Forward Living: Quick fixes — they aren’t worth it

One Friday morning before heading to work, I decided to vacuum the house — bad decision. My house was neat and clean, but I was expecting company that evening. I habitually eat pistachios while watching TV and my obsessive self had to make certain no stray shells were hiding out under the couch. Who would look under the couch? You’d be surprised!

Right in the middle of vacuuming the wand-thingy snapped in half. Don’t ask — don’t know! Unfortunately, it caused the Celia-nator to emerge. I uttered some unpublishable words and then, “bam,” a brainstorm: Why not use the sticky magic tape that was in the garage to hold the wand-thingy together?

Trying to get the tape around the wand was an exercise in futility. Five minutes later the sticky tape was stuck on my hand and ultimately attached itself to my hair. I needed to get a new vacuum, plain and simple.

Folks, buying a vacuum is as exciting as Wonder Bread and not on my list of priorities. Different story, however, if I broke the heel of my favorite red shoes. Nevertheless, it was a quick fix and most of us know that quick fixes sometimes don’t work or may make things worse.

People engage in quick fixes regularly.

Back in the day, CliffsNotes were popular; nowadays it’s SparkNotes. Same premise. I’ve always been a voracious reader and love literature, but, admittedly, when pressed for time one semester, I read the CliffNotes version of “The Scarlet Letter.” When I ultimately read the book, I was amazed by all the nuances I’d missed.

Gals, did you every try Crazy Glue to fix a broken nail instead of going to the nail salon? I did this a few times, until that quick fix resulted in the glue seeping into the nail bed, causing an infection. My doctor had the presence of mind to keep his face neutral.

While on vacation in the Caribbean I noticed a guy heading toward the ocean for a swim. He had a full head of black hair. When he emerged there was “black stuff” running down his shoulders and streaking his back. His black hair was noticeably thinner and patchy. I couldn’t take my eyes off him; I’m sure he read me wrong (he pulled in his gut) until he looked in the mirror.

There are some big-time quick fixes that we use to block our emotional pain and these categorically don’t work. Lives are put on the line, relationships crumble, hearts are broken and irreparable damage done.

Our brothers and sisters in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous confirm that folks will succumb to alcohol or drug addiction to quell their emotional pain. It can be easier than to look inside and deal with the pain — sometimes the pain of a lifetime. When they courageously look inward, they find the pain has been alive and well, wreaking havoc in their psyches and souls. No quick fix here; it takes a lot of work and dedication to remain clean.

Relationships or marriages can go through rocky patches. Perhaps boredom sets in and one craves the excitement of something new. Maybe outside stressors or something internal within the relationship is fueling malcontent: “He doesn’t understand me; she ignores me”— the petty kind of tug-of-war that can chip away at a relationship. Smart couples seek counseling. Not-so-smart folks seek comfort by having an affair. The one who never gets caught has to look in the mirror daily. The other? Caught is caught! No quick fix here.

Although I don’t relate to psychics or mediums, Australian psychic and medium Jacquelene Close Moore is on the money when she writes: “Life is too precious, too important, too short for quick fixes that in the end fix nothing and from which we learn nothing except that we have wasted our time trying to find happiness in short cuts.”

My take? Quick fixes can be tried and true or shifty and despicable. But in either case, they have a short shelf life.

IannelliMs. Iannelli is a resident of Jamesport.

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