I don’t feel so stupid anymore. Everywhere I look there is someone doing something dopier than me. What a relief that is! Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and I’ve already made a bunch of mistakes, or maybe because as I mature I am not so hard
on myself. Whichever it is, it’s still good.
For years I used to fall for every gimmick out there. The first one that sucked me in was on the back of a comic book, and I was 10 years old. “You too can be the proud owner of dozens of shimmering LIVE miniature seahorses….. just add water and they will gracefully swim around giving you untold delight!” I drooled over those seahorses, and visualized them moving together like synchronized swimmers in my goldfish bowl, hypnotic and magical! The only thing between me and my new treasures was a strict rule in our household that we were not to order anything by mail. If we wanted to spend our allowance at the corner store, or the ice cream shop, that was fine, because mom could keep an eye on what we were buying. I usually obeyed the rules, but I just had to have those sea horses. I dared not ask my mom because once she said “no”, then it would be an act of abject defiance to go ahead and order them anyway. And make no mistake, I was buying them! So I said nothing, but I kept that comic book underneath my pillow, and studied the drawings of the little seahorses with the animated faces, every chance I got. And I saved my allowance. I saved it for more than six months, until I finally had enough to send away for my little seahorse family.
These were the days before the internet search, pay pal, or worldly children who could google any product and read customer reviews. I had to rely solely on my own good judgment. I counted my cash and with the completed order form, dropped it into a stamped envelope I’d pilfered from my mom, and joyfully mailed it on my way to school. It took seven weeks for my package to arrive, and sparing you the details, let’s suffice it to say, boy, did I feel stupid! It cured me forever of lusting after products advertised on the back of comic book covers.
With the glow of maturity, I’m now much more judicious about where I put my money. I no longer expect miracles from enticing advertising offerings. I’m a freelance writer and I have lots of deadlines to meet, and a novel to work on…. I keep procrastinating
on that damned thing….. Oh, just let me check my email before I get into another writing session. Hey! check this out. I’ll bet it’s the answer to all my procrastination woes – “Featured Webinar: Write Your Novel in 90 Days”. Hmmmmm….. Do I still have time to register?