The thrill of the chase

September 28, 2007

Brian Andreas created a painting for my house. It’s a watercolor of a golfer and some goldfish and some other random visuals. The print also features this saying:

“The first time I played golf, I had the most fun throwing bread to the goldfish in the pro shop. It made as much sense as anything else.”

That’s how I feel this morning as I sit in my wing chair staring at the empty spot in my living room that should be full of Vespa. If I look to my left, there’s another empty spot in my house that could also be a Vespa holding space – but it too is empty.

No, I haven’t lost a couple of Vespa’s, I have just failed to win them.

Last night at the Allston Village fundraiser, I sat anxiously with 13 tickets for the drawing. Those 13 tickets failed to jump out of the raffle bin and their corresponding numbers were not read aloud by the organizers.

I didn’t leave the bar with a Vespa, a bike, a second bike, a Razor Scooter or a three-month gym membership. And I’m irked.

But the feeling I have isn’t one of abject disappointment and bitter, bitter, bitter, projected loss. No, it’s actually an empty and aimless gnawing.

I was pumped up to win the Vespa scooter (NOT the Razor), but only because the act of winning makes for a great story and because it’s representative of doing something right…especially in this society.

Where else in the world, other than the United States, do people get credit for having a lucky circumstance? People are applauded for finding a good parking space, finding a dollar on the street, winning a free small fries at McDonalds and even for getting a ‘free’ phone when they reactivate their cell phone plan.

Are we insane? Where has this predominant feeling of having to please other people with our adventures and successes come from?

If I still want a scooter – and a Vespa at that – I can afford one and should just go out and buy it. But from a use perspective and a financial one, my time and money and energy is better spent working on my writing, breathing deeply and enjoying my free time, planning (and paying for) home renovations, and thinking about my next trip to Europe or Hawaii or Chicago or Florida or event Montreal.

Ultimately, I didn’t chase this scooter because I wanted attention. I chased it because of what it represented…an easy way to acquire a bit of status. People might see me in a different way, especially when I put the vanity plate on the scooter to coordinate with the vanity plate on my car. I’m not saying what it would be because I still might buy a scooter.

But the scooter I buy will be the one I decide will give me the most enjoyment as I ride it around town to get my mail and to the beach to take photos and maybe even to the golf course.

And while I’m at the golf course I might even find some goldfish or geese or squirrels to feed. Because that makes as much sense as anything else.

More to come…