Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blinded by the Light

The building management team for the office I work in seems to have some sort of sick fluorescent fetish, and I need them to get a grip or I'm calling the police. Each and every day they come in to replace an already super-watt light bulb with one even more blinding, or to build a new light fixture, or to paint the walls whiter to accentuate the blistering glare of the already incandescent hallways. Hi, can you make it just a little brighter in here? People can't quite see my large intestine through my cashmere. It's ridiculous. My SPF is not strong enough for this. What is the deal with office lighting? What hetero-schmuck decided that people are somehow able to work better or learn more efficiently in such harsh, horrendous conditions and why are we still listening to him? When I have an office of my own, it will be nothing but natural light, burning candles, waterfalls, maybe a couple of Gazelles prancing about the lobby and a full bar. Nature, Sweetie..Nature!

I cannot stress enough the importance of good lighting. Just ask the hundreds of hideous people I've gone on first - sometimes even second - dates with. Without the aid of a smoky, romantic, dimly-lit atmosphere to enhance our initial meeting, they might never have even gotten so far in the game. (Furthermore, I always think that bath house lighting makes me look like a young Audrey Hepburn.) Consider the fitting rooms in our favorite clothing boutiques. Sometimes even the extremely high-end stores feature nightmarish overhead lighting in their fitting rooms, making the most gorgeous and pricey garments look depressing. Well they can kiss my extremely high-end. That personal fitting is a crucial part of a shopper's overall experience and decision-making. Other smarter stores understand this and consequently their dressing rooms are lit for a Cover Girl photo shoot, making us look like Beyonce in everything we try on. These stores are where I spend my money. (Of course I am always careful to keep receipts because sometimes a store's lighting is deceivingly good, and the reflection of me in my new designer potato sack at home is more Aretha than Beyonce.) Let us take a lesson from those "poor" people in Malawi and Somalia and the Bronx we see glamorized on television and in magazines all the time. Without the pesky burden of electricity, they are blessed with the good fortune to be constantly surrounded by natural light, and you've seen how skinny they all look in those commercials. Malnutrition?....Good lighting.

In other news: We were all bereaved this past Tuesday by the sudden and mysterious loss of actor Heath Ledger, Jake Jigglebawllz' very first onscreen top. That was a real shocker, and I honestly feel terrible about it. But it also made me question the way we ("we" meaning "we - the general public", and "we - the general public" meaning "the rest of you - not me") handle such incidents and rank their importance in our lives. Similar to the aftermath of Anna Nicole Smith's highly anticipated departure last year, the INSTANT Ledger's death was exposed, I became flooded with phone calls and emails and text messages and voice mails and condolence cards; my mother called to find out if I was safe; someone in my office pulled the fire alarm; people were rushing home to be with their families; and Lassie showed up with a couple of animated Disney birds to warn me of the news. It was mayhem. Meanwhile, if God forbid there was a terrorist attack, none of us would have a clue.

I suppose we take such tragedies to heart because, while we really don't know or have anything to do with these Hollywood luminaries, whether we mean to or not, we form something of a one-sided bond with them. They are the ones whose lives we read about each morning on our way to work (fictionalized as they may be); they are the ones who we take our friends, families and first dates to spend a few expensive hours with every weekend; theirs are the images we escape to when we need a little carefree distraction from our own realities. These stars are a source of light for many, and so it's sad and a little disheartening when they burn out. (Ehh, whaddya gonna do.)

My condolences to all of you. I hope that we can begin to heal and rebuild. I've gotta get back to work. I've just heard a voice in the distance telling me to "go into the light, Carol Anne!" That's my cue.

No comments: