It’s a new week, the heat wave that plagued us last week is over but that doesn’t seem to make my brain any difference; that or the coffee’s doing it’s job and reviving extra brain cells. I spent most of my weekend reading blogs, commenting here or there, and not doing much writing; I guess that after last week’s heat-inspired babbling, the old noodle needed the weekend off.
Today’s brain fart somehow came to mind as I recalled some of the blogs I read, jump-started by the thought that a lot of us have grown up hearing the saying, “Good things come to those who wait” but in a lot of things that we do nowadays, instant gratification is the thing we seemed to seek the most or, “Patience my ass! I want to (add something here) something now!”
A dear friend of mine introduced me to the phrase a lot of years ago as we talked about love, duty, sex, and just getting from one day to the next. While she emphatically admitted that she was in her marriage for the long haul, when it came to being happy, sooner worked better than later; instant gratification, according to her, became important because, as she also said in the same sentence, “The moment of absolute certainty never arrives…”
It took me almost a week to figure out what that meant and what it had to do with instant gratification.
I saw a comment to Lovergirl’s blog about her Symbian adventure and thought, man, shit must be pretty bad when women have to really step up their pursuit of sexual pleasure by including things you need to plug in and/or power tools. Indeed, there are a lot of things we do in our ongoing quest to chase orgasms that fit nicely into instant gratification; patience may be a virtue but it’s hardly going to make you cum when you want or need to. The thought went a little deeper; my coffee-happy brain pointed out to me that a lot of people “become” bisexual, heteroflexible, whatever, not because it’s at the core of who they are but because we want more pleasure and stimulation and while one can be patient and wait for their partner to provide it, well, damn, if I can go get it now and by doing this, why the fuck not?
I’m not sure if it can be called a trend or if it’s a shift in the paradigm, but some folks are at least looking at being non-monogamous while some have stuck a foot into the deep end to test the waters and while others have jumped in, hoping to sink or swim. This need for instant gratification can either inspire us to head onto the road less taken or ‘force’ us to make decisions that we may or may not regret during the long haul… or the really short trip if you happen to fuck it all up. We want the love and/or the sex now and not when someone gets around to deciding whether or not to give it to us now – this plays into delayed gratification, by the way, the thought here being the longer you have to wait for something, the better it’ll be when you finally get it.
One phrase in particular could be very much responsible for our quest for instant gratification: “Life is too short;” its companion phrase is, “You only live once.” Another is, “Tomorrow isn’t promised to you;” another still is, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Wise words, words that were probably geared to get us off of our collective asses and get some shit done and, as another saying goes, “Fortune favors the bold…” or something like that; there are loads of other phrases and sayings but they all can be related to instant gratification – if you don’t get it now, you might not ever get it.
I guess the best phrase that makes instant gratification a thing to pursue is, “Opportunity only knocks once.” Well, yeah, but opportunity has been known to circle back and knock again, right? We are urged to live for the moment and even to live in the moment, a couple of things that aren’t well suited to being patient and waiting for gratification to arrive. We’re told that if we want something badly enough, we should be willing to wait for it… but at some point, a lot of us decided that if we want it badly enough, it might be better to go get it now and if there’s some risk involved – and there usually is with instant gratification – well, the end justifies the means.
It’s like cliche city, huh? Even my venerable mother, who laid that patience is a virtue thing on us growing up, has been known to also say, “You’d better get it while the getting’s good!”
I’m sure that a lot of people can look at their lives and see where instant gratification plays or has played a role in how we get by each and every day – it’s not always some big-ticket item like sex or relationship stuff. Take a peek at yourself and see if you can spot those moments where instant gratification tapped you on the shoulder and whispered in your ear, “Act now… not later, okay?”
- you may get what you “want”… (soulveritas.com)
- Instant Gratification (runwithpersonality.com)
- Yolo (wells623.wordpress.com)
- Instant Gratification (secretlifeofatomboy.wordpress.com)
- Instant Gratification – The Downfall to Building Wealth (davisjeffery24.wordpress.com)
- Instant gratification (gritify.us)