"My Pants Are On Fire!"

Yesterday I saw a commercial that said, "Be even more amazing!" I thought, "Yes!" And then I thought, "What does that even mean? If you're amazing, what's wrong with that? And what special qualities and magic powers does this product contain that will increase my amazing quotient?"

Ads have a way of creating a problem where one doesn't exist. Our lives are generally okay. Sure, we might want more of something, but if we got it, pretty soon we'd be wanting more of something else. But ads make us feel like something is wrong with our life. Something shouldn't be the way it is, and this product will set things right.

Ads are fundamental insecurity inducers. I like to think of them as hypnotists that make you believe your pants are on fire and that only they can put out the flames. That's why it's common to shop when we are feeling low. Shopping in stores or online is seen as a cure for boredom, sadness or depression. And for a few minutes it is. Anything new captures our attention. But then the old feelings return. And rather than notice that the cure didn't work, we often think, "My pants are on fire!"

At some point the hypnosis starts to wear off. Since you're reading this, it's probably happening for you. We stop getting caught up in the allure of trying to be a better me. It reminded us too much of a dog chasing its tail. Sooo exhausting. We start to see and appreciate the way things are in us and in our life. It's not giving up. It's enjoying the things we have and are. There are some nice things here.

I saw this poem yesterday that helps sum this up:

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
...they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

-Lucille Clifton