Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Gifts

OK kids, I'm not going to sugar coat this; sometimes life can hand you a big steaming pile of crap.  No.  Wait.  Sometimes life can shoot a big steaming pile of crap at you, out of a canon, when you're wearing dry clean only clothes, and suede shoes you paid retail for.  Life can be a bitch.  No matter how much you try to see the sun through a clouds, it's still raining and your umbrella just turned inside out.  It's easy to get down in the mouth; it's easy to want a life other than your own because the universe just isn't cooperating.  No matter how wonderfully simple it is to let yourself think like that, don't do it.   

 Instead of allowing yourself to grow content with discontent, think about the good things in your life.  The things that are easily forgotten and utterly common, but for a moment, or a day, make you smile; the Sunday comics and the way they've smelled the same since you were a kid, the dog that loves going with you to Starbucks on a Spring evening, the phone call from a friend you haven't spoken with in ages.  Welcome opportunities to be happy; be aware of the little gifts that are there for the taking if you allow yourself to see them.  Live in those small moments and make them just as significant as those unpleasant times we all tend to let rule our days.

Case in point; when I was in Pasadena with Alma (See my earlier post on The Folk Tree for more) we pulled into the Vroman's parking lot, wanting nothing more than a pleasant visit to a favorite shop to round out or day, when we were overcome with delight at what lay before us: an Ice Cream Truck giving away Ice Cream.  Ice Cream.  For free.  For us.  Just because.       

Firefox, the web browser, partnered with the ultra hip, ultra good, Coolhaus and their Ice Cream Truck to sponsor a PR/Community outreach event.  They were travelling around the LA area promoting the brand and giving away Ice Cream Sandwiches as a symbol of good will.  As it happened, that day was the day to be in Pasadena behind Vroman's.  It was a little gift, just for us.

The Hipster ice cream man and a party of two.
 Kids, parents, students all waited patiently in line to order their treats.  A man in a knit cap took their orders at the window as arms passed out the finished product through the rear door with the call of a name.  Wrapped in a ribbon of edible paper, two soft baked cookies held in place gourmet ice cream in flavors like Horchata, Dirty Mint Chip and Blood Orange Sorbet.

Firefox was even there for photo op's, or rather, a guy dressed up like Firefox was there.  Of course I fell victim to the thrill of having my photo taken with an anthropomorphic fox in a parking lot behind a bookstore on a Saturday afternoon in Pasadena.  Who wouldn't?!

Le Menu.  Special varieties for the Firefox promotion.
I had the Awesome Bar, Alma the Beta.
It's things like this that make life a little better.  We're all so serious, our days filled with endless phone calls to people we don't want to talk to, our nights nothing more than an all too brief respite from paid monotony.  We intentionally strap on blinders that allow us only to see the unpleasant situations we have to face.  Will there ever be anything else?  Any relief?  Any alternative?  Yes, but we have to create the opportunity, we must be the catalyst in our own lives.  We prevent ourselves from seeing what else is out there.  I'm not saying we should deny responsibility or dedicate ourselves to avoidance techniques, but there's a lot more going on in this world that just spirit crushing drudgery, and it's OK to be happy.

Maybe we should treat every day like it's Saturday.  On Saturday, the world is yours.  You're free to live.  Good things just seem to happen on Saturdays.  Fun happens on Saturdays.  People smile and the weather is always perfect, whether it's pouring rain or hotter than hell, it's perfect beause it's Saturday.  Try to imagine a week of Saturdays, exude Saturday's spirit and charms, see what happens.  Look for opportunities in your war-torn day to smile, to make someone else smile, to make a memory.  Your day will go faster, you'll feel better, and you just may find an Ice Cream truck in your parking lot.
- Ian

PS - For those in the Westside, rejoice.  Coohaus is slated to open a brick and mortar Ice Cream Shop in Culver City very soon.  For more info, click here.

The google-y eyed Firefox stares
back at you from the wrapper.
It's just the right amount of
branding and adorability.
Dirty Mint Chip ice cream with Fudge Cookies. 
The addition of sea salt as a garnish
cut the sweetness and emphasized the
Minty flavor of the ice cream.

One of the arms, embellished.

1 comment:

  1. @ian, as i pack up to move to our 2nd temporary corporate housing due to the total lack of livable apartments available for a reasonable price in silicon valley, i paused to read your post on our very special blog and i couldn't help but smile. thanks friend for helping me see cashmere when i'm surrounded by lycra. xo -catherine