Saturday, July 29, 2006

Odd Times

I feel as if I have been walking around in a fog lately; especially since I have now heard of two people I worked with (my age) who recently died. One of them died of a heart attack, and the other had stomach cancer. What is it about death? Why does it seem lately that everyone is getting cancer? More and more people I meet have had one, if not two, types of cancer. My MIL has had both breast cancer and bladder cancer, and is cancer free now, but just today I went for a walk, and one of the neighbors, whose wife has cancer, just told me that's she been in the hospital and it doesn't look good for her. Doesn't anybody die of old age anymore? What are we doing to ourselves? The funny thing is that I feel people are much more conscious about how they treat their bodies (well, some people, anyway), and they are aware of what they are putting into it. Then their are the overweight and unfit who couldn't care less and live to be nearly 100. The girl I know who died of stomach cancer was a health nut: she ran every day, she ate everything organic, she was very thin, she didn't drink or smoke, and the sad part is that she had a young son. I sometimes wonder if it really matters what we do anymore, or how we treat our bodies. Will we just die the way we are supposed to die, regardless of what we do? I like to think that I take pretty good care of myself: I work out at least 3x a week, I eat mostly healthy food, but I do like to drink wine and I used to smoke. I suppose it's all genetic anyway, right? I mean, how can I find any rhyme or reason to my life is everything seems so arbitrary? How come I can't just believe in fate anymore?

Only in LA: I had a bizarre experience last night. My husband and I play softball on Friday nights, and some of our friends were housesitting for their friends, one of whom happens to be an actress who was on a top-rated sit-com that ended recently. Her family will, obviously, never have to worry about money. Our friends invited us up to swim in the pool, as the house was virtually empty of everything, and they just had to make sure everything was out by the weekend so the new owners could take occupancy (the family had moved to Malibu Colony, which is where extremely wealthy people live). When we got to the top of the hill, the house sat on it's own promontory overlooking the entire valley. The pool sat on the edge of the property with the house right behind it. The house was a two-story Craftsman, with expensive wood floors, huge rooms, just amazingly beautiful. The funny part about this was that our friends said, "they've already moved out, so take anything you want that you see. They aren't coming back for any of this stuff." Now, there were bottles of expensive liquor in the foyer, so we thought it ws just alcohol. Then they led us upstairs and said, "there are a bunch of toys, and things, just take what you want." I started looking around, and was amazed. They had left clothes in drawers, toothbrushes in the holder (not that I would want that, although I'm sure there is some sucker on EBAY who would buy it), there was an unopened pack of diapers, there were dishes and toys and vases, and all even unopened gift baskets. Then, as I walked through their master bedroom, I peeked into the closets. There was a fur coat, as well as a leather skirt, rows of expensive shoes, and purses all over the counter. I was in awe, first of all at the expensive stuff, and second of all at the way they had just left it there as if it was junk. Upstairs by myself, I tried the fur coat on. It fit perfectly. I felt like I had snuck into someone's home and was going through their things. But our friends just said, "take it." They are not coming back for it, and it's all going into a dumpster if it's not gone. I put a pile of things together: an unopened frame from Pottery Barn, two matching vases from Barney's New York, a gift basket of lotions and soaps, a pair of Fendi sunglasses, a children's footstool, some kids clothes, and a box of puzzles for Owen to use. I felt weird, but at the same time, I didn't want to see this stuff be thrown out.

More than anything, it made me feel sad that some people have so much money that they just have more stuff than they need and it doesn't even matter anymore. Why buy things if you don't need them? My friend actually told me that when they had their two kids, they got a ton of gifts sent to them from magazines like People Magazine, producers would send stuff, and they just couldn't use it all. I can understand getting things that you can't use, but why not donate it to an organization that can use it? Why do celebrities, who make a gazillion dollars, want to get free stuff? Believe me, I have been to Sundance for six years, they are the first ones in line for the free swag that they give out at Sundance. And those Oscar presenters? You don't think they do it out of the generosity of their hearts? No, this is about getting the $25,000 gift basket. The only person who did anything good with theirs was George Clooney, who auctioned his off on EBAY for a charity.

I guess I've seen both sides, and lately, because we have had to watch our spending because of the new house we are building, I have stopped shopping for useless things that I will just fill up my house with. I always ask myself twice now if I really need it before I buy it.

That's my soapbox for the day....the weather has finally cooled off, and there is a great breeze blowing through.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So did you get a slightly used fur coat?

7:00 AM  
Blogger Anam Cara said...

The weather here as cooled off too and I'm so relieved!

I was floored by your story about the house and all the stuff that was left! Wow. It is a perfect example of what a crazy, messed up, unfair world we live in, and the extremes between the have's and have-nots. Shocking.

I can't believe in fate either. When I was younger I believed in "fate", "everything happens for a reason", "if something was meant to be it will be", God's will, etc.. I don't believe in any of that anymore. I truly believe that shit just happens (good and bad, with no rhyme or reason) and life is totally random.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

10:46 PM  

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