Life is so much more simple for me these days, now that my responsibilities are culled down to maintaining hearth and home, a selective social calendar, and a weekly missive in the form of this column. But even this relatively newfound simplicity is marked with complexities beyond my comprehension, which will be noted with an asterisk below.
Take Monday for example. An ordinary day built around a lunch date with a friend. I got up (not too early, not too late) and proceeded to the kitchen to get the first cup of coffee* of the day. After taking a multi-vitamin* and my morning prescription* for something or other, I moved to the bathroom to begin the ministrations of preparing my face to receive the twice weekly facial* I’ve used for years to provide a lifting effect which is helpful, if only temporary.
The cleanser* I use is the last of those old fashioned heavy creams still on the market that many folks associate with their grandmothers. After a close shave (against the grain to remove all stubble), the pink tightening solution is slathered on bare skin for the recommended 10 minutes, which I routinely expand to 20 or more thinking it will last longer that way.
I take my coffee and cell phone* outside to check social media* for a few minutes, hoping to find lots of pictures of grandbabies, puppies, and lovingly tended gardens with only a smattering of knee-jerk political opinions and humble bragging. With time to spare, I come inside to my PC* to catch a quick game of spades on the internet* on a website* that allows card addicts like me to play with other similarly afflicted folks around the world.
By now, it is time to get in the shower* and start the process of cleaning up and getting ready. The hot water* seems a bit tepid, so I make a mental note to tell Karl to check out the water heater*. After drying off, it’s time to get down to business.
The routine includes the application of a softening lotion*, a daytime serum* for problem areas, a moisturizer*, and the special eye cream* for that sensitive area. (The manufacturer calls it “crème,” which I suspect is only to jack up the price.) Next comes that bewildering assortment of agents* that, in relatively short order, turns the face from “before” to “after.” The promise of extra hold comes spewing from a can of hair spray* that might literally destroy the ozone and one’s lungs in one fell swoop.
Putting on the selected outfit with the chosen accessories (I’m lunching with a lady, after all), I’m off to the restaurant. She takes Uber* everywhere, but I’m driving my late 20th century car*. Confused by the traffic lights*, I have to circle the block before pulling into the right driveway to park. Heading into the restaurant, I press a button on my keychain* to lock the doors.
Lunch, naturally, involves cooking*, yet another area in which I am totally out of my element. After eating a lovely meal spiced with Lord knows what and plenty of girl talk, I press the button again to unlock the car, and I head for home.
Not much to do once I get there, other than purchasing theater tickets online* for A Very Sordid Wedding, in which my friend and colleague Paul J. Williams will appear. (That’s a plug, in case you missed it.) Time for another cup of coffee and a return call to another friend. I still have a landline*, but I prefer to use the remote phone* so I can talk outside. Never mind using my cell phone*, which I rarely use to make calls.
Statistics from the Literacy Project Foundation indicate that the average American reads at the level of a 7th or 8th grader, which means that half of us read at a level below that. Sounds strange, but consider this. While the U. S. Census Bureau reports that 35% of adults 25 or older have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, WorldAtlas has stated that only 15% of the population can read at a bachelor’s level. If less than half of college graduates can read at a college level, no wonder we’re in this mess.
Speaking for myself, I know what I know, and I know what I don’t know. I don’t question farmers, nutritionists, pharmacists, communication engineers, plumbers, electricians, transportation and urban planners, mechanics, or cooks, much less offer them my “input.”
Over the course of our lifetimes, we may be called upon to have faith and trust in any number of professionals, from lawyers to oncologists, from psychologists to cardiologists, from architects to pediatricians.
Is it really asking so much to include virologists and epidemiologists on this laundry list?