By Pia Thompson
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Phil. 2: 3, 4
Pia: Today I’d like to welcome Selfishness to my blog. Thank you for coming.
Selfishness: Yes, well, I was rather busy. My time is valuable, you know.
Pia: Yes, I appreciate that. We all have the same 24 hours in a day.
Selfishness: True, but you don’t know everything I have to accomplish in a day! My To Do list is as long as your arm.
Pia: Out of curiosity, what does your list look like for today?
Selfishness: Well, first, I had to have my morning coffee. Everyone knows not to talk to me during my first cup of coffee. I need my space.
Pia: Sadly, I can relate to that. I basically have a no-fly zone around me until I’ve had two cups of coffee. If my husband calls from work, the first thing he asks is, “First cup or second?” If I say, “First,” he’ll say, “Okay, bye,” hang up and call back later. It’s sad to be such a slave to my addictions that people fear to approach. Even my kids know not to ask a favour until afterwards, or the answer is likely to be No.
Selfishness: There’s nothing wrong with a routine, or some ‘me’ time, is there? After my coffee I have a leisurely breakfast, often the same thing every day.
Pia: Me, too.
Selfishness: Again, it’s good to know what you want, and how you like things done. Less confusion that way. People learn what you expect of them and you can be expected to be consistent.
Pia: Or inflexible. What’s next on your plan?
Selfishness: I exercise for an hour.
Pia: Exercise is good. We need to be good stewards of the body we’ve been given.
Selfishness: I don’t know about that, but I do care about my appearance, and I want to live as long as possible. Speaking of appearance, I tend to take quite a while to get ready. I like to think I’m worth the wait, though. I have my favourite products; I must have them even though they cost more. They’re such good quality and they promise to keep me young looking. Make-up is so important for looking one’s best, don’t you think? I mean, to bring out your best features, camouflage any imperfections. And salon quality hair products make all the difference. That, and a person who knows what they’re doing. I go to Andre’s on Avenue Road, but I also took a course on makeup artistry and hair styling. I also try to keep up with the latest styles.
Pia: I see. Back to your list.
Selfishness: Well, then I had the interview here with you. How long will it take? I have an appointment with my nail-lady. I’m going to get a French manicure. I like that look on me. It’s very classy, like me! Ha, ha, just kidding!
Pia: It should only take a few more minutes. Where are you off to after you get your nails done?
Selfishness: Well, I was planning to shop. Retail therapy cures wait ails you. It’s already October and I haven’t even purchased my new fall wardrobe. All my sweaters are in last year’s colours! And there’s a new style of boots I must get.
Pia: Is there something wrong with last year’s clothes?
Selfishness: Pardon me?
Pia: Are they worn out?
Selfishness: No, of course not. But they’re unwearable.
Pia: What do you do with your old clothes?
Selfishness: Usually nothing. They stay in my ample walk in closet, colour coded and organized by type of clothing. I could stand in there all day and just admire my collection. And the shoes! I have shoes to match each outfit.
Pia: Do you ever give them away?
Selfishness: (blank look) To whom?
Pia: Oh, I don’t know. There are plenty of charities who accept gently used clothing.
Selfishness: Who would want to wear someone else’s old clothes? No, I wouldn’t do that.
Pia: After shopping, what’s next?
Selfishness: I’m meeting my girlfriends, Vanity and Epicurean for lunch. There’s a new restaurant uptown that has a famous chef. He makes delicious meals that are so pretty on the plate. There’s not much to the serving sizes, but we just solve that by ordering more courses. When we’re there we often see famous people. And they see us, too.
Pia: Sounds...interesting. What about your afternoon?
Selfishness: My friends and I are going to the new exhibit at the museum. Everyone else has already been to see it and I can’t not go! I love the arts! They’re so important to support.
Pia: Do you support any charities?
Selfishness: Do you mean, like giving to the museum fund?
Pia: No, I was thinking along the lines of supporting Christian organizations or social causes; helping those less fortunate than you.
Selfishness: Well, let me see. I did pass on some of my knowledge about makeup artistry to my friend’s sister. She really needed the help. Does that count?
Pia: It’s not really what I had in mind. They say you can tell what matters to a person by looking at their calendar and their chequebook. Do you do anything that costs you, either in time or money or convenience?
Selfishness: Oh, I see. That’s why you think I should give away some of my clothes. Well, I may get a few things together, if I find the time. Have I mentioned how busy I am?
Pia: Yes, I think you may have mentioned that. Where are you going after the museum?
Selfishness: Well, after exercising, and then all that walking from shopping and the museum, I’m sore all over. I’m going for a massage.
Pia: A massage?
Selfishness: Yes. It’s absolutely necessary or I’ll be too stiff to accomplish anything tomorrow. I have a big party to plan and I need to be ready for it. I have a regular masseuse who gives the most delicious massages. They use scented oils, aromatherapy, and the men who work there are my eye candy. (wink) It’s my little indulgence for the day.
Pia: That’s quite a full day.
Selfishness: I know! Didn’t I tell you I was busy? If the massage wasn’t so relaxing, I’d need an afternoon nap. Most days I do. Just 30 to 60 minutes with no distractions; on the deck in the summer, on the couch with a roaring fireplace in the winter. I love naps. I don’t know why toddlers fight them. They’re just the thing.
Pia: What’s for supper? Are you making your family’s favourite?
Selfishness: Oh, no, you must be joking. We either eat out, so we all get what we like, or it’s every man for himself. I like to think I’m teaching them independence. They’ll thank me when they’re older.
Pia: Do you need to help your kids with their homework or take them to music lessons or sports?
Selfishness: Oh, no! I’m much too busy for that.
Pia: So you said.
Selfishness: Yes, the computer is great for helping with homework. There’s that wiki-thing.
Selfishness: Yes, that, or they walk to the library and study with their friends. I don’t want a crowd around in the evening. I need to relax after a full day. They don’t want to hang out with me anyway. As for sports or lessons, I told them I don’t have time to be their chauffeur. I’m a busy woman. Have I mentioned that?
Pia: Maybe once or twice.
Selfishness: Besides, by the evening, I’m exhausted. What more can one woman do? I need to put my feet up, have a glass of wine and watch a romantic comedy.
Pia: Do you do anything to improve yourself?
Selfishness: Haven’t you been listening, my dear? Everything I’ve done is for me! To improve my health, my appearance, my cultural awareness, my social standing, my acquaintances, my perfect little family. What more could I possibly be doing? There are only so many hours in a day and I’m just one woman. I can’t be expected to change the world, can I?
Pia: You could try.
Selfishness: (looking at watch) Well, I really need to go. My nails are atrocious and I can’t be late for my appointment. This went longer than I expected.
Pia: I’m sorry. I know your time is valuable and you’re a very busy woman. This talk has been an eye-opener. I think just hearing you tell me about your plans today has made me see how much you’ve been an influence on my life and my thinking.
Selfishness: That’s very kind of you to say so, dear. I do hope we can get together again, soon, maybe for coffee or lunch at that new bistro. I heard their calamari is delectable. Oh, and will you send me a copy of this interview? I want to show it to my friends. They’ll never believe I found the time in my busy day to be interviewed. But you know me; I like to think of others.