As my wife and I sat in Memorial Park in beautiful downtown Colorado Springs gazing up at the exploding color of the fourth of July’s night sky something hit us. We sat on one of my wife’s equally beautiful hand-made quilts, arm in arm, snuggled up in the grass as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic belted out brilliant synchronized tunes ranging from the 1812 Overture to the theme from Star Wars as shells exploded in brilliant hues all around us.
Yet the peaceful, hopeful, and patriotic scene of our newly wedded bliss was then, for a moment, sharply shattered as a couple trudged quickly in front of us. Some guy was practically dragging his girlfriend/wife/whatever away as if she were his dog or child from the festivities as fast as he could while she stared longingly behind her back towards the night sky. My wife leaned in close to say, “There goes THAT guy,” and moments later the grand finale of light and sound began.
This specimen of study, referred to as “THAT guy” is something to be publicly booed. THAT guy, is the person that always shuffles away early from the movie theater, concert, sporting event or even 4th of July fireworks in order to get to his car and beat the traffic. The kind of fellow that harbors so much hatred for half-hour inconvenience that he has missed every encore, every climax, and every grand finale. He’s the kind of guy that schedules his fun down to the minute, and is always focused on the next thing on the agenda.
The truth is that this has turned into a nation of being “that guy.” He might as well be on our flag. Our fun and leisure is carefully calculated and controlled. We damn well better stop relaxing at four so that we can make dinner, and then better gobble down dinner so we can get to the show, and then run from the show early so that we can get back home because we have an engagement at eight the next morning. Run, run, run. Hustle, hustle, hustle.
It’s time for this great nation of ours to slow down and smell the fireworks, roses, and food we sit before at night. When I was young I could remember restaurants often took close to an hour to prepare food, which is why they always supplied rolls or crackers and cheese spread. Now a waitress has to worry about his/her declining tip count if she can’t charge and return the credit card to a customer within 2.5 minutes after their last bite – because they have shit to do. Would you like some after-dinner coffee? HAHAHA! NO! I am a super important person that is just busy, busy, busy! Because we now measure schedules like penises.
Each and every one of us have only one appointment in life, and that’s with the Reaper. An appointment we can’t back out of and have no need of rushing to. Which is why we must always wait for the encore – because we don’t get one. And my god, think of the children! (right?) When you rush away from things you are teaching another generation that schedules, not enjoyment, are what matter.
We waited in the park that night, my lovely wife and I, after the fireworks were over for the crowds to clear a bit before heading for the motorcycle. And as we crossed the park, we passed a teenage couple sucking face with wild abandon right in the middle of the once packed grassland. They cared not one bit about the fireworks being over or that most had already left. They smooched about as if that moment would never end. And I chuckled, thinking about the guy dragging his love away just half an hour ago – likely now in nowhere near the same position.
She’s never impressed by beating traffic fella.
We all need a few more kisses and a few more moments to hold onto, and those never fit in a day planner. Slow down America, it’s a dance, not a race.
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