Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All Shiny and New

Everyone loves things when they are new and shiny. A new toy as a child, even if it is a crap toy, is still exciting. Sure if it is a crap toy the excitement may be very short lived. But new is exciting because new equals potential and possibilities.

New Lego means that you can build the new contraption according to the instructions but it also means you can add the pieces to the rest of your collection to create your own masterpieces. It also means everyone else in the family has the excitement of jamming new pieces into their feet as they walk around the house.

Who doesn’t love a new car? It is not just the smell that is alluring. Albeit that the majority of the pleasure obtain through new car smell is, in reality no smell at all. It is the absence of smell. It is the absence of the smell representing your life. It is the accumulation of odours from your lifestyle, gym bag, shoes, fast food, deodorant or body odour or both, dirt. It is a life potpourri.

A new car is the promise of new adventures, new destinations, new people and new conquests.  We forget that the majority of the time it will be the same people on the same road going to the same activities in the same traffic. New cars come with the promise of being washed weekly, inside and out, no eating or drinking and the removal of shoes prior to entry. This is why the first scratch or carpark door ding or stone chip is so devastating. More so than any future scratch. The first scratch is undeniable proof that the once new car is no longer new. It is used. Old.  And it is so obvious to the owner. They will notice it the moment the garage door opens. The first ray of sunlight entering the garage acts as a spotlight highlighting the very defect. Is can be small enough that no-one else can see it no matter how animated the owner is when pointing it out. The owner knows. They always know.

This is why parents never let children wear new clothes. “They are for best.” What activity is working/middle class suburbia is “best”? Christmas lunch, birthday parties, church? In reality the queen is more than likely not going to visit no matter how vehemently Grandma declares that she might. In my family best was saved for Sundays, church. Ok for 30 minutes we sat still in the pews before going out to Sunday school. We might have even sat reasonably still while we sang the songs and coloured our Biblically themed sheets. Once church was out then the new clothes were no longer appropriate.  My family was always the last to leave which gave us kids a full hour to run around, play on the playground race through the morning tea trying to steal food meant for the adults. The chances of scuffing the new shoes or spilling food or drink on to the new shirt were high. Not that church cordial was likely to leave a stain. At my church I think they bought one bottle of cordial concentrate a year made it up  and then simply topped up the left overs from one week  with water ready for the next. And it wasn’t even brand name cordial. It also meant that by the end of the year none of the congregation’s precious cordial supply would be wasted on the attend-church-once-a-year-for-Christmas people. Cordial for the Uniting Church is like manna for the Jews.

It is said in meeting new people that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Like a new toy, a new relationship whether it be personal or professional is full of potential and possibilities. Just like a new car, the first scratch can be devastating. Unfortunately for some people their first impression, just like a freshly baked cake, is actually as good as they are going to be, they only stale from then on in. For other people, like a good wine, cheese or lasagne, the first impression is fine but they are much better when the flavours are left to mature.

Meeting new people can be exciting but as a general rule steer clear of people if they are shiny. Or orange.

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