Toyota makes some pretty good vehicles. Jim has a truck that just won’t die. It really looks like it should kick the bucket any moment and that it might be held together by chewing gum and dirt that’s been stuck on for decades, but it just keeps purring like a very old kitten with sleep apnea. I have no idea how many miles that poor truck has on it, but it just keeps going and going as if it were powered by the Energizer Bunny. It’s kind of amazing. It’s probably the best investment Jim ever made, not counting marrying me, of course.
Anyway, I keep seeing this Toyota commercial for a RAV4. Have you seen it?
I have no idea what features the car has or if it is even a car at all because every time the commercial comes on Tiny-Small starts screaming, “I want a flying unicorn! I want a flying unicorn! I want a flying unicorn!” Then we watch the family drive down the street with a flying unicorn on it’s roof and I silently debate when to tell Tiny-Small that flying unicorns are called Pegasuses (don’t try to say that three times fast) and that unicorns are in fact not real. She keeps asking me for a flying horse and I am sad that they don’t exist so I just keep saying, “Maybe Santa will bring you one.”
Toyota, you haven’t sold us a car, but you have certainly sold one of us a giant, pink, flying unicorn. It’s pretty much all Tiny-Small can think about when she hears the word Toyota. I’m not sure if this is some sneaky way to secure sales with future generations, but you have certainly captured my 4 year olds attention…and her heart. You’ve also captured my attention because now I lie awake at night wondering where I can buy a giant, pink, flying unicorn and whether or not I will also need to buy a RAV4 just to be able to get it home.
Well played, Toyota, well played.
P.S. This is not a Sponsored post. It’s just a story about my life and a commercial that’s caught our attention.
I’ve been reading a lot about how the Facebook highlight reel may be causing depression. Well, I just want all of you to know that your Facebook highlight reel does not depress me. I kind of like it. No, I absolutely love it. Maybe it’s because I love pictures of kids, babies, cats, dogs, job promotions, and all of the tiny successes my friends have on a daily basis. That stuff makes me smile. When I see new haircuts and posts about people doing kind things and someone winning an award for being awesome I actually cheer and show the pictures and statuses to my husband. Call me a little sappy or a little nutty, but I like seeing good things happen to good people. I like seeing the way they are devoted to their families and how the extra effort they are putting into their work is finally paying off. I like to see them going on spectacular and exotic vacations.
I’m not saying Facebook doesn’t depress me because it does. Just for very different reasons than the researchers are suggesting. When I see the same article, five times in five minutes, about a couple who let their baby starve to death in his crib it makes me sad and angry and outraged. When I see people posting racist memes or really mean-spirited, untrue political attacks on our politicians I feel a little agitated. When I see people being mean and cruel or sometimes just plain ignorant…I feel a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I want to scream, “Do your research first!” or “Stop being such a bully!”
These are people I care about and they are saying things that are just terrible. It’s especially hard when it is a family member because for some reason that makes me feel even more sad. I think, wow, when did my family member get so mean? Or angry? Or bitter? I mean, sometimes on Facebook and other social media, you get to know a side of people you didn’t know existed. Or maybe just didn’t want to know existed. You find yourself worrying about people. You wonder about their mental health. You start to feel helpless or even a little hopeless about the world you live in. Sometimes what people post changes your opinion of them. Don’t even get me started on the people who like to rant and rave all day long. I’ve had to hide them from my feed. I can’t take that level of hostility for prolonged periods. That does depress me. It’s like being washed in a wave of negativity for hours at a time. That is not an enjoyable experience. Once I started figuring out how to hide posts from my Facebook feed I found myself having way more fun on Facebook. I mean, who wants to pop on Facebook and see someone screaming about how they wished the U.S. would have public hangings before you’ve even had breakfast? That’s not how I want to start my day. I’d rather wake up to posts about kittens. Let me work up to murder, politics, and people who want to set other people on fire after I have had my coffee.
I really get overwhelmed by sadness when I see people getting attacked in comment sections too. This happens daily. People are so rude sometimes. If they aren’t calling people names they are mocking them. You start to wonder what happened to having manners or polite disagreements or treating your friends, well, like friends. What ever happened to formulating well thought out arguments? Do people even know how to do that anymore? Or not agreeing with everything someone says or believes, but still respecting them or loving them anyway? On Facebook it’s so often one angry mob yelling at another angry mob. I think social media has replaced pitchforks and torches. Witnessing that on a daily basis can be kind of depressing. You start to realize how cruel the average person can be and that makes you lose faith in humanity.
What restores my faith in humanity? Your Facebook highlight reel. So please, show me your kindergartener’s first day of school and the picture you took with Justin Bateman. Brag about the concert you went to last night or about how you spent Thanksgiving feeding the homeless. Share stories about men stopping other men from harassing women and stories about dogs adopting orphaned kittens. I want to see your son grow up and get a full scholarship to college. I want to see you get your first book published. I want to know when your daughter’s volleyball team won the state championship. I want to see all of those good things. Every single one of them. Your Facebook highlight reel does not depress me. On the contrary, it’s the only reason I am on Facebook at all!
Ever notice how people who say, “Don’t worry about it! Age is just a number anyway.” are usually not a day over 28 years old and if they are, they are usually a middle-aged guy trying to date someone under the age of 28? Age is not just a number. The proof is in my aching muscles and constantly complaining back. The proof is in my decreasing elasticity and inability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Oh wait, that just means I’m probably not a super hero. Anyway, my point is, this body will not let me pretend that I am still young. It laughs at me when I try to be ageless and forces me to pull a muscle or break off one of my dry, brittle finger nails. Which totally just happened as I was writing this by the way. See, my body even knows when I am just thinking about pretending to be young again.
Seriously, the fact that I cannot stay up past midnight and be functional the next day is not imagined. Neither is the fact that my hair is thinner than it used to be and nor, sadly, is my inability to lose that annoying belly fat no matter how many crunches, laps around the couch, or squats I force myself to do. I also have wrinkles and spots that don’t fade. My teeth are not quite like they used to be. I mean, I still have them, but they are not exactly gleaming anymore. Not to mention, I am more tired than I have ever been and less able to sleep than I used to be. Sweet sleep…the elixer of youth. I miss you so. I’d remember you better if I wasn’t so old and still had all of my memories.
Age is not just a number. It is real. I can feel it creeping in slowly and quietly and permanently. It’s really starting to sink in now. I am not getting any younger. There is nothing I can do to stop it either. I mean, at some point you suddenly realize that the dull ache in your joints is probably as good as it is going to get from now on and that all of the wrinkle cream in the world is not going to restore your face to what it once was. Unless, of course, you want to look like Joan Rivers. I’d rather look older than like the newest version of Barbie. Have you seen what they have transformed Rainbow Bright into? Just picture that, but older and creepier. Anyway, sooner or later you realize that sitting on the floor for more than five minutes and getting stiff is just your new normal. Wearing glasses and turning the TV up a notch or two becomes second nature. I mean, even my toes are becoming permanently squished together by some old(er)-age magic. My feet look like aliens attached to my legs. I don’t need funny slippers as a fashion accessory…I’ve got my feet for that.
So when my feet hurt a little too much, and my back is sore from picking up a three-year old kid too much the day before, and my knees hurt for no apparent reason, don’t tell me age is just a number. I won’t believe you. I’ll just know you are too young to understand what I am talking about or just trying to make me feel better. It’s not going to work. Unfortunately, no matter what my mind chooses to believe my body continues to serve up the proof that age is not just a number. All I can say is getting older beats the alternative. Chocolate helps too.