Zooming along in my car, I hummed along with Mick Jagger. Then I paid a little attention to what he was singing, and the words hit home. He’s right: you can’t always get what you want. I have almost NEVER gotten what I want.
In grade school, what I wanted was a bike. My Dad, in wisdom that he acquired from a spurious source, informed me that I could only get a bike if I learned how to ride one. How, in heaven’s name, I wondered, would I be able to achieve learning how to ride one WITHOUT A BIKE? But I was determined, and I learned on my friend’s bike, which was missing a pedal, and every time I tried to mount the thing and balance, that pedal spike gouged me in the calf. Bruised and battered, I triumphed, and Dad did get me a very nice, used Schwinn, with blue streamers coming out of the handle bar holders. I learned very little from this “lesson,” and you can be sure that MY KIDS had bikes even before they learned how to ride!
In high school, it was a BOYFRIEND that I wanted. There were many candidates, but they all shared one thing in common: none of them wanted ME as a girlfriend. There was the dark and handsome popular guy, the tall and skinny but brilliant one, the President of the Senior Class, etc. I never got to go steady. I never got to have a “song” with anybody. Nobody put romantic entries in my yearbook. I had a few escapades, but nothing worth writing HERE about, that is for sure! And I had to go to my senior prom WITH MY BEST FRIEND’S BIG BROTHER.
As a young mother, all I wanted was peace and quiet. I had delightful children, as children go. But clearly, all children come loaded with energy, verve, loud little screechy voices, and dirty faces. Child maintenance requires more energy and enthusiasm than I could keep up at a steady pace, and there were days when I just wanted to be able to take a NAP, for Pete’s sake!
As a career woman, I wanted SUCCESS. I wore a business suit with pearls every day. I wore high heeled shoes that sounded very efficient as they clacked along. I wore off-white PANTY HOSE and big earrings. It was years before I stopped answering the phone at home by saying, “Molly Campbell here.” I yearned to be the very best at what I did. I joined business clubs and associations that had meetings where people brought laptops. There was a measure of success, but nobody out there in the world of commerce remembers me, I am sure!
As a chef, I wanted delicious meals with three ingredients or less, and minimal prep time. Why is it that things that are truly delicious require that ingredients be FINELY diced, when a rough chop is so much easier? Who wants to RICE potatoes? And Foley Food Mills don’t fit in the kitchen drawer! Boiling something is so much easier than sautéing or roasting it. And for goodness sakes, why is it that a soufflé is SO delectable and impossible to make in MY oven?
As a human being, I wanted love. It first came to me in the personage of a slightly nerdy, balding skinny guy with a big smile and lots of silly charm. He was introduced to me on a Friday night, and by Monday, I was hooked. We got married way too fast for our parents’ taste, but forty years later, he still makes me die laughing. The result of this pairing was two hilarious children who keep me from committing fashion faux pas, using slang words that went out in the 60’s, and ordering sissified cocktails in restaurants.
So Mick Jagger is truly a philosopher! Who knew? I have NOT always gotten what I want!
BUT I GOT WHAT I NEEDED.
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