Thursday, August 7, 2014

Some Things Money Can't Buy

I had a hook line that was going to relate with the concept of farting, however I didn’t want back-to-back posts starting off with a theme of unpredictable bowel movements.

For full effect, download “Renegade” by Styx, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

The past seven days have been…well, (cue long exhale and dropped shoulders) well they’ve been, uh…you know? Yeah, that sentence probably sums it up perfectly. The past seven days have been everywhere. They have been raucous. They have been clinging on to $20K in a satchel, sitting next to drug addicts on a bus. They have been on rollercoasters that have lost their rose-colored, immature appeal. They have been at wedding receptions, on long distance road trips, in movie theater La-Z-Boys, in hotel basements, and in living rooms where 95-year old Great Grandmothers turn to me and whisper underneath their breath, “Hell, I’m ready to just die!”

For the record, if you actually were in the basement of the Daniels Summit lodge yesterday morning and heard my ode to the meaning of life, go ahead and return to your browsing of social media stories and liking pictures that really don’t have much value on the grand board game of life, I won’t be offended. You have already heard my discourse in person.

Sweaty pits and all.

In the winter of 1990 my parents got married and I moved to the frozen wasteland of Cache County, Utah. I was cold, I was scared, and I was five. On the first day of class two kids, Tosha Welch and Chuck Burtis, came and sat next to me and made me feel like I wasn’t going to get beat up and eaten by our geriatric teacher Mrs. Falk. These two made my five-year old life make sense. We were BFF’s before the acronym had ever been coined. Heck, we even invented a climbing club that only select members of Millville Elementary were allowed to join. For the four years I lived in the arctic tundra of Hyrum, they kept me sane.

Flash forward to the summer of 2002 just following my freshman year of college. I was 18 years old at the time and I took a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico. No, I wasn’t selling meth like the majority of you Heisenberg loyalists are probably assuming, I was selling pest control plans instead, taking on the role of one of the countless victims of summer sales pyramid schemes. As I burned myself out walking the desert I met a kid. A tall, lurpy, Dr. Pepper junkie named Niels Hendrickson, who was as addicted to the game of basketball as I was. We beat each other up underneath the hoops of Albuquerque all summer long and have been best friends ever since.

Take a few more steps further to the fall of 2012, where I wandered the streets of Seattle Washington with another 27-year old named Jo Olsen, who was just as perplexed about life as I was trying to figure out the crazy thing that everyone else calls the L-word. We walked, and laughed, and ate expensive seafood dinners on the pier. It was a bromance people, a bromance! In the years since, we have shared hotel rooms on recruiting trips, cheap Mexican food in gas stations, heartbreaking football games, and F-bombs over midnight voicemails when girls decide they “just want to be friends”.

Now, I mention these previous friendships I have forged over the course of my travels to tie in the deeper meaning of life that I have somewhat unraveled over the past seven days while sitting on midnight bus rides and in wedding ceremonies. I tell you about these people because they in fact are some of the most valuable objects that I will ever be able to claim. The relationship that we have had, for whatever amount of time it existed, that is what means the most when you think about it.

Kids, we care about things in this life that absolutely do not matter whatsoever. We waste our lives fighting for things like new cars, new wardrobes, or Blu-ray copies of Duck Dynasty Season 6. We long for physical objects that once the dust has settled and we are six feet under are about as valuable as the human excrement we will eventually become. As the great Tyler Durden once said, “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”

None of those things matter. They really don’t. Material things that have actual blue-book value and can be whittled down to dollars and cents, those objects in the grand scheme of things aren’t worth a single penny. But relationships, those connections we have with people from first grade recesses, to summer nights in Albuquerque, to afternoon strolls in the Pacific Northwest, those moments in our lives you cannot assign a price tag. The relationships we have with the people we bump into for certain periods of our own stories, those are the most important items we will ever own. As the brilliant marketing team for Mastercard so eloquently put:

There are some things money just can’t buy. 

What do you think?

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