Momentarily Misplaced

I can’t tell you the last time a commercial on TV, or an advertisement on the internet, left me saying to myself, “Wow, I need what they’re selling.” I don’t know if I’ve ever thought that.

Sure, maybe the food commercials have me licking my lips, while the steamy and succulent images of cheesy pizza, or hamburgers with perfect posture, infiltrate my subconscious, but I’d like to think that I don’t need a food commercial to order these items.

With fries.

I see commercials with people in generic clothing, laughing and smiling at the products they’re using, and I know it’s supposed to trick me into buying what they’re selling. I know they want me to believe I will be as happy as the people in the commercial.

I don’t buy it. Literally and figuratively.

The other night, I was watching a hockey game and the commentator said, “This game is available in Virtual Reality.” And I found myself asking, “Why?” Why am I going to buy one of those Virtual Reality headsets to watch a hockey game that I can see just fine without?

It didn’t make sense to me.

Sell, sell, sell -> Material items, material items, material items -> Happy, happy, happy.

That is the world today. I understand it. But I also think it’s sad.

University changed my life in so many ways, and I’m not sorry for continuously mentioning it in my blog posts.

My post-secondary experience taught me that life is, truly, just about time and people. Everything else is a result of those two things. How we spend our time, and who we spend it with, is all that matters.

I didn’t realize that until my fourth year. That year, I vowed that I would say “yes” to my friends as much as I could, whenever they suggested we hang out, or go to McDonald’s at 2AM the night before an exam.

Again, with fries.

And even then, when I realized how important it was to me to maximize my minutes with people who meant so much to me, it wasn’t enough time. There were still things I never did. Time ran out.

They say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

I never knew what that meant, exactly. I thought the saying should’ve been changed to, “Time flies when you forget to blink, while playing video games.”

Nowadays, I’d argue that time flies even when you’re not having fun.

There are some moments where I find myself wishing that I could just press a pause button because things always end before I’m ready for them to end. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt that way.

But I can’t just press a button.

The moments I want to remain in forever are anchored by memories.

The best days of my life – I don’t know what they are, but I know they all include other people, and laughs, and smiles.

They don’t include me getting a sports jersey for Christmas, or playing a video game for three hours after school, on a random Tuesday, in 2001. The best days involve shared happiness.

This is why, I think, commercials don’t have an affect on me. They try to convince me that their product is something I need, but really all I need is time and people.

I recently reunited with a great friend who I hadn’t seen in a really long time. We had drifted apart during a time when we were both pushing people away. Text messages became awkward. It just wasn’t the same.

Yet in the back of my mind I had all these great memories, and I knew that the friendship was still there, somewhere.

And as soon as we saw each other and started talking, it felt like no time had passed. We were right back in our rhythm, our ways, and our jokes about the stupidest things.

Example of a “stupid thing”: I created a new yoga position called “sleeping dog”. It was hilarious. Don’t ask questions.

It just felt so good, and it was something I had missed.

Our friendship was momentarily misplaced and I regret letting that happen.

It always feels like there is all the time in the world, but there isn’t. And it always feels like there are billions of people in the world – and there are – but there are only a handful of people who you can be so comfortable around.

You can’t replace people and you can’t replace time.

The best pizza wasn’t made in five minutes. And neither are friendships.

The world can’t just be about money, fancy clothes, trends, jobs, material items, hashtags, the latest gossip, or using our thumb to scroll on a screen.

Sure, all of those things may bring us joy and put a smile on our face.

But that being said, when I die – hopefully after I reach 100 – none of those things I just listed will matter. What will matter is the people who were in my life and the time I spent making memories with them.

Tell me I’m wrong.

Happiness is greater when we get to share it with others. That’s what I think, anyway.

We will always have time. We will always have people. Don’t let them get misplaced.

Not even momentarily.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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14 Responses to Momentarily Misplaced

  1. Barb Knowles says:

    This is a powerful post. “You can’t replace people and you can’t replace time.” That would make a great title and is like a slap in the face eye-opener for any reader. Caveat: This doesn’t apply to politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quinn says:

    Sometimes commercials work on me. When they do, it’s so noticeable they stick with me for a long, long time. It’s pretty rare and it also doesn’t mean that I’ll definitely buy the products (because I’m not a millionaire) but I can tell you what my favourite ads are. They’re the full-page ads that used to be on the back of National Geographics (and I’m sure it was other places) for Patek Phillippe. They show a father and son doing different activities, and the tagline is, “You never actually own a Patek Phillippe, you merely look after it for the next generation.”

    I LOVE them. If I had the money I would buy a Patek Phillippe, no question, just to reward that genius ad campaign. They deserve it. Take my money.

    I don’t watch TV though, so I’m not exposed to TV commercials, and I don’t listen to the radio, so I’m not exposed to radio commercials… I think I’m gently buffered from all the “TWO FOR ONE! BEST VALUE EVER!” type stuff. I will sometimes see a picture of a pizza and think I want pizza though (when do I not want pizza?) or see a McDonalds billboard ad and think, “Damn it’s been a while since I had nuggets…” so I guess it sometimes works on me on a subconscious level!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Is it bad that I didn’t know what Patek Philippe was? Their watches are nice! They can take my money too.
      I normally just change the channel when commercials come on. But the only ones I seem to remember are the ones I hate.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Myka says:

    I think the one commercial that has stuck with me was about McDonalds. 😐 (again, with the fries!) The bride gets into the limo and her father had McDonalds waiting for her, because he knew she wouldn’t have time to eat at her wedding. The part that really stuck, though, was the father caring for his daughter. He could have brought her broccoli, or a Snickers, or a bag of Doritos & I would have felt the same. Raise your hand if you are surprised this is the commercial I remember. Didn’t think so. HAH.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on #StPsy and commented:
    preach!

    Like

  5. Commercials have no effect on me…with the possible exception of the occasional snack food ad. If I have a craving for something sweet or salty and such a commercial comes on…that could result in an unplanned purchase…but we’re talking low dollars here. I’m definitely not invested in ads. Or virtual reality. I agree…why do I want to feel like I’m playing the game? I’m not. I’m good watching thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      There is nothing wrong with the television viewing experience for sports. I think virtual reality would almost ruin the experience, especially if you can’t look at other people while the headset is on your face.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Happiness is greater when we get to share it with others.” Amen to that! Happiness can be found in solitude of course, but it’s a different kind of happiness. When you share things (from new yoga positions you made up to big self discoveries), there is a sense of fulfillment when someone gets it/appreciates it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Absolutely. I’m someone who can spend hours and hours by myself and enjoy every second. But when others are around, you’re right, it is a different type of happiness. You can see someone else being happy, rather than just feel it yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

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