The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Give me the simple life?
There's an ad running now on Aussie TV that employs some clever live action footage with a lot of CGI. It showcases several wild animals singing the old standard "Give Me the Simple Life," and that song has been stuck in my head for days. I thought perhaps it was my subconscious mind's way of telling me that my life is too complicated, too urbanized, and I need to simplify things a lot more.

Here are some of the lyrics to that song:

I don't believe in frettin' and grievin';
Why mess around with strife'
I never was cut out to step and strut out.
Give me the simple life.

A cottage small if all I'm after,
Not one that's spacious and wide.
A house that rings with joy and laughter
and the ones you love inside.

... Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeed-y;
Give me the simple life.

So I thought about this more thoroughly. In order to have "the simple life," I would have to give up my job in the city and move back to the country house that my husband and I are currently renting out to other suckers... er, people. That would get rid of my hectic commute on the trains every day, but it means that I will have no phone or electricity, since there isn't a place I can get a job nearby that doesn't pay more than a minimum wage. So, I can leave my job as an online marketing specialist, to work in a little country grocery store for less than half of what I'm making now - that's if there are any jobs that aren't already being filled by the owners' family members and friends. Country towns are why we have the word "nepotism."

So, that leaves me with a small commute, in a cold cottage with no heat or phone, and every month, trying to figure out how to pay the other bills. I suppose we could turn our back lawn into a salvage yard, like several of our neighbours have done. How attractive. Strike One.

Moving back out to the country and living the "simple life" means that I will no longer have a social life. Sure - there are people in the country, but they all go to bed by 9 pm and the ones that stay up later, hang out at the local RSL (Retired Servicemen's League) or bowling club, and play the poker machines and drink until the wee hours. Loads of fun, especially if you like retirees who smoke like chimneys, their second hand smoke, and the ensuing stinky hair and clothes at the end of the evening.

So, moving back out to the country and living the simple life also means becoming a recluse. Strike Two.

Living the simple life means giving up those things that cause irritation on a regular basis, like the car (city traffic and aggressive drivers) and neighbours (loud.) I can exchange those for being stuck in a country town, limited to places I can walk or bicycle to (a small grocey store, the post office, and bakery) and neighbours who are a little farther apart, but who are a lot nosier. Nothing to do in small towns, except gossip. Yep - that oughta take the stress levels up to maximum- that's if I can find something to do that might scandelize people. Lots of affairs going on in the country. Strike Three.

So, I guess I'll leave the Simple Life to the wild beasts of that commercial. I think the song is stuck in my head just because it has a silly catchy tune and the singing animals are cute. Damned if I can remember what they're advertising, though.
posted by Melanie O. at 10:56 AM -
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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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