I was reading an article in the New York Times Sunday Review by Delia Ephron You Can’t Have It All But You Can Have Cake discussing the illusion of the Have-it-All mentality and what she refers to as a depressingly American point of view. Since having it all simply breeds wanting more. As she points out this concept is painfully simpler in other countries such as learning to read or making it to school without being raped on the way.
Exacerbated she delves into the one dimensional nature of the American woman’s version of Have-it-All; Marriage, children, and career-as if one size truly fits all. She goes further discussing how we are stuck in a perpetual High School reunion mentality of haves, have-nots, wannabes and freaks. My friends and I call this the happily ever after fairytale façade.
Meet Prince Charming, buy a castle and serve a nation. Oy Vey!
(Our version of Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!)
Ephron implores you to think of having it all as an eclipse, those rare moments when what you want and actually have are aligned. Inside a few quiet hours on Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the crossword puzzle, rocking out with my friends 2yr old on his guitar and drum set, or playing bridge with the girls I find myself there. It is that moment of balance where peace of mind creeps in and everything melts away to presence.
For Delia peace descends the second she enters a bakery. And as she points out she’s lucky to suffer from what her husband diagnosed as Discardia — the tendency to throw things away after a few bites unless she falls in love. But as my friend Cindy quips “the minute I met Tiramisu my modeling career was over“, obviously love struck. So in this particular incidence you can’t have it all and your cake.
But I can assure you those afternoons we spent at the café sharing Tiramisu and Milchkaffee were worth more than a million go-sees, runway shows or magazine spreads could ever be. Sometimes you just have to look at things from the right perspective. And you might just realize you already do Have-it-All. And when push comes to shove I say choose cake.
~ Ephron’s article adapted from her book Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. being released September 17th.