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A Perfect Summer

Mindfulness forgotten

By David MarsdenPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

I read all my emails. I do not know why. My mother says it is because I am afraid to miss anything. My oldest daughter believes it is because I am OCD. My wife thinks (tongue in cheek) I am looking for the answer to the mystery of life.

Whatever the reason is for me compulsively opening everything that appears in my inbox—I got what I deserved today:

Dear Sir,

Summer is here at last! And, by taking full advantage of our ACCESS Cheques, you can open a whole new world of summer possibilities:

*Give your family a dream vacation in the sun or rent a corner of heaven at that lakeside cottage.

*Finance the purchase of a used recreational vehicle, an ATV, motorcycle, electric mountain bike, sailboat, trailer, motor home…a convertible? Why not?

*Give in to your cravings to own the treasures you find when browsing at antique and second-hand shops.

Here is a sensible and economical way to take advantage of the brief summer season that we wait for all year long.

The email is signed by Timothy somebody—Chief Development Officer—from some bank I have never heard of. I read on to see that I have been approved for $15,000.

There is a cute P.S.: We hope this very practical tool will make summer ‘a really hot one’.

Who are these people??

How do they know I live in Vancouver where sunshine is at a premium?

How do they know I have been dreaming of throwing away wads of cash I do not have on many of these things?

Th attached cheques seem cute, innocuous, but they beckon to me with pale, pastel backgrounds of children playing next to rolling surf, silhouettes of sailing ships under puffy white clouds and a couple lazily parked under a beach umbrella in a Corona-like ad.

It would be soooo easy to use one of these suckers and hit the road!

I slowly pull the cover down on my laptop.

There is one thing these people do not know. I had just got my summer psyche in line.

Here I was, just before opening this email from the Devil, content with the thoughts of spending a quiet summer around the house—you know—doing the garden thing, fixing whatever had fallen apart over last winter, BBQing myself into a smoky stupor…all those fun things poor people do over the long, hot days of summer.

But now, all that was thrashed!

There would be no sandy beach for my daughters to frolic on. My wife would have to content herself with last summer’s wardrobe.

My self-esteem hit rock bottom and kept falling .

I was a loser.

A non-provider.

A financial eunuch.

What fools these people in the Business Development Office were! Instead of making me excited about being able to live out my fantasy summer through their cozy cheques, they had crushed me! Taken a summer that was going to be at least ‘okay’ and ruined the whole goddamn thing.

My despair quickly turned to anger. How dare these people do this.

Invade my home!

Expose my financial inadequacies!

Ruin tonight’s BBQ.

There must be some kind of law they are breaking.

I mean, after all, aren’t there laws preventing us from seeing people drinking alcohol in commercials? Is it not a crime to lure someone into prostitution? So how is it these people get to send me an email inviting me to go into debt?

If I took their advice it would literally be ‘a really red-hot summer’—awash in a sea of red ink on my outstanding balance line.

My hand went for my cell. I know! I will call the Better Business Bureau and lodge a complaint against these financial interlopers who surely are the root of the impending Financial Armageddon I have seen so many financial analysts refer to on business television.

I’ll fix these bastards!

My hand’s journey was cut short by my youngest daughter, who entered the kitchen through the patio door.

“Look Daddy!” she cried, holding a jar with a beautiful butterfly inside.

Distracted by my rage, I made some inane comment about the beauty of nature and forced a smile. She turned quickly on her heels and ran outside to look for more exciting things in the backyard.

I watched her skipping around and around—holding the jar and its contents above her head.

I turned and returned to the email, wondering at what age I had lost the true meaning of summer.


About the Creator

David Marsden

An Educator for 40+ years.

Hiker, biker, kayaker, tennis player, gym rat and grumpy old man.

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