I have a favorite Avon fragrance called “Rare Pearls,” which smells a lot like my all time favorite fragrance, Liz Taylor’s “White Diamonds.” Sure, I try other colognes from time to time, but when I come back to “Rare Pearls” it’s like slipping into a tailor-made dress. It’s my signature scent.
Every now and then, Avon offers deals on fragrance sets that include the cologne, shower gel and body lotion. What a treat for me, when I am able to indulge in a “Rare Pearls” scented shower, followed by massaging the scented lotion onto my dried arms and legs, and capping it off with strategic squirts of the cologne. A “Rare Pearls” trifecta.
So imagine my surprise one recent morning, when I opened a new tube “Rare Pearls” shower gel and went to lather myself in luxurious bubbles…only to find that it wouldn’t lather. I tried squirting a more generous amount onto my bath scrunchie in the hopes of creating more suds, but the result was disappointing. At least the scent was pleasing, I reasoned.
Next day, same thing. No lather to speak of. I even tried being even more generous with the amount I applied to the scrunchie than the day before, and only saw a slight improvement. At this rate, I’d be going through the entire tube after four or five showers. Dislike.
On day three I decided that maybe I would have make Avon aware of my dissatisfaction. I looked at the label to see how many ounces the tube contained so I could provide specific information about the product to the company–when I saw that it was actually “Rare Pearls” lotion, not shower gel, that I’d been squeezing the living daylights out of these last three days.
I had been trying to get lather out of something that wasn’t made for that purpose.
And I thought, looking at the tube–poor thing. Here I’d been annoyed with the product for three mornings, when it had actually been my fault that it wasn’t meeting my expectations. I had been trying to turn it into something it was not.
This made me think–how often do we do that when it comes to the people or circumstances in our lives? How frequently do we set expectations of others, only to be disappointed or frustrated when those expectations aren’t met? Or get frustrated with a situation that is beyond our ability to control when, in actuality, what we’re expecting might be unreasonable or unrealistic?
Even more perplexing, how often do we do that to ourselves? Try to make ourselves be, do or behave in a manner that just isn’t in our DNA?
It’s like trying to get body lotion to behave like shower gel. It’s a whole lot of wasted effort.
How much easier life is when we stop trying to jam square pegs into round holes.
Yes, I’ve sort of written about this before, this topic of how we react when life is not meeting our expectations. But this realization that so many of us also do that to ourselves–twist our personalities like some sort of mental contortionist in order to fit the expectations of others–is another how do you do altogether.
Not that I’m advising that we should be totally oblivious to the wants, needs and expectations of others. But when we constantly pay more attention to those external expectations than to our own wants and needs, or try to fit into a situation that goes against our personal grain, we eventually find ourselves rubbed raw.
Or as playwright Raymond Hull so perfectly put it, “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”
Because no matter how hard you squeeze a tube of lotion, you can’t really make it produce much of a lather. And in the long run, no matter how hard we try to squeeze ourselves into someone else’s mold, we’re not going to fit–at least not comfortably.
This is a lesson I wished I’d learned years ago, in almost every area of my life. Or maybe it is just one of the lessons I was supposed to learn during this lifetime.
If that’s true, then I damn well plan on carrying that lesson into the next lifetime, that’s for sure.
How about you?
Writer, serial blogger and small business marketing consultant Mary Anne Hahn believes that there’s a reason old dreams don’t want to die. They want you to pursue them…make them real. They are what you are here to do. Mary Anne resides in Syracuse, New York and maintains websites at http://writesuccess.com , http://thewordgenie.com and http://boomerswhomeanbusiness.com .