Sunday, January 31, 2010

Don’t Do It Yourself!

There’s an old song, “If you want to get anything done, you’ve got to do, do, do it yourself!”

This is obviously a carryover from the last century, when there was a considerable cultural insistence on individual competence and versatility. Big box home improvement and decorating stores depend on this mindset. Television programs on specialty channels demonstrate various recipes, and inundate us with homemade craft projects and renovations, which all of us watch but, let's face it, none of us do. Of course, we’re used to the usual array of service industries available to sell our houses, mow our lawns and paint our paws.

But have you noticed lately, how many new businesses and services are cropping up which offer to take over even more personal efforts and alleviate this pesky insistence on self reliance?

The future, as seen in on the mothership in “Wall-E”, is closer than you think!

Here are a few new careers, besides secretary and prison guard, for the guidance department to add on that list they have.

PERSONAL TRAINER: Too exhausted (or lazy) to lift your own arms and legs? Join a gym and hire a hunk/hunkette in Spandex to assist you in this arduous task. Better yet, have them come over to your house, saving you the effort of driving over and parking the car. Overcome your reluctance to expend actual physical effort by entrusting your maintenance to these experts, who will design special programs for you and even hold your hand (and lift it up and down) throughout the process.

I'm seriously thinking about it. Is there someone I can get to come over and sign me up?

WARDROBE CONSULTANT: Who among us doesn’t have at least ten fashion disasters hanging in our closets? Who among us, could confidently welcome a Gatsbyesque inspection of our shirts, tees and otherwise? More likely, we resemble those women on TV who shlump around in bibbed overalls until they are rescued by ridiculing wardrobe counselors. Take a look around you next time you are in public and it's obvious, most of us simply don’t know what we look good in. Sensing our confusion and insecurity, and desperate to pry that credit card out of our cold poor hands, most of the major department stores and even some malls have set up teams of personal shoppers to hold your hand (and zip you up) while you refashion your image. There are even free-lance ‘dressers’ who will come over to your house and rip apart your closets.

I could go for this if only my insurance covered accidental smothering!

LIFE COACH: For those of you without nagging mothers or best friends, the life coach fulfills an important role. With a wider variety of choices available to us at every stage of life, and the advice to ‘keep all our options open’ burned into our consciousnesses at a formative age by misguided guidance counselors, it is no wonder that many of us find ourselves paralyzed by indecision, at one time or another, in our lives. If you don’t qualify for actual psychiatric intervention, you might want to consider hiring a life coach to guide you through the process of planning your next moves, or even dealing with the consequences of your previous misguided decisions.

As for me, I am available at all hours and my rates are very reasonable.

GIFTERS: Too busy to bother picking out a gift for your mother’s birthday or nephew’s bar mitzvah? There are people who will consult the gift registries for you and even wrap and deliver the goods. There’s nothing like a personal touch, when you care enough to send someone out to get the very best for you.

I wish I had known about this career when I still had the strength to shop all day!

WALKERS: I am not referring to those well-tuxed gents who ferry elegant socialites to parties at the MOMA. These are sort of surrogate parents for your four-legged family members and they can come in handy for busy people. Some of these companies/individuals will walk your dog while you work. (On the other hand, you could always hire someone trying to get landed status to function as a nanny for your pet, if you have the wherewithall and insensitivity). And for those of you who are too pooped to scoop, there are even companies you can hire to come over and clean up your yard on a daily, weekly or seasonal basis. Talk about passing the bag.

I don't need this....I have a husband.

GROOMER: Spa services and hairdressers are old hat. But did you know that you can get your toenails clipped for free at a hospital? Or that there are medical justifications to have your ears ‘dug out’? You may still have to pick your own nose, however.

Anyone out there looking for an career opportunity?

ENDGAME: We live in a time when going to the bathroom has taken on amazing technological significance, and I’m not just referring to the potions available to aid us from the inside-out. There are now toilets for the most fastidious of us (or the most OCD’d, I guess) that have little plastic seat-covers that rotate around to a fresh spot before you lower your bottom! And, of course, someone had to think of this….toilet bowls with built-in shpritzers to wash your tushy! By now, I’m sure you’ve run into (or away from) those overachieving models in upscale restaurants and malls which personally decide when you’ve lingered too long and start flushing themselves, just to keep you on your toes.

Does anyone out there find themselves dancing in front of that red beam to elicit a flush from reluctant 'excusado'? Do you think there is a hidden camera taping this humiliation?

So, if you unlike me, are looking for a new career and are particularly good at these things yourself, you might want to consider taking courses offered by local colleges to get ‘certified’….or is it ‘certifiable’?

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