Sunday, May 21, 2006

Zen of Showering

Interior design is a field in which I have never shown any skill. Take, for example, my normal shower-curtain-purchase strategy: "Give me the cheapest thing you have, in solid white." (Hey, I'm a single, straight, colorblind GUY... what do you expect?) Nonetheless, when I moved to my current apartment, I made an effort to create a pleasant living space. I thought finding the right shower curtain would be an easy place to start. Not so. Apparently the shower curtain industry does not target the "33 year old male" demographic with quite the same voracity as does the performance automobile industry. I must have looked at 100 different shower curtains in the first hour of the quest. None of them expressed "Mark's true shower curtain essence." Thankfully, I scored a bit of luck just before giving up: I found a blue world map curtain in the $5.00 bin at a local department store. I like the color blue. I like geography. And I like bargains. It was the perfect score. I bought the curtain and never looked back. Until about one month ago. As I was working up a lather one fine morning, focusing on Europe, I noticed an error. I won't give it away, but if you want to test your geography skillz, click on the map to see a bigger version of the same. Hint: Focus on Southern Europe and Northern Africa. I'm sure you are asking yourself "Why the hell did Mark just spend a few paragraphs talking about his shower curtain, of all things?" Well, here's why: Noticing this flaw, and thinking about my reaction to it, started a train of thought that hasn't stopped yet. The first thing I noticed was that the flaw was more amusing than annoying. In my younger (INTJ on the Myers-Briggs test) days, the "flawed" shower curtain would have bugged the crap out of me. Now (when I more often come up INTP), I enjoy the imperfection. I think it gives the curtain character. This thought lead to other thoughts about how I view personal relationships, or my career, or $, or [other topics]. I never imagined that a $5.00 shower curtain purchase could end up being such an effective form of psychotherapy!