From the Desk of Madame Zuchini

Choices, or Are They?

Last night, after two too many tequila shots, Madame became bored with watching Mamba with the celebrities. So Madame, as she usually does after drinking too much while watching gorgeous young men in skin tight unitards dance, began to wax nostalgic for the old days, the days of youth and laughter, leaping and bounding about her memories so as to chase away the liver spots.  Then as often happens the waxing becomes a waning and Madame thought of a dear old friend who had turned out to be a real loser; mediocre jobs, cookie cutter apartment,  the ubiquitous balding boyfriend, you get the point.  One ponders how does one get into a predicament like this?  If we only knew “then” what we know “now”, goes the saying. Would Madame’s friend still have gone to the bar to “study” the night before her SAT’s?  Imagine waking up one morning to find you are 18 once more and can make decisions all over again. Would one really just swallow that pill they found on the parking lot ground, hoping it was a Ritalin?  What decisions or non-decisions we make when we are 18 affect us for the rest of our life.  Would my friend be in the situation she is in  now if she had chosen college over a young life of sex, drugs and rock and roll? If she had known “then” what she knew “now”? Imagine, letting a mere child ripe with frenzied hormones make our life’s decisions for  us? Yet, that is exactly the way the world has worked it. Who knows? It could be worse.  Ah, the Law of Unintended Consequences. (perhaps we should think twice before ordering the chef’s special).

Speaking of which, Madame recently wrote a note which sparked a religious war of words  fascinating yet unintended. The bible says: We see through a glass darkly. Yes, we do. As in life, we make decisions or non-decisions as a cosmic 18 year old that will affect us through life and on into the afterlife. Some people can be  happy accepting God on faith alone, the metaphysical equivalent to the parental, “Because I said so.”  Other are not so easily assuaged. We need empirical evidence. Yet how,  as mere humans, mere teens  in the great scheme of humanity, who “see through a glass darkly”, can we  possibly be expected to make the right choices that will affect us positively in the physical world?  Madame posits that people who have a belief system, of whatever kind, are in general happier. To believe in a benevolent God that is watching over you and will take you in his arms in the afterlife is a comforting thought. If I thought it, would it make me  happier and less annoying?

But is it true?  How can we, with our limited brain usage,( I believe the percentage is somewhere around 10%), possibly  have the knowledge and the experience to make a life everlasting decision? It is as frustrating, as entrusting the rest of your life to a beer sodden young boy.  Think of days of old, how many Protestants were burnt at the stake by catholics for not believing in the True Faith. How many catholics were likewise burnt at the stake by protestants for not believing in their True Faith. How can we know, through the glass darkly, what is the True Faith? Some of us are not dealing with the same intelligence level as others, some are smarter, some less so. Some people are more inquiring and deep, for some, “Because I said so”, is enough.  But, and, who made us who we are  with our intelligence or lack thereof, with our inquiring minds, or our our simple minds, knows the limitations with which he Designed us, and should ostensibly give us a break. The bible says, “All men fall short of the glory of God”, and allegedly based on that verse we are sent to hell, whether it is fire or brimstone or the charity of clarity.  If  God doesn’t make mistakes, then how can we make mistakes with the minds he gave us?  I mean, it’s all we have to work with.

A man robs another man at gunpoint and says, give me your wallet or I’ll kill you. So the other man gives him the wallet. In court, as a defense, the robber says, “I didn’t make him give me his wallet your Honor, it was his choice. I said OR I’ll kill him. I gave him a choice.”  So it is with life. Choices – or are they?

Madame needs a double scotch. Madame out.