Trader Joe Is a Buddhist
by Laurie Frankel
Hello, my name is Laurie and I am attached to outcome.
Everyone: Hello, Laurie!
It all started when I was born. I came out with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish and, I don’t mean to brag, but by the time I was eighteen months, I achieved them all. I could focus, roll over, crawl, walk, talk and win at scrabble (except for the winning-at-scrabble part which happened just last week). Achieved goals flew past. I thought this life thing is e-z! And it was, until I wanted to be a published writer and then well…
I am not good at letting go. I am like a dog that way. The desire to be heard through my writing ie publishing, is deeply rooted in my soul. I know this about myself. It is one of my five crosses to bear (the third being my “ethnic” hair. Let’s just say had hair mousse been invented in the 70s I would have had a social life. In other words, I coulda been a contenda…for Math Club President. Just sayin’).
A quick note about my world view: I do not believe in fate. I do not believe things happen for a reason. I do believe life offers up endless opportunities to learn and it is my job to make meaning from the things that do happen so that, going forward, I can do better. Otherwise, I feel I am little more than a circus idiot (no offense to members of The National Circus Idiots Coalition who I know hone their idiot craft for years before taking it on the road).
In light of this self-awareness, I have sought ways to tame my rabid attachment to publishing through yoga, meditation and, of course, shopping at Trader Joe’s.
No offense 5000 plus-year-old yoga, but everything I learned about writing in the face of rejection I learned from shopping at Trader Joe’s. For those who have long suspected, yes, Joe the Trader, is the original Buddhist of commerce who started his store as a means of teaching non-attachment to outcome. How? By selling high quality, super tasty treats at reasonable prices and then, as soon as you’re hooked like a meth addict on morning glory, yanking them from the shelves.
Why Joe, why?!
Joe: To decrease suffering in the world by teaching non-attachment to outcome just like you said in the above paragraph.
Me: I was kidding.
Joe: I wasn’t. Seems someone hasn’t read their latest, Fearless Flyer.
Me: I’m busy. I work. And if you haven’t read this blog post, I’m trying to get published which takes an awful lot of time because first you have to write something worthy of being published and then hope some blowhard I mean editor deems you worthy…of being published.
Joe: Hey, Sisyphus! Ha, ha, just kidding. In the meantime, why not take it down a notch with some of my Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.
Me: You mean the mind-numbingly good holiday cookies that only show up for one month and leave me crying my eyes out for the remaining eleven?
Joe: Yes, those same ones.
Me: Been there, done that, Joe. Think I’ll pass.
Joe: Sounds like someone needs to work on their non-attachment.
Me: Tell me something I don’t know.
Joe: The universe is expanding and therefore has no center?
Me: Very funny, Joe. Don’t quit your day job.
Joe: Good advice. Keep shopping Laurie. And good luck with that writing thing.
Writer and humorist Laurie Frankel knows pain is the root of all comedy and is thrilled her life is so damn funny. Her literary work has appeared in Shenandoah, The Literary Review, Sequestrum, North American Review, Belleville Park Pages, Alaska Quarterly Review and New Orleans Review among others. Her books include “I Wore a Thong for This?!” and “There’s a Pattern Here & It Ain’t Glen Plaid.”: “. . . laugh-out-loud funny . . . great practical suggestions . . . A quirky, earnest guide to regaining self-esteem for the modern woman.” — Kirkus Reviews. She is the winner of the 2014 Time and Place Prize, Brittany France and the 2014 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction. Visit her blog at http://www.frankelymydear.com.