I’d rather be in a waller than be an Oscar Mayer wiener

Posted by on 08.13.07 | 3 Comments
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The advertising guru who developed the most recognized campaign ever for Oscar Mayer died this week. Since a kid, I’ve loved the Oscar Mayer song…I…..wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener…that is what I’d truly like to be-e-e; cuz if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener….everyone would be in love with me!

As I was hearing about this man’s life and death, it got me to thinking about the odd desire to be a hotdog for any reason, even one so noble as to have everyone love me. Rooting around in the whole idea of wanting to be something, somewhere that I’m not, I started ruminating about whining.

Here, in the doldums of August, I am weary of summer. I don’t particularly like hot weather, and moved first to the Rockies and now to Central Oregon after 20+ years of south Florida living in order to experience seasons again, less long-term heat and less humidity. However, I also get weary of winter. By mid-January, I’m really done with the ice and cold and look forward to spring. The two seasons I don’t ever seem to get tired of are spring and fall, the so-called ‘shoulder seasons’. They could be 5 months each, with one month of summer and one month of winter, and I’d be a happy camper.

Or would I?

Not so sure that I’m not a perennial whiner. What the heck is perfection? Would I know it if it flew over me and pooped on my head? I get pretty whiny about my whining (of which, by the way, there doesn’t seem to be a shoulder season: it’s all the whine, all the time).

Not sure how obvious Wendy Whiner is. I try to keep her under control, but as I have come to understand that none of us really keep secrets from each other–that we all understand each other in ways we can’t comprehend, I’m pretty sure that those unfortuanate souls with whom I have close contact are well-aware of my inner wahwahwah.

What to do, what to do. I want a life marked by gratitude, graciousness and joy. These states seem to be the antithesis of Wendy Whiner. What I know is that when I have an agenda, it’s usually the first step in a whining episode: something will not be the way it should be.

I’m going to spend the coming week really being on the lookout for Wendy. When I notice her presence (a slightly clenched jaw, an impatient tapping of my fingers, a longing for something that is not in my current state of existence) I’m going to invite her in for (virtual) tea; not resist her presence. And in that openness, which is what I’m really looking for, I’m wondering what power she’ll have. In my struggle for heart-centeredness, I think Wendy will continue to play an important part in being a sentry, a reminder, a call to awareness, of the need to constantly re-orient myself towards gratitude and joy.

I suspect that I’ll be happier. And then I’ll forget all over again. With any luck, little by little, as life unfolds, I’ll find myself less anxious, less needy of something being somehow other than it is, more gracious.

So here’s the last few weeks of full-on summer. Bring ‘em on. No resistance. I want to roll in them like a pig in a waller.

NOTE: I used to say ‘like a pig in a poke’ until someone who knows something about pigs and pokes (my dear ex-husband Tom from Oklahoma with a drawl that will stop honey) said that nobody wants to be in a poke. My updated understanding of metaphors with pigs and pokes in them is: “pig in a poke” comes from the admonition to avoid “buying a pig in a poke.” Translation: A “poke” is a bag like a gunny sack. (“Poke salad” is wild greens picked by the side of the road and stuffed into the bag one is carrying.) Buying a pig in a poke is buying something sight unseen, i.e. without looking in the bag to see what is really in there. Is it the fat, tasty young pig as touted by the seller or an old tough one? If Socrates lived in early 20th century rural southern America, he might have said ‘don’t buy a pig in a poke’ instead of “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

The foregoing should not be confused with what Call, the main character in “Lonesome Dove,” meant when he gave Laurie, the local lady of the night, five dollars for a “poke.”
“Pigs in wallers” (mud-pit wallows) are indeed happy and uncomplaining creatures. A person who “squeals like a pig under a gate” is complaining loudly about some discomfort that has befallen him or her, as one can imagine a piglet doing who gets stuck under a gate while attempting escape from his eventual fate…an Oscar Mayer sausage?

Yes, I do want to roll in the rest of summer like it’s a waller–a mud-filled, cool hole of great bliss and no complaining. And I don’t want to be in a poke, with no vision of what’s really happening around me. And I can say with some certainty, that the waller is INFINITELY better than participating in becoming an Oscar Mayer wiener.

Knowing me, I’ll get it all confused and end up wallering in whining. Heavy sigh. Right now, right here, I’m wallering in gratitude.

How about y’all? Any thoughts on wallering, whining, pigs, pokes, Socrates, Oscar Meyer or anything else?

Oh, by the way, 2007 is the Chinese Year of the Golden Pig. How about them apples?




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