Vanity, Vanity, All is Vanity I know that there is a good chance I am going to be found dead someday upside down. Unlike St. Peter, who proved his holiness dying in such a position, my death is going to be all about vanity.   Maybe I should explain. I have a wee bit of a problem with vanity. I think we all do. Our economy would come to a grinding halt without it.  Brand is more important than the quality. A few years ago WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets were all the rage, but I doubt Jesus ever looked in a mirror and wondered if his backside looked big in those jeans or stood in front of his closet wondering which shirt best brought out his hue of skin color. “Jesus, you’re definitely an autumn and should be wearing earth tones when healing the sick and laying hands on the lame. Browns just makes your eyes pop when you’re walking on water. I’m telling you, you don’t want a blind man’s first image to be you in a magenta number. You need to avoid lepers. Their white flaky skin is not your cosmetological friend.” Politics more often than not is a vanity contest. Our current president is the physical embodiment of the seven deadly sins, especially vanity, covered in bronzer and urine colored, combed-over, cotton candy hair. It is why he has to lie about crowd sizes, pushing other world leaders out of the way during photo ops, demand that young college basketball players publicly thank him for their freedom, and even has to have the biggest bowl of ice cream at official gatherings. It is why he challenged his Secretary of State to an I.Q. test. If I was South Korea’s little Kim, I would greet the president by saying, “Mr. President, I have never seen such large hands in my life. The women of America must rejoice at having such a masculine, virile leader. Have you lost weight?” South Korea would not need a nuclear program because the president would give him our launch codes.   While not as vane as our elected leader, I have been thinking about buying an inversion table. It’s exercise equipment that you strap in your feet and flip yourself upside down, so all the blood runs to your head. I have been checking Craigslist.  The reason I haven’t pulled the trigger yet? I am incredibly cheap and realize, that like most exercise equipment, in time it will become a very expensive object from which to hang my dress shirts. I will probably break my toe bumping into it during my nightly trips to the bathroom. In turn, I will be trying to resell it on Craigslist hoping some poor sucker comes along to take it off my hands. I am also terrified that I might not be able to turn myself back upright and eventually die in that position. Instead of seeing my life flash before my eyes, the last thing I will see is my bulldog drinking from the toilet before he licks my face for the last few hours of my sad existence. I will end up like the guy trapped upside down in his car after an accident as his Wham! cassette tape played on constant loop for hours until rescuers found him. I also know, it will not matter what I am wearing. I could be in sweatpants or shorts and a t-shirt. At my funeral, a relative will turn to the other and say, “You know, he was found upside down and naked.” The other will reply, “I always knew he was a freak. At least his dog is fat and happy” I know there are numerous health benefits of inversion tables from helping bad backs to improving circulation to respiratory enhancement, but I am shallower than that. When I am lying in my casket, I don’t want to be under six foot tall. Yes, you read that right, I don’t want that old politically incorrect Randy Newman song , “Short People”, to be all about me. Total vanity.   I know a guy, who was a strapping big man most of his life. Well into his golden years, the other day, I saw him in the store.  He was so bent over and shrunken that he would have trouble passing the height requirement to ride a rollercoaster. He looked like he was searching the ground for change he had dropped. I was hoping it was his inner Norwegian introvert coming out late in life. I knew he was becoming, like a lot of old people, the incredible shrinking man.  Instead of feeling bad for him, I thought, “This could happen to me.” I don’t want to be a pair of hands and a top of the head over a steering wheel driving down the street in a few decades. I want to make sure when a woman says, “My eyes are up here,” I am looking at her breasts, not her shoes.    I know it is total vanity. It not like I am going to get to the Pearly Gates and find Ol’ St. Peter standing behind his big, old book, going, “Let me see, I cannot find your name. Give me a second or two. Okay, just a few questions until I find it. How many times did you visit prisoners in jails?” Me: “I avoided those places. I saw one too many prison movies where some guy got an engagement ring from his cellmate named Billy Bob and was always afraid a riot would happen if I visited such a place.” St. Peter: “So, that would be zero. Feeding the hungry?” Me: “Does that include me? Because there were some days when I missed a lunch and my blood sugar got low…” St. Peter: “That is a no. Clothed the naked?” Me: “Well, there was a stripper when I was in my 20s who was so ugly I threw a dollar at her to put clothes on.” St. Peter: “How did you walk upright? Charity?” Me: “No, I think her name was Raven, but I could be wrong.” St. Peter: “No, moron, did you give to charities?” Me: “Well, I am Norwegian…” St. Peter: “So, no on the charity thing, but yes on bring a covered dish to every big social function, funeral, or event… Okay, here is your name… Died still over six-foot tall.  Why didn’t you say so? Let’s get these gates open as quick as possible for you.” Vanity, it makes the world go round. An eight-year-old asked me what was it that I loved about her mom. Children ask such things. I told her that long before she was born, when her mom and I were having a meal at Long John’s Silver’s with my grandparents. My grandfather, the last few years of his life, had the tremors. He was a very pride-filled man and the tremors very tough on him. He had to give up golf, which he loved to play, because these tremors caused such havoc. It affected his driving and most other daily tasks. The meal was over and my grandpa was trying to open up the wet nap wrapper to get to the towelette. For the life of him, he couldn’t. It was embarrassing for him. I looked at the eight-year-old and said, “Your mom quietly reached across the table, took the wet nap packet out of his hands, opened it, and then gently washed each of his fingers. All the stress left my grandfather’s face. He was able to maintain his dignity in that crowded restaurant, which he needed so badly to make it through the day. Neither thought anyone saw what happened. I saw your mom for the first time. I’m talking who she really was inside, where it matters. It is in the little moments of life that we show who we really are and they are the ones that matter most.”     Vanity of vanities, maybe not all is vanity?
Vanity, Vanity, All is Vanity I know that there is a good chance I am going to be found dead someday upside down. Unlike St. Peter, who proved his holiness dying in such a position, my death is going to be all about vanity.   Maybe I should explain. I have a wee bit of a problem with vanity. I think we all do. Our economy would come to a grinding halt without it.  Brand is more important than the quality. A few years ago WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets were all the rage, but I doubt Jesus ever looked in a mirror and wondered if his backside looked big in those jeans or stood in front of his closet wondering which shirt best brought out his hue of skin color. “Jesus, you’re definitely an autumn and should be wearing earth tones when healing the sick and laying hands on the lame. Browns just makes your eyes pop when you’re walking on water. I’m telling you, you don’t want a blind man’s first image to be you in a magenta number. You need to avoid lepers. Their white flaky skin is not your cosmetological friend.” Politics more often than not is a vanity contest. Our current president is the physical embodiment of the seven deadly sins, especially vanity, covered in bronzer and urine colored, combed-over, cotton candy hair. It is why he has to lie about crowd sizes, pushing other world leaders out of the way during photo ops, demand that young college basketball players publicly thank him for their freedom, and even has to have the biggest bowl of ice cream at official gatherings. It is why he challenged his Secretary of State to an I.Q. test. If I was South Korea’s little Kim, I would greet the president by saying, “Mr. President, I have never seen such large hands in my life. The women of America must rejoice at having such a masculine, virile leader. Have you lost weight?” South Korea would not need a nuclear program because the president would give him our launch codes.   While not as vane as our elected leader, I have been thinking about buying an inversion table. It’s exercise equipment that you strap in your feet and flip yourself upside down, so all the blood runs to your head. I have been checking Craigslist.  The reason I haven’t pulled the trigger yet? I am incredibly cheap and realize, that like most exercise equipment, in time it will become a very expensive object from which to hang my dress shirts. I will probably break my toe bumping into it during my nightly trips to the bathroom. In turn, I will be trying to resell it on Craigslist hoping some poor sucker comes along to take it off my hands. I am also terrified that I might not be able to turn myself back upright and eventually die in that position. Instead of seeing my life flash before my eyes, the last thing I will see is my bulldog drinking from the toilet before he licks my face for the last few hours of my sad existence. I will end up like the guy trapped upside down in his car after an accident as his Wham! cassette tape played on constant loop for hours until rescuers found him. I also know, it will not matter what I am wearing. I could be in sweatpants or shorts and a t-shirt. At my funeral, a relative will turn to the other and say, “You know, he was found upside down and naked.” The other will reply, “I always knew he was a freak. At least his dog is fat and happy” I know there are numerous health benefits of inversion tables from helping bad backs to improving circulation to respiratory enhancement, but I am shallower than that. When I am lying in my casket, I don’t want to be under six foot tall. Yes, you read that right, I don’t want that old politically incorrect Randy Newman song , “Short People”, to be all about me. Total vanity.   I know a guy, who was a strapping big man most of his life. Well into his golden years, the other day, I saw him in the store.  He was so bent over and shrunken that he would have trouble passing the height requirement to ride a rollercoaster. He looked like he was searching the ground for change he had dropped. I was hoping it was his inner Norwegian introvert coming out late in life. I knew he was becoming, like a lot of old people, the incredible shrinking man.  Instead of feeling bad for him, I thought, “This could happen to me.” I don’t want to be a pair of hands and a top of the head over a steering wheel driving down the street in a few decades. I want to make sure when a woman says, “My eyes are up here,” I am looking at her breasts, not her shoes.    I know it is total vanity. It not like I am going to get to the Pearly Gates and find Ol’ St. Peter standing behind his big, old book, going, “Let me see, I cannot find your name. Give me a second or two. Okay, just a few questions until I find it. How many times did you visit prisoners in jails?” Me: “I avoided those places. I saw one too many prison movies where some guy got an engagement ring from his cellmate named Billy Bob and was always afraid a riot would happen if I visited such a place.” St. Peter: “So, that would be zero. Feeding the hungry?” Me: “Does that include me? Because there were some days when I missed a lunch and my blood sugar got low…” St. Peter: “That is a no. Clothed the naked?” Me: “Well, there was a stripper when I was in my 20s who was so ugly I threw a dollar at her to put clothes on.” St. Peter: “How did you walk upright? Charity?” Me: “No, I think her name was Raven, but I could be wrong.” St. Peter: “No, moron, did you give to charities?” Me: “Well, I am Norwegian…” St. Peter: “So, no on the charity thing, but yes on bring a covered dish to every big social function, funeral, or event… Okay, here is your name… Died still over six-foot tall.  Why didn’t you say so? Let’s get these gates open as quick as possible for you.” Vanity, it makes the world go round. An eight-year-old asked me what was it that I loved about her mom. Children ask such things. I told her that long before she was born, when her mom and I were having a meal at Long John’s Silver’s with my grandparents. My grandfather, the last few years of his life, had the tremors. He was a very pride-filled man and the tremors very tough on him. He had to give up golf, which he loved to play, because these tremors caused such havoc. It affected his driving and most other daily tasks. The meal was over and my grandpa was trying to open up the wet nap wrapper to get to the towelette. For the life of him, he couldn’t. It was embarrassing for him. I looked at the eight-year-old and said, “Your mom quietly reached across the table, took the wet nap packet out of his hands, opened it, and then gently washed each of his fingers. All the stress left my grandfather’s face. He was able to maintain his dignity in that crowded restaurant, which he needed so badly to make it through the day. Neither thought anyone saw what happened. I saw your mom for the first time. I’m talking who she really was inside, where it matters. It is in the little moments of life that we show who we really are and they are the ones that matter most.”     Vanity of vanities, maybe not all is vanity?