Contributed by Hillary Saffran
Recycling is more than a trend these days – it’s become part of our daily life, as we see recycle bins in offices, homes and businesses. However, I realized recently that I’ve been recycling all my life – the same twenty pounds over and over, the same jokes that my grandmother told me 45 years ago and the same junk mail that keeps recycling in my mailbox, year in and year out.
I recall seeing old boyfriends being recycled from my high school and college days on Facebook with smiling wives named, Buffy, and 2.2 children, as well as recycled laugh lines that refuse to leave. I wish my bank account would recycle, or rather become a giant landfill full of huge deposits of cash; but alas, that’s probably a recycled dream.
Looking back on my youth, I am convinced that the arguments that I had with my parents were definitely recycled. The same themes were repeated over and over, like socks circling in a dryer.
Can you identify with this? If so, I’ll meet you at the grand opening of my new thrift store, Recycling R Us. Nah, I’m just kidding; but this definitely reminds me of the period in my life when I tried online dating. I witnessed more recycled profile lies and photoshopped pictures than a press conference of Congress.
The irony is that I know many happy couples that met this way, on websites such as Pleaselethimnotbeaserialkiller.com, Thisisnotmyface.com and Areyoukiddingme.com – all recycled matches, from one couple that worked out, then didn’t work out, then rematched and supposedly worked out better this time.
Since I work in the employment field, I see this all day long with job seekers. It seems that many employees recycle themselves in jobs, thinking that the next one will be better. Since I’m of a “certain age” and have been a participant in the working world for many years, I am no longer convinced that the grass is greener, the copier toner prettier or the coworkers less disillusioned on the other side of the file cabinet. I guess I’ve recycled my expectations, but into what, I am not really sure.
This is why I think that expressing oneself, whether it be in the form of an article, a podcast, a book, whatever form, is such a wonderful outlet for recycled ideas and frustrations. Perhaps laughter is just recycled cynical flatulence that became gleeful expressive breathing in an optimistic style. Perhaps the dust in my house is recycled spider poop that refuses to die. Perhaps it is way too late to write this, which is why I think it’s funny; but it’s hard to tell because the Matanuska wind is drowning out my breathing, my thinking and any flatulence remaining on my recycled body.
I was wondering why I am so focused on the word, flatulence. I think it’s from all those times at the gym exercising on the elliptical watching those pharmaceutical commercials. You know the ones. Good looking seniors playing golf without dialogue, while the voice in the background says, “Be sure to check with your doctor before taking this ridiculously expensive medication. Side effects include, but are not limited to, insanity, repeated obscene gestures and extreme flatulence. Deaths of one out of three users have also been reported.” Then the commercial zooms in on the handsome silver-haired seniors laughing and kissing in wedded bliss.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me want to recycle my gym membership. Maybe it’s time that I make a commercial about my life:
“Hello. I am an empty nester. I am through with recycling my guilt about all the parental mistakes that I have made while raising my children. I am through with beating myself up about all my poor life choices in the past. It’s time to bag it and move on.”
Oops, I think there will be a fine coming if I don’t use a hemp bag made from recycled caribou kidneys. Actually, kidneys are not recycled, but the word, kidney, begins with a “K” and there was a movie with Walter Matthau a million years ago where he expounds on the fact that words beginning with “K” are funnier. So there. I told you my jokes were recycled.
About Hillary Saffran:
Hillary Saffran works in social services and is also an entertainer and author of the books “Laughing in the Rain – Self Care for the Storms of Life” and “Boomer Haiku and more Random Silliness.”