Monday, January 14, 2008

Pretty is as pretty does

I was thinking this weekend, in connection with the new year, about what things I might regret if I were to die today. To my shock (and yes, horror) the things that immediately came to mind were that I would regret: never having had a really good haircut, never having found a really comfortable pair of shoes, and never having had a properly fitted bra. When did this child who came of age in the 60s, peace, love and no make-up, become such a consumer? This was not a pretty insight.

I think often about how much we pretend that we are not aware of how our lifestyles affect the future. And then I wonder when my grandchildren will see the 1973 campy-classic movie, Soylent Green, and realize that we did know (or should have known) that we were destroying the world and that, despite that, we continued to buy blackberries from Ecuador, drive SUVs, and worry about our appearance?

And I think, too, about how complex we all are in our denial. Because, in fact, I do not buy out-of-nation fruit or drive a gas guzzler, I dial down my home energy (shiver), I try to be conservative with water and chemicals, I do slow-cooking at home, I support my local pesticide-free farms, I use and wear local products as much as possible, I carry my own shopping bags (no plastic!), I have changed all my lightbulbs to cfls. . . but I do fly to Florida several times a year for no (really) good reason and yes, even at an age when surely it shouldn’t suddenly matter, I am vain. And I did drive unnecessary miles just to go for an unnecessary bra fitting.

Today’s lesson: I need to worry less about the bad eco-choices other people are making and spend more time rethinking my own. I will try to be more mindful of my choices and less tolerant of my impulses. The bra fitting could, at very least, have waited to be part of other necessary errands if it needed to be done at all. And surely there is some local place that knows how to cut my hair!? If, in the Little Red Riding Hood story of my grandchildren's lives, I want to be the Good Grandma instead of the Wicked Wolf, I simply need to do better.

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