It's my personal policy to keep reality at arm's length, and the longer the arm the better.
I mean this is the same policy that kept my childhood filled with fun fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wizard of Oz; and playground games like Ring Around the Rosy. Never mind that we're talking some pretty dark stuff here; stuff like cannibalism, child predators, terrifying storms & lost children; or that we were dancing around the playground reenacting a killer disease and laughing about it. No, I didn't have to worry about all that stuff because reality was safely tucked away over there on the sidelines.
Good times! And I see no real advantage in giving that up now that I'm 'grown'. In fact I think an abundance of reality should make the American Medical Association's list of things that are really bad for you. After all, if I let in too much reality the flaws in the stuff coming out of my shop would be downright depressing; my enjoyment of a TV show purported to take place in Austin Texas but with California hills in the background of most every exterior shot would be shattered; and when I looked at myself naked in the mirror - well, actually, best not to look at yourself naked in the mirror after a certain age, best to just close your eyes and remember what you used to look like naked in the mirror before you were a certain age. . .
But this morning reality reached out and grabbed me by the balls and hasn't let go yet!
Yesterday, as I was signing for a loaner car to use as my van was serviced, (Mercedes service might be expensive but they do serve it well lubed with plush waiting rooms stocked with snacks and drinks, personalized service and readily handed out $50,000 loaner cars.) it was pointed out that my driver's license had expired last month.
Being the law-abiding citizen I am, first thing this morning I drove into town to correct that oversight. Of course if I really was all that law-abiding I guess I would have had someone else sitting behind the wheel rather than driving myself in on an expired license, so I guess I would have to remove all that 'law-abiding' crap; if I didn't keep reality at a distance that is. . .
Anyway - being a small town office, the process of renewing my license was pretty simple and quick and friendly. (When I was working and I, and all my co-workers, needed to maintain valid passports because of all the travel we did, we would regularly drive 50 miles outside the city to a small town passport office where we weren't treated with disdain, disrespect and (Insert the 'dis' word of your choice here.)) But this morning, when the clerk handed me my temporary license, complete with grainy, black & white photo, reality sunk it's pointy little claws deep into my gonads!
You know those mug shots of the week the local paper publishes in order to shame it's citizens into goodness? I'm one of those mug shots!!! Where the hell did I get all those chins! And when did I get so jowley? (Not jolly, jowley; you know, all those extra saggy bits hanging off my face.) My ears stick out, my eyes are beady, my nose is crooked! Hell, if I ran into myself in a dark parking lot I'd piss my pants!
You know that 'only a mother could love' line?? I just found out they were talking about me!!!
I let my guard down, reality snuck in, and now it's going to take weeks to repair the damage and regain my non-reality vision of myself. In the mean-time I guess I'll have to wear my hat low and limit the public's exposure to the hideousness as much as possible.