SWAPPING PLACES

By George Smith

A decades-old survey by the psychology department of a prestigious university concluded that an overwhelmingly large percentage  of people have, at some point in their lives, wished they could swap places with someone else.


You know, swap life for life, even-up.

Most folks indicated they would change due to lifestyle. (“Being a movie star is so glamorous!” Or, “I’d love to be a major league baseball player!” Or, “I want to be that guy that  won the lottery!”)


On the other side of that conversational coin are a swarm of people I would not want to be. That list is longer than the Nile River and is chuck full of people who I personally wish were not household names.

The short, I-am-throwing-up-in-my-mouth list includes (President Trump, most aides, all kids and all cabinet officials but one excluded for purposes of readability length):

— Rev. Al Sharpton: I do not want to be anyone who wakes up every morning thinking every issue can be boiled down to a black-white rant..

— Sean Hannity: Selling my soul every day for money is not my idea of “living the good life.” That, to me, would be existing in a living-dead environment.

— Duane Johnson, The Rock: I would be clueless about what to do or how to move with all those muscle bumps.

— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: It must be hard to be an active participant in digging the hole in which your legacy as a public servant will be buried.

— Robert Redford: Seriously, if I were that handsome and suave at that age, I’d be really dangerous.


— Sen. Lindsey Graham: see “Mike Pompeo”.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC: I would not want to be that young and be known by an acronym. That means you have done something incredible, something  worthy of instant recognition. Being a political “saddle burr” or a constant ache requiring the services  of a proctologist is not a qualifier for stand-alone, initialed status.


— Any so-called “femebrity” or “himebrity” who is famous for nothing other than showing off certain body parts on social media … again and again and again.


— Any person so vain that they resort to multiple plastic surgeries to stay “young,” thus telling the world they do not believe in the law of gravity or that they don’t mind their face looking like that of a ventriloquist’s dummy. (Wait! Does putting a dab of Preparation H under your eyes to dawn up the extra skin count? If so…guilty.)


Bottomline: I like being me, growing older at a rate God intended. And, I am happy in my life, which, counting from conception in Seattle in September 1944, right before my dad was shipped to the Pacific front during Wold War II, has entered its fourth quarter-century.


Every day I find reason to laugh and rejoice in the daily ritual of living. Married to the first woman I ever thought about marrying more than 55 years ago, each day together is a joy-filled celebration of life, love and laughter.


With all those blessings, why would I ever want to change places with anyone? 
And, just being happy being me doesn’t wear me out. At my age, that is a plus.

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