If money grew on trees…” within earshot, I grabbed some gardening gloves and got to searching for prosperity. I adopted the mentality that perhaps the fullest, richest life can be found without having to torture myself, tug and nip and jab at myself, change myself. Maybe life’s greatest methods aren’t printed in books by shiny haired tools. Maybe life’s greatest lessons can require little to no effort or, um, learning. Maybe I saw a bunch of funny YouTube videos and just wanted to share them with you in a way that made you certain that I am, in fact, a good life guru with mysterious means of making the seemingly silly all of a sudden incredibly insightful and life-altering. No. Definitely I saw a bunch of funny YouTube videos and just want to share them without writing a whole post called “Look. These Are Funny. Now Laugh.”. If there is a point it is this: we needn’t look to well-starched public speakers or zen-ful yogis or certified specialists for wisdom. We can help ourselves without the self-help jargon and figure out how to without consulting a slew of How To’s. Without further ado, here are a few jewels of the world-wide web and the important, perspective-shifting, revelation-dawning, life-enriching lessons we can take from them… for free.

“I smile because it’s worth it”/ “Really what you just have to want to do is take the ride”: Marcel may look like just a bulge-eyed shell wearing shoes. But the little Conk That Could teaches us not to take for granted the liberties of a human life. You’d never lose a sibling in a freak balloon incident. You can turn the page of a book without having an asthma attack. By god, I bet you even sleep on a mattress. Still, the small-voiced shell shows us that there is always, always something to smile about. Other unrelated lessons: Size totally does matter, and pink Keds look precious on just about anything.

“And when you’re on the street, depending on the street, I bet you are definitely in the top three good lookin’ girls on the street… depending on the street.”: First and foremost, the lesson to be learned here is to never go to a party thrown by any person or person’s with names derived from or shortened to Dave (Davenport, Davey, David, Daveluffugous, etc.). Also, don’t sleep with Dave’s friend. Also, too? This sing-along tidbit of truth offers notes on how to pick a mate who will enhance versus diminish your existence. For instance, I turned down many a boy who lavished false praise upon me. The classmate who refered to me as a “hotty with a body” or the guy who simply whistled in my general direction as I passed by his dusty, construction site of a job. When selecting a life partner, one has every right to be picky. Case in point: I waited until I found a man who refers to me as a “hotty with a body and a pretty good personality sometimes” and only answer to cat calls when the cat calling cares enough to personally address me. When Tom whistled and called out “Hey. Hey, girl” and I realized I was the only girl on that side of the street, I knew his ogling eyes were meant only for me. We’re super in love and getting married in a couple of weeks.

“It ain’t over.”: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Who says this peppy mantra can’t apply to ex-boyfriends? Tracy shows us that with a Can Do/ Can’t Get Over You attitude, we can rise above obstacles big and small (big: public shame/ small: restraining order) and find our bliss… or at least our chapstick. We can always find our lip balm. Another really thought-provoking point? Women may have searched far and wide for superficial beauty, and we’ve been horribly misguided. It was in our pantries all along.

And finally, perhaps the single most significant wisdom circulating the computer waves these days: be yourself. It would be easy to see why Elmo would hate himself. I mean, he has every reason to seriously, horribly despise his own being. He’s hairy, and obnoxious, and has a voice that leaves us all a little unsure if we shouldn’t be calling him Elma. After years of self-loathing and looking for love (and tickles) in all the wrong places, I’m glad to see the little guy (girl? Big Foot’s red-headed stepchild?) finally accepting his quirks. Of all the lessons I am sure you’ve learned today, let this be the first: Celebrate the uniqueness that is you. Let many strangers tickle your belly and often: that would be the second.

What wise kind of wisdom have you received lately?

Do you find big lessons in small, silly places?

21 thoughts on “The Really Wise Kind of Wisdoms: Web Edition

  1. If I had a steam roller, I would flatten every self-help book on the planet, ESPECIALLY the ones of the I’m holier than you are ilk. Life is more complicated than a book, the decisions more nuanced and, well, hard.

    The greatest life lesson I’m learning at the moment is hindsight is 20/20, and I’m really going to be feeling that this time tomorrow.

    If you are in Nashville on Thursday, and aren’t crazy in wedding mode, let me know. I’ll be there all day.

  2. I have been long overdue in visiting your blog and am glad I did today. First I am kind of curious how you managed to post this tomorrow? You post some good questions even from the future, and seeing as recently I have a tough time distinguishing between epiphanous (is that a word?) moments and heart burn, questions I really need to ask myself. It is good to be reminded that wisdom is not reserved to the elite and/or perpetually polished. Been my experience that the wisest people I know are actually people who just open their senses and appreciate what they have. Just needed to be reminded of that! I now need to look over my collection of bubblegum wrappers to see what I can relearn! Thanks for a great post!

  3. A) kind of in love with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
    2) vascillating between terrified of and completely entertained by Tracy with the Kool-Aid Herr
    Third: couldn’t get through the Elmo thing. Could not.
    BUT – definitely made me smile, and I needed that. Good work outta you! Hope things are looking up for you too.

  4. The wisdom I received recently and will pass on to you–the presence of live music at Nashville weddings ain’t that important in the long run. In fact, weddings can be distinctly Tori and Tom-esque without it. I’ll whistle.
    Can’t wait for the big day.

  5. I *heart* The Flight of the Conchords! Awesome!

    The bloggy big day is just around the corner. Whoo-hoo!

  6. I love, LOVE that Flight of the Conchords video/song.

    I absolutely need to quit my day job so I can spend all my time reading your blog and surfing the web for random awesomeness like these videos. Why, oh why can’t someone subsidize those important activities for me???

  7. “gotta put some lipstick on these crusty crust” hahahaha omg I laugh out loud every time! And I have started reading things on google reader and totally missed that you got a new blog layout! I LOVE IT! And the skirt could totally be a bridesmaids luncheon outfit. Just saying…

  8. My parents gifted me with a parenting book when my first child was born. I never did read it, probably for the precise reason that I perceived it as a “Lord-help-us-all-you’ve-got-a-child-now-and-don’t-know-what-the-hell-you’re-doing” kind of gift. It occurs to me now that perhaps they were just trying to be nice.


  9. I have to echo spilledinkguy, this new site is awesome.

    Also, I have that Elmo video saved on our iPad and I do believe the kids watch it about 300 times a day.

    But what in the world is this Flight of the Conchords? I think I’m in love. I have never heard of these guys until now.

    As for wise wisdom I have received lately? Hmm…things don’t get easier when you’re kids get older, just different. I’m discovering that lately now that my son is almost ten going on 15. Good god, the tween years are upon me! Somebody save me!

    1. You is smart. You is kind. You is important :) I love Marcel more than words can describe. If I had to be a shell (with shoes, of course) Marcel would be it :)

    1. Case in point: I just stubbed my toe. I LEARNED that it is not wise to dance along to Disney Channel cartoons within kicking distance of sharp-edged coffee tables.

Ramble on, little rambler...

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