Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Abuse. It's an aquired taste...............

Saturday, Corrine and I went to one of her favorite places, Capitola. I think it's important that we all have our "get-aways". There are just some places that you visit for the first time and feel as if you are coming "home". There are 2 such places for me, Monterey and Montreal. I've never been to Monte Carlo but I wonder if there's something in the name? Anyway, we stopped at a wonderful (non-pretentious) beach grill that had outdoor seating on the beach. I ordered up 2 Cosmopolitans and a Heineken. Corrine had never had a Martini before and I had only had 2 about 15 years ago. The Heineken was backup.

Being a kid growing up in the 50's and 60's I always had a strange connection with the lifestyles culture and art of the 40's. I'm quite an "Art Decco" fan. One such icon from that era is the Top Hat, Cane and Martini. Throw in Fred Astaire,Ginger Rogers,Glenn Miller a couple of pink flamingos, Ivory tables and an ebony dancefloor with a mirror ball suspended from the ceiling and your stage is set for a wonderful evening. Every scene in a 40's movie would undoubtedly showcase these Icons with the men in Tuxedos and the women in long dresses with gloves that came up above the elbow. The man would be holding a martini and the woman a cigarette at the end of a long holder. So in going with this trend, I felt it was time to give Martinis another chance.

Yesterday, I stopped and bought a small bottle of "Absolute" Vodka and the Vermuth to go with it. Of course I needed the Icon Martini Glasses and Olives as well. In an attempt to be as cool and suave as Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra, I made 2 of the most textbook Martinis I'd ever seen.

Problem was, they tasted like lighter fluid. We were only able to finish the one set of drinks then it was time for an early bedtime. Now my liver is very educated. Keep in mind I was a sailer that sailed to the orient. I've drank everything from Absenth to Anejo. But my experience with the Martini was far from elegant.

This led me to wonder why I see people leaving grocery stores with a gallon of Vodka under each arm. The taste of Vodka is barely palatable which led me to wonder why people do other things that seem counter-intuitive.

Smoking was the first thing that came to mind. The analogy seemed very close. I don't know many people that light up for sake of inhaling a carcinogen for it's "flavor". It is a form of self-abuse that we develop an "aquired taste" for.

Coffee is another. Millions of Americans are hooked on Caffien. Unlike cigarettes, we can hide the bitter repugnant taste of coffee with sugar, cream, chocolate, steamed milk and a pleathora of other flavors ranging from caramel to strawberry. (and don't forget the whipped cream) The goal is to become caffinated. I know. I have a 1.95 a day habit myself. Caffien is still another version of self-abuse. Instead of working out at the gym to develop the beta-endorphins; we stand in line and recite our order ......."Grande, with room blah blah blah". Then you go wait in another line.

Sadly enough, people that are raised with abusive parents tend to have the same great obstacles to overcome as they percieve "abuse" as "love". Ask almost any woman at a battered woman's shelter if one of their parents were abusive and you'll get a logical explanation as to why they select, endure and stay with abusive spouses.

What is the logic in copitulating to this abuse? Does it come from a lack of self-esteem? AnthonyRobbins teaches that people are motivated by 2 principals. They are attracted to pleasure; and avoid pain. This explains the great obesity epidemic America is facing. The pleasure from eating poorly or quicky outweighs the pain from dieting or eating healthy and even the pleasure of having a desirable body. To quote Matthew Kelly " If you owned a million dollar race horse; Would you let him eat at McDonalds?"

The physical or mental pain from an abusive relationship outweighs the loneliness of no relationship.

10 minutes in line and a 1.95 outweighs an hour of sweaty excercise 3 to 4 times a week.

My favorite quote is from Dr. Stephen R. Covey. Three simple sentences that can change your life:

1. Between stimulous and response there lies a space.

2. And in that space lies our opportunity to respond.

3. How we choose to respond determines our future.

Aquiring a taste for something that clearly is "distasteful", is often another way of saying "Aquiring a tolerance for abuse". This distastfulness should make you ask yourself why you are really engaging in this act. Sure, it could be as innocent as learning to appreciate "Wasabi" or "Anchovies". Or it could be your insecureties rationalizing short term pleasures for long term defeat.

Choose to be good to yourself and see the big picture.

Ace out....................


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