Friday, November 12, 2010

The trouble with being an avid reader... that you get conditioned to enjoying things vicariously. Honestly, if I can do something in my head, it's almost as good as doing it real life. Why expend the actual physical energy when the payoff from just reading about it is so satisfying?

[EXCEPTION: This does not, I repeat, not, apply to certain activities of the, um, romantic sort. If you get my drift. *cough* Some things you really have to be there for.]

My agency sistah, Tawna Fenske, recently did a hilarious post about her trip to the hardware store. It got me thinking about some of my trips to the hardware store with TG (which I fully expect will be more entertaining in the future, now that I know what kind of double-entendre packaging to look for). On our last trip to Home Depot we bought a chainsaw, with which to rid our yard of all the winter damage. (Sadly, that was one activity we could not leave in the virtual realm.)

[Stick with here. There is a connection.] 

Anyway, while we were there at the Home Improvement Mecca, we also perused the kitchen and bath aisles, as is our wont to do on these impromptu "dates," drooling over fixtures and cabinets (not literally; I mean, that would be gross), debating which we might choose once we get around to actually updating our house. We do the same thing when we go to Ikea, or Lowe's, or anyplace with cabinets. It's a fun way to spend an afternoon, and since our tastes are similar, we mostly agree on style.

The only trouble is, just looking is enough to scratch the refurbishing itch. We never seem to feel a pressing need to follow through with the actual implementation of our ideas.

Well, to be fair, if TG had more free time, he would do it. But theater is a harsh and demanding mistress. (Hmm. Are you imagining black leather, stiletto heels, and whips? Yeah, me too.) And I'm a tool klutz, so I can't do it on my own. Ergo, lots of projects go on our "Later" list.

I'm the same way with other people's pets now, too. Since our last, officially-truly-ours pet died, I haven't exactly rushed out to replace him. At first it was because I was too traumatized by the loss. We'd had  Clancy-cat for so long it was hard to imagine life with a subtitute. (More about Clancy here.) But if I'm honest--which I try to be at least 97.8% of the time--I've gotten pretty used to not being responsible for the care, feeding, and poop-cleaning-up of another being. We have a part-time cat who drops by daily for treats and a cuddle, and that, along with occasional visits to Cute Overload, satisfies the pet urge in both of us.*

How about you guys? Anything you'd just as soon experience vicariously? Or are you the Everything** Has To Be Real type? Do share. Inquiring minds want to know.

*For now. Though TG is lobbying heavily for an English bulldog, which, in his head, he has already named "Fugly." I've warned him not to expect a little Fugly under the Christmas tree this year, or any year before he retires and can follow Fugly around on walks himself, plastic bag in hand. Because I ain't picking up Fugly poop.

**Well, except, you know, murder and stuff like that. I'm going to assume you don't want to experience that firsthand.


Michele Shaw said...

Lately, I've been writing so much, it seems I haven't done much in the real world! I "think" about cleaning and laundry, and yet...oh damn, guess I really must do that sometime:)

Summer Frey said...

LOL...Fugly. Wow. Very fitting name, though!

I know what you mean; I'd been aching to have pets again, but now that we have 2 cats, I really hate the litter box scooping, them getting into everything, messing up my houseplants, jumping on the kitchen counters, etc. Good thing they're cute...

I'd just as soon visit sky-diving vicariously, as well as scuba-diving, snorkeling, anything to do with sharks or alligators, getting bit by a snake, getting locked anywhere overnight, and (knock on wood)changing a flat tire.

John Ross Barnes said...

OK, I admit it, I'd really just as soon(as not) leave the earning a living part of life to the virtual realm.

Ding!(that means subject change in our family, we shift gears fast)

English Bulldogs - love 'em, used to raise 'em - a lot of bred in limitations(like breathing, non-heat tolerance, weird breeding, excessive drooling & shedding, etc.) You should definitely let TG get one!

Kelly Breakey said...

I got as far as you have an Ikea and that was it. I am soooooo jealous. In order for me to get any where near one I have to drive five hours. Wow, can I touch you or something?

Unknown said...

Fugly...ahaha GREAT name! Tell TG that if he really needs to have doggie time, he can pet sit my two monsters anytime. That'll probably shut him up about wanting a Fugly of his own. (FYI: I hate cleaning up Fugly poop as well)

And, well...I'd like to say that I'm like you and prefer for most things to be experience thru the pages of a damn good book, but I'd be lying if I said that there weren't times in the past where I've gone on stakeouts because I was absolutely certain the neighbor was burying bodies in his backyard under the cover of night. Yes, sadly, I sometimes get the idea in my head that I'm Lt. Eve Dallas (but I'm nowhere near as badass as her)

abby mumford said...

i do a lot of vicarious living because frankly, my real life is kind of boring.

i think that's it right there. that's why i love reading. it's an escape from reality. it's a chance for me to do and see and experience and learn new things that i might not get to do otherwise.

demery said...

I wouldn't mind a virtual trip to the dentist!

Hope you have a "real" good weekend :)

Andre Zollars said...

Being divorced and on my own for five years, I enjoy marriage vicariously. There's nothing I love better than sitting on my best friend's deck sipping on a glass of wine, listening to her and her hubby bicker about silly things like who was supposed to do the laundry. It reminds me to enjoy the free reign I have over my own household. It's probably a sad reflection on my life, I know, but 'tis true.

Patty Blount said...

Yes, babies!

I have reached the age where my lust to smell baby powder and kiss chubby little cheeks and hold them and rock them and coo at them and buy adorable little clothes and-



As I was saying, the urge to satisfy my baby lust is best done vicariously through friends far younger and infinitely more patient than I.

Anonymous said...

OMG! You are so right. I need to stop reading immediately and start living a real life outside my flippin head! GAH!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, I remember reading a Tess Gerritsen novel about being in space as astronauts. I liked living vicariously through them and am not really interested in doing it firsthand. LOL!

Linda G. said...

Michele -- Yes. Sadly, clothing that has been vicariously washed doesn't tend to to smell as good as clothing that has actually been run through the washer. ;)

Summer -- I'm totally with you on the vicarious skydiving, etc. Exciting as they are to read about, or see on video, I can't see me ever enjoying them in the realm of real-dom. :)

John -- Wouldn't it be great if you COULD earn money vicariously and apply it to real life obligations? Now, THAT would be a treat. DING! (I like that.) You list bulldog limitations and then tell me I should let TG get one? Ha! You are so funny. ;)

Kelly -- It only takes us 45 minutes or so to get to our Ikea. And I thought about you while I was eating my meatballs, if that helps.

Karla -- I'll send TG your way if he needs a doggie fix. And you must live in quite the neighborhood! ;)

Abby -- I'm always telling TG I prefer my real life "boring" (by which I actually mean serene) and my fictive world exciting. It's better for my health.

Demery -- But I hear virtual fillings don't work nearly as well as the real thing. ;) Hope you have a "real" good weekend, too. :)

Andre -- Not sad at all. Sounds like you've come up with virtual system that really works for you. :)

Patty -- LOL! I'm not really much of a "baby" person myself. I loved my own kiddos as babies, and I'm sure I'll be enamored of any grandchildren the future may hold, but infants as whole? I'm usually happy to let others coo over them. :)

Suz -- Enjoy! :)

Jennifer -- I'm with you there. I love a good space opera as much as the next person, but I have no desire to leave good ol' terra firma for realz. ;)

Thanks for all your comments, guys! I love reading them. :)

Linda G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Gallagher said...

I do everything vicariously through books. Not enough time to live in the real world.

Trisha Leigh said...

I WISH I could leave laundry and cleaning in this vicarious world. It doesn't work for more than...a couple of weeks.

Right now, where I am in my life, I'm okay with living vicariously through other people's babies. I spend time with a friend once a week who has a 7mo. I hold him, I make him laugh, feed him a bottle. There's another person who is usually there, and he'll invariable say "Trish, you need one of those. You look good."

My response (through a fake smile): "This is good, for now. And when he starts to smell or cry, I can hand him back to his parents."

Linda G. said...

Anne -- The real world is awfully time consuming, isn't it?

Trisha -- Yes, vicarious babies smell much better than real babies, and are much quieter. This is how I feel about puppies. ;)

out of the wordwork said...

Anything that involves dangerous activities to the physical person. I love action/adventure movies but I'm a stay at home safe kinda gal. Why do people love bungee jumping anyway?? I just don't get it...

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss linda! for me cause of being sick for so much time in my life i could want do do everything for real so i could know how it feels. im thinking on that dog and cat stuff you gotta get past thinking about poop and stuff like that and just think how you could give a lonesome cat or dog a good loving home. you could get back a lotta love and know you did something really good for a animal. maybe that could make scooping poop not so bad. :)
...hugs from lenny

Linda G. said...

Nelsa -- Yup. I'm with you all the way. Over the years, I've developed a fine appreciation for guarding my skin. As for bungee jumping -- how anybody could ever trust the tensile strength of any cord that much is beyond me. Cuckoo.

Lenny -- Okay, how much did TG pay you to say that? ;) Hugs back. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

My family thought that a German Shepherd would help us get over the loss of our precious cat. And it worked. I'm still a cat lover, but a big, smart dog can be fun, too.

I don't know how bright an English bulldog is. They don't *look* very smart.

As for cleaning up poop and all that -- that's what we have children for.

Linda G. said...

Dianne -- According to TG, English bulldogs are a noble breed. Yeah, whatever. They look like they probably snore, drool, and pass a lot of gas to me. Re the children picking up poop: alas, mine are grown. This is why the bulldog will be waiting until TG retires.