I should have been a movie star or a stage actor or a famous singer or a major hockey celebrity, but because of certain set-backs, I had to allow the parade to pass me by — I’m not good looking, I can’t act, I can’t sing and I can’t skate.
If it hadn’t been for these hindrances, I would have made it to the top.
It’s all for the best I guess. I may have ended up marrying and divorcing Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russell or Arlene Dahl. I may have ended up living in a mansion in Beverly Hills with 15 rooms, 19 bathrooms, a swimming pool and a bird bath in front.
I live in a small three-bedroom rancher now and when I turn the lights out at night, I can get lost between the living room and the bedroom. My wife has to rescue me. In a mansion, I probably never would have been found. I’m sure she would have given up looking.
However, I HAVE been thinking of a bird bath for the front of our rancher.
Truth is, you can only live or be in one house at a time, one room at a time, one bathroom at a time. You can only drive one car at a time and concentrate on only one television at a time.
I’ve got a house with one and a half bathrooms, five rooms counting the kitchen, and I’ve got a great television. I’ve got a car. I even have a scooter.
I may have missed my calling, but by how much? Sure, no one wants my autograph and no paparazzi follow me around, but my taxes are lower and my clothes don’t cost as much.
By not being celebrities, no one’s badgering us to do benefit concerts. We don’t get married as much. The savings on alimony alone are staggering.
We can live close to our neighbours and can go out and cut our grass whenever we feel like it. No one stalks us in our favourite restaurant. We are not expected to tip like a celebrity and we can wear whatever we like without fear of being ridiculed for our lack of fashion by some stranger on television. We legends in our own mind have it made.
Lack of talent and looks allowed me to court mediocrity and bypass fame and fortune. Sure, it would be nice to drive a Jaguar instead of my older second-hand Buick — and not have to worry about the gas cost. It would be nice to have a four-wheel scooter with twin jets instead of a three-wheeler with a basket. But I’d soon get tired of such luxuries and start taking them for granted like I do most things.
No, I don’t believe fame and fortune is all it is cracked up to be.
My wife recognizes me and asks me to sign the odd cheque. I’ve got good friends who invite me into their homes once or twice a year and my name is listed in the telephone book. My grandkids call me “Poppa” and one 13 year old calls me every now and then and asks if I want to hang out or go to a movie. I’ve got great kids and stepkids who will not allow me to take myself too seriously.
I feel like I’ve got it all. I didn’t miss much, if anything, by never becoming a movie star of stage actor or famous singer or hockey celebrity.
Talent had nothing to do with it. Luck did.
FEBRUARY 2014 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE
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