One Egg Shy

The musings of Chris. Writer, humanitarian, hero.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Living with the three stooges

Within all of us there are three stages of existence. These stages are as well known a trio as Manny, Moe, and Jack of Pep Boys fame or as Larry, Moe, and Curly of the Three Stooges. No, I'm not talking about blood, bones, and bile, or childhood, adolescence, and old fartitude. What I'm talking about is our past, present, and future selves.

Now, I'm sure many of you realize that we exist in the past, in the present, and will exist in the future, but I'm willing to wager that none of you have thought about these three stages as very different and even manipulating individuals.

Our past selves are more than the embarrassing individuals on that old VHS tape who were singing the Macarena wearing only torn He-Man underoos. They are more than that chump who sat through hours upon hours of math classes as a youth just to incorrectly figure out change for a disgruntled customer or the teenagers who were caught having sex with your lubed up couch cushions. No, our past selves are made up of every experience that we can remember, plus some that we have blacked out thanks to years of therapy (I never had a pet rabbit who died on my birthday, I never had a pet rabbit who died on my birthday). Our past selves are a combination of every decision, thought, and haircut that we've ever had. But our past selves have led a dark ... um, past.

Now to the present self. The present self is who you are right now. No wait, right now. Hold on, this is your present. Okay. Your present self is the person that you are who exists just before you try to decide that he is currently existing. Get it? It's okay, I don't either. Anyway, your present self is the moderator of both your past and future selves, and the "number one" that you are trying to always look out for. The problem with your present self is that he always becomes your past self when you aren't paying attention.

The final self that we harbor inside of us is always lurking around the corner, and that is our future self. Our future self is the person that we imagine with rock hard abs, a firm grasp on biochemistry, and who is fluent in Italian. Every penny we save, class we take, and porn download we begin is aimed at improving the lives of our future selves. So if everything went like it should, these three stages of our beings would live in harmony, perfectly coexisting within our lives. But as many of us unfortunately realize, this isn't always the case.

The main complications come from the fact that our past selves are fucking dickwads. As an example, I'll use the Chris that used to be, called Past Chris. Now Past Chris is hard to classify. Sometimes he does things that are great for the Chris enterprise, like starting saving accounts, studying for tests, and treating women with respect. But there is also the other, more lazy side to Past Chris, the one who decides to play video games instead of going to class, to run water over his hands when a thorough washing is really necessary, and to spend money on a new remote-controlled robot vacuum instead of paying a credit card bill. This jerk cheaps out on toilet paper, forcing poor Future Chris to deal with hemorrhoids when he becomes Present Chris. Past Chris doesn't feel like flossing, so Future Chris's gums bleed. Past Chris ate donuts every morning, which contributed to Future Chris's love handles. If the Future Chris that will become the Present Chris is a jerk when he develops into Past Chris, the Future Chris down the line could be homeless and living in not only a dumpster, but the dumpster that the homeless people use to throw their trash out into.

So what can be done to help avoid a rift between your separate stages? The key lies in your present self. Every once in a while, he has to look out for your future Marge or Sam or Judy. This can be done in several simple ways. You can occasionally choose a low-fat option at Old Country Buffet instead of going straight for the deep fried ice cream. You can learn a new hobby like painting or rain dancing. You can even try to surprise your future self by putting some money into a jacket you know you won't wear for a while or by buying an extra bar of soap for when your slivers run out. The point is, you must respect yourself, but not only yourself. Your self four days ago and your self that is yet to arrive.


  • At 4:11 PM, Blogger Russo said…

    I personally subscribe to the four stages of life theory. The four stages come in the form of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo.

    Groucho = The Jaded Self...
    Harpo = The Childlike Self...
    Chico = The Loving Self...
    Zeppo = The Everyday Self...


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