Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What You Want, What You Need

You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes 
well you might find
You get what you need


Mick and Keith wrote that, and it makes for a decent zen-life approach, all things considered.

What I've wanted for years—hey, I've been wearing prescription glasses since the seventh grade—is a pair of rimless glasses. For years I've settled for the John Denver-like round, wire-frame specs because that design was the closest to the rimless glasses, which were quite expensive until recently.

We have Sarah Palin to thank, I think, for that trickle-down effect. She was a big hit when she danced around McCain in her Kazuo Kawasaki Eyeglasses-704, which still retail for around $400-$500.

Mine weren't that much, but they cost enough. The thing is, now that I have them, I don't like them. Their sturdy enough, despite the fact they're held together by a single-bar nose piece and the two ear pieces. But they are exceptionally hard to keep clean. I can't understand why. Yes, the glasses have the Transition lenses that darken in sunlight, but I have had that type of lens previously. I have even gone so far as to use the lint-less cloth and cleaning solution the industry recommends, but I still end up with smears.

Recently, I scrubbed them with the cleaning solution, rinsed them thoroughly in water, and left them in the sun on the deck. I don't know if that did the trick, however. Daisy the Boxer grabbed them while I was in the house and bit a dime-size hole in one lens.

No, the new lens isn't any easier to clean.

I wonder how many things I have always wanted—we're talking denial here because of financial constraints instead of free choice—would turn out to be less than expected. I suppose the first question is "Why should I want certain things?" A Mont Blanc cannot communicate any better than a Bic. A Timex is as accurate as a Rolex. Luckily, I want neither of those items, but I know there is something out there that I do want—a home theater system, a van that squats rather than one with a wheelchair lift, a house with an ocean view—that might disappoint me after acquisition.

That's odd to think. I am generally an optimist, or at least I am an optimistic realist. To believe that I will be disappointed seems as if I am creating an energy vacuum that will draw disappointment to me.

Granted, unless I win the lottery, I am in no danger of of buying all those high-ticket items I think I want. I'd probably die in the bathroom, drug-addled and bloated by fried peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches.

And it is a matter of want, isn't it? We need only food and shelter, although most of us live better with the support of friends and a few other material amenities.

The thing is, too much want can kill. When every whim can be fulfilled, appetite often overwhelms will.

A wise man once said something like, "Never own more than you can pack in a car."

Good enough advice, unless you desert Jagger and Richards and rely on Janis Joplin, "Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."

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