Published 9/10/2009
by Eddy Robey M.A.
  Issue: 10.08
Enjoy Every Hour
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Several years ago, during a conversation, it came out that I had never seen a James Bond movie. This did not seem remarkable to me, since the marketing which featured scantily-clad women and shoot-em-up-bang-bang, appeared to be directed toward men. However, the assembled company felt that there was a gaping hole in my cultural awareness, so it was agreed that we'd mount an excursion to remedy the defect.

The next week found me in the theater as the then-current adventure of Agent 007 was about to begin. The lights dimmed, and before the credit began, the screen was filled with an image of a young woman in a bikini bathing suit. In an instant the action began. The lady in question was screaming, whilst being pursued by two large ferocious-looking dogs. They ran into a forest, whence more screaming. I gathered my belongings, told my friends that I'd see them after the show, and left to enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee, until such time as they were able to join me.

That was not the first, and will not be the last, time I've cut short an experience which seemed as though it would be unpleasant. Is this a total intolerance of contemporary entertainment? No, but when something is not enjoyable, I stop doing it. I'm willing to spend money for a good time, but not to waste it for a bad one, hence my occasional added expense for refreshment until a production has ended. No, I don't go about asking for refunds, since the seat cannot be resold, but there is no reason for me to remain anywhere which is not pleasurable.

Yes, I know many folks who are bitter-enders; they remain in place until the final curtain. What have they gained? The right to kvetch afterward seems to me a poor reward for time spent.

So, why am I telling this tale now? Most of my readers are about to spend the new year at various group gatherings. For the most part these will be happy times. Alas, for some they will be tense ordeals. The tension is usually because of conversation which is intrusive or overheated.

Would you rather not discuss your family planning or politics? Then don't do it. If asked a question you'd rather not answer, just say that you'd rather discuss something else. Is your inquisitor insistent? Excuse yourself, and join someone else. Should the group become too loud for your taste, step away for a while, and admire the Autumn sky. Avoid becoming one of those people who say they dread events, and instead become more assertive about your right to enjoy them.

This is the beginning of a new year: a time for thought, forgiveness, and celebration. Now is when we should be acutely appreciative of life, and protective of our right to its joys. Every hour is precious; don't throw them away. Thank you, G-d, for allowing me another year.

Copyright 2009 Eddy Robey

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