She told me that I should “get real”. And I looked around me, sort of half stunned that she would have the nerve to say that to me in the first place. I returned a look, though I have no idea what it conveyed, as she tossed back her curly permed hair – Nice-n-Easy #5 Brunette. Time stood still as I went into my head for a moment.
It’s hard to get real, in a literal sense, if you see all around you, a society that worships artificiality. And the funny thing is, everyone knows that most things in life are fake, and that no one is fooled. Not even by our continued efforts to create the most perfect images. Maybe this is just out of a false sense of security or something, born out of false hopes or false pride. Will we ever understand the real reason behind this?
In the beginning, we saw the sun, and the sun was good, in many ways, so, we harnessed it. We recreated it the best we could. We have light bulbs. My personal favorite form of artificial sun – the tanning bed. Some people call it “fake-n-bake”. What’s cool about it is that although the sun is not real – the tan is. You go in white and come out brown, or red, in only ten minutes! The resulting cancer is real, just like the sun, but we haven’t figured out a way to fake that yet. And I hope we never do.
Yes, we recreate nature – faster, bigger, better, stronger – more convenient. And we are in control of nature now, rather than the other way around. Fake sun, fake snow, fake grass (makes for a better game), man-made lakes, fake trees (saves us from the bother of going into the woods around that festive time of year). We have fake plants because it’s too much work to sprinkle real, chlorinated water on them. Well, you know what I mean.
Plastic. The very essence of life. We can make it look like anything – bricks, stone, and wood ( for those nature lovers). Fireplaces – you just pick it up from the store, take it home and plug it in! Viola! I’m not sure you can get any product these days unless it contains a certain amount of plastic. I think this might be some kind of underlying rule of human nature or something. It’s just common sense really – no plastic – no life. Plastic, by law, is as necessary as the air we breathe – no matter how thick that air may be.
The human being is the most attractive creature in existence. And we know this. Every morning we get up, we look in the mirror, do a little jiggle, point, wink, smile, or whatever it is we do in our private little bathrooms, and say, “Man , you’re good looking!” There’s no denying it. We ARE good looking. And we find creative ways to be even better looking. Once we discover something we take it as far as possible, and then some. One thing I like about human nature – the incessant need to always go that extra mile!
And my friend is standing there staring at me, completely unaware of what’s going on in my head now, with her fake, curly, colored hair. She’s pierced, tattooed, and her make-up is flawless. She has a silicone-stuffed body, but still has the need to wear a padded bra and shoulder pads (even if it’s not the 80s). A synthetic shirt hugs her curves – as do her fake leather pants, and a fake fur coat (of some unknown animal, perhaps from some other realm), drapes her arm. She has a great body, I must admit, and it’s not just due to her implants. She told me her secret, and it’s all in the diet. Fake sugar, fake fat, fake milk, fake burgers – and she has liposuction done once a month. And she smells good too because she uses perfume and scented soaps. We are beautiful, but face it, we are a little stinky sometimes, and smelling good is one of those little necessities of life. It’s for reproductive purposes, you know. But none of us are aware of this, are we? Because we are fooled into thinking that artificiality, is, in reality, reality.
Our minds are easily fooled as we have proven to ourselves time and again. And we seem to be content with this – sitting in front of the tube, so easily entertained. We watch movies, hour long dramas, sitcoms – entertainment faking real-life situations that are faking entertainment. And we don’t want to think about this too much. Especially now that “reality” shows are dominating the air waves. We like “real” TV.! It shows that our society is moving back toward what it is we have always longed for. It proves that we are getting back on track and that all hope is not lost in the hands of our future generations. It is further proof that we DO know how to “get real”, no matter what those old folks think.
I’m brought back to the here and now, facing my real friend. Her painted lips are smiling, showing off her perfect, porcelain teeth. And she says in her sweet trill, “Well, I have to go rehearse now for that new reality show I’m going to be on. Don’t forget to tune in! “Get Real”?
~ © Susan Ance ~