Monday, March 18, 2013

If Loving You Is Wrong

Sometimes it's a guilty pleasure, maybe the desire for the unattainable, or just an obsession with a bad boy.  Many of us have had at least one love that we know is wrong, but just can't seem to quit.  I have three.  The objects of my affection may never reciprocate my feelings, and while I know it's wrong for me to care for them so, I just can't--no won't--live without them. And my husband isn't even jealous.

First I will come clean and admit that I love my dishwasher.  Before you start googling "human/dishwasher love", let me state emphatically that this is a spiritual love and not anything base or, ahem, dirty.   Most of the places I've lived as an adult had either no dishwasher or the cheapest model available, possibly purchased on a street corner in the dead of night and very likely from a third world country (whose inhabitants had no idea why we crazy Westerners couldn't just wash our dishes by hand).  One of these could barely even be called a dishwasher--dish rinser would have been a more accurate term.  It absolutely would not wash off peanut butter--this had to be hand washed first and then put in the dishwasher, thereby negating the purpose of this appliance.  The model we have now, a Bosch (which those of you in the know will recognize as the Cadillac of dishwashers) will clean pretty much anything.  I like to test it every once in a while to see its devotion to me and my dirty dishes.  Lasagna pan?  Sure.  Old moldy coffee cup that's been sitting in the back of my husband's work truck for a month?  Clean.  Knife with peanut butter on it?  Hallelujah!  I believe!!  My dishwasher is that love that gives you everything you ask for and never lets you down.

My next love is as big of a shock to me as it was to my teenage daughter.  Who would think that a middle-aged mother of three would fall so hard for the rap song  "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore?  The first time I heard it I was just flipping through radio stations, went past it, then had to go back.  But then I knew:  we were meant to be.  It has a catchy beat, quirky lyrics and will get stuck in your head before you can say "I'm gonna pop some tags." By a Seattle-based rapper, the song and video do not talk about drugs or contain half naked women (which seem to be the staple of the rap world), although I'm sure "your grammy, you aunty, your momma, your mammy" would not approve of some of his language. But that's part of the fun of this song--I get to remember the me that could use swear words with impunity. Now my kids looked scandalized when I sing along with "I'm in this big ass coat."  Thrift Shop is that bad boy we've all fallen for--sure he's fun, but you can't take him home to meet the parents.  Or you kids.

This last love has left me so conflicted, I can barely say it here.  I love Amazon.  While this local company lets me purchase everything from rain boots to MP3 downloads from the comfort of my own laptop, delivered to my door in two business days, I am wracked with guilt every time I log in.  In my former life I was a bookseller at Elliott Bay Book Company a well-respected, independently owned bookstore.  Many independent bookstores are slowly being forced out of business by competition with huge companies, who can bargain for higher discounts and therefore offer lower prices.  This sounds all well and good to the consumer (competition is good, right?), but when you consider these smaller bookstores are staffed by real live people who actually have a say in what appears on their shelves (as opposed to say Costco, who has a corporate book buyer determining their stock), Amazon is the devil.  But I love Amazon!  It all started when I got a Kindle for Christmas a couple years ago--I was hooked after the first ebook download. I can read, play games, stream movies, search the internet and then toss it in my purse and take it with me.  The Kindle was my gateway drug.  Soon I discovered all the wonders that had to offer.  Not just Kindle books (which I download for free from the library), but clothes and shoes and toys and and ipod cases and movies and...Oh, I was hooked big time.  But what about my bookseller friends?  Was I being disloyal?  Was I shopping them out of a job?  It doesn't count if I don't order my books there, right?  I'm very likely going to bookseller's purgatory, where the none of the books have spines and you receive 20 cases of  Donald Trump's rewrite of "Pride and Prejudice."  Amazon is that boyfriend that showers you with attention, but treats your friends like shit.

Barbara Mandrell, that country songstress who rose to fame in the 1980's, knew the turmoil a heart goes through when your love is forbidden. 

Your mama and daddy say it's a shame
It's a downright disgrace
Long as I got you by my side
I don't care what your people say

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.




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