Reality Check in a Wetsuit
by Ruth Folger Weiss
This advertising executive decided to close the company for the holidays and, in the process, learned some valuable life lessons. Sure, being an executive director of an enterprise is enormously rewarding to one’s ego, but can also obfuscate one’s perception of reality. We spend so much time determining the merit of disparate fonts and phrases, that those proverbial forests and trees are indeed missed. Logos and slogans, printing deadlines and proposals, and our perception of our significance may assume outside proportions.
So the voicemail records our missive, and the auto-response to all email is dutifully engaged. And what of those pompous souls who believe our own hype (manufactured by our very own public relations machine)? Our children and our grandchildren are our reality-check. They puncture loving holes in the formal veneer, and bring the real back to our personal estates.
Last night, as I was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, simultaneously attempting to amuse, bemuse and bathe a grandchild or two, I lost my balance, and slipped without much ado into the waist high bathwater. My shock and momentary bewilderment at this sudden turn of events, was quickly followed by gales of complete laughter – and most loudly, mine. The absolute ridiculousness of my sitting fully coutured and in sartorial splendor in a bathtub surrounded by loved ones, struck me as hysterical. The fact that my posterior was in and my legs still out, complicated matters as my no longer svelte body yielded to my entreaties to emerge and it took more adult bodies to join me in the bathtub to execute my rescue.
We laughed through the evening and understood how healthy and vital this enterprise had been. And my grandson, who does have some of our genes after all, admonished me, with all the sagacity of a seven year old, to write down the story so he could share it with his teacher and friends. It’s a wise young man who realizes a marketing opportunity when he sees one!