Special Importance

We purchased a new truck for work. I suppose, as trucks go, it looks pretty good. It’s lettered with the business logo and phone number. I’m not overjoyed by the thing. It represents pollution and more junk that will, eventually, end up in a landfill.

My husband stopped at the gas station one day, last week. As he got out of the truck, a small minded, mean spirited person, incapable of critical thought, said to him, “Nice truck. You must think you’re special.” My husband, who was feeling quite testy, looked calmly at that uncharitable person and said , “Yes, I do.” Later on he came home and commented as he finished the story, “I wish I’d told that mindless moron that he could have a truck just like it, if he wanted to work 10-16 hour days, 7 days a week, like I do.”

You know we work hard and, bless your hearts, you know I don’t enjoy it. We don’t think we’re special. We have never aspired to be important people. We don’t live a sophisticated lifestyle. We are not flashy. We’re trying our damnedest to be the best human beings we can be.

Speaking honestly, I believe I am special, if special means unique. If you could see me right now in my wool socks, periwinkle capri sweatpants, and forest green sweatshirt with clashing shawl you’d know how exquisitely special I am.

Over the weekend, we found ourselves in a lovely neighborhood where affluence is tastefully understated. I am fond of little pockets of loveliness and the illusion of tranquility and ease they present. I’m grateful to be segregated from the worries secluded behind the facades of affluence.

We stopped at an artsy, organic restaurant. As we inspected the homemade soup offerings, I overheard a table of male architects posturing conspicuously. I noticed them as soon as we got to the dining room; a delightful space with floor to ceiling windows, large jade plants, white walls and original artwork. Two of the architects were 30 something, one had a perfect simple gold hoop earring, a young trust-a-farian, I am sure. They were interesting until I overheard their dialogue. Did one of them live in the same town as the other? No, but he did live on the “peninsula” enjoying the fruits of his implied special status. The conversation was embarrassing for its blatant ostentation.

Importance is entirely subjective. Status is not important. Possessions are not important. The only thing that makes any one of us special is the way we treat the people we encounter. Even that brand of special has a limited shelf life. Special is a fleeting vapor that offers no protection from life’s hardships. We’re all special, in the same way that Margaret Mead described us as being unique, just like everyone else.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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24 Responses to Special Importance

  1. An excellent post. Our morning clothing choices match in a most heartening way. 🙂

  2. Peggy says:

    Blue Hill? Restaurant in an old barn?

  3. No… not periwinkle capri sweatpants… when will the madness end…?

  4. George says:

    Over-work hasn’t dulled your ability to dispense the most exquisite of wisdom!

    Your husband made the correct observation: the person with the mouth is a moron. It seems that morons flourish days.

    I hate it when you get something nice, do something nice, or think you’ve successful pulled off looking good, and some random *&%?! opens their mouth and attempts to take you down to their level. Misery does love company, and this kind of shit works way too often on we who are sensitive. Tell your hubby he has my permission to walk over to that guy’s vehicle, heist a leg, and take a good pee all over it—works every time!

    If you two ever need a reference re. “specialness,” feel free to use my name!

    • elroyjones says:


      • George says:

        Glad you liked it! I’m sitting here bored-out-my-mind waiting on the guy underneath my house (in the stupid-ass crawlspace) to fix my furnace. When I’m bored and freezing my ass off I’m at my pithiest!

        Years and years ago my brother Steve and I were headed out to the bars one afternoon when we spied the parking place of the Gods on bar-row. However, another person spied it at the same time. We tore ass over to it and stole it away from him and headed into the bar.

        From the window by the pool table we saw the guy we beat to the space get out of his car—mad, real mad. The man was seven foot tall if he was an inch. He walked over to my perfectly washed and waxed Chevy, unzipped his jeans, and peed all over it in absolute broad daylight. His actions took the ‘living-jackass’ right out of me.

      • elroyjones says:

        There are times when I really wish I’d been a guy! Great story, George.
        Hope your furnace gets fixed and you warm up soon.

  5. Whenever I get to feeling particularly “special”, Father Guido Sarducci pops into my head. There’s no way for me to explain that, except Ovine Intervention.

  6. Aren’t you required to posture in artsy, organic restaurants?

    • elroyjones says:

      You just stop it right now. I’ll bet you’re one of those beret wearing, Gauloise smoking, writers… . Speaking of which, kindly do not post any more stories from “Calypso” the book is on my dresser waiting its turn on the nightstand.

      • Yes, I was last seen in a toney restaurant, my table surrounded by various ferns, wearing my Nehru jacket, ascot, tweed vest and spats, sipping on a Sicilian chardonnay while acknowledging the Picasso prints on the wall and pontificating on the price of caviar while creating, in my mind, poetry about the potential of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

      • elroyjones says:

        Pontificating, a splendid word. It first got my attention when a women writer described a Greenwich Village resident as “The Village Pontificator”.
        “Bachelor Brothers Bed and Breakfast” is on the nightstand on top of a random book on historical letters from Ohio and something else the title of which escapes me. “Calypso” is on top of John Irving and Anne Tyler. I just finished an Alice Munro collection.

      • Thrilled to be on the dresser, but who’s on the nightstand?

      • elroyjones says:

        You will bump the other two on the nightstand, one of which is Salinger’s Seymour. Now don’t go preening your Czarness… .

  7. Please pay a visit to the secret blog. I am not pestering you, but there are a few great stories, and it is too much work to do if nobody sees it… thanks and love… also, you can learn a self defence move that could save your life. And hear one of the best fight stories ever. Oh wait, you already do… never mind… You are so cool…

  8. Doug says:

    Well. I’m special enough to be reading a biography of Nietzsche. And especially special to have purchased said bio for the sum of one dollar. And I’ll wager that churlish asshole at the gas station makes it a habit to try and negate any good feelings, accomplishments, or successes of others… serially and throughout the day. It’s how they get over, if not get off.

    And likewise for the posers at the organic dine in. When place makes one what one is, one really belongs nowhere. Oh no, I’m thinking in aphorism. And piss poor ones at that. Ain’t that special.


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