How I can get what I want

Granted, my head has been buried too long in books and in the space between the computer screen and keyboard but apparently the secret of the ages has swept right over me without my notice. It’s swept the country in fact. At least that’s what I learned yesterday from the woman at the consignment  shop (she’s the owner).

I was trying to find the perfect pair of jeans: perfect fit plus $10 price tag. As I went in and out of the dressing room I could hear her and another woman. They were sitting by the front cash register talking very excitedly. No one else was in the store so it was a little hard not to overhear bit and pieces.

This woman, the owner, is a very lovely woman from what I have observed in my past visits to her store. She’s about sixty, always well-coiffed, and never ceases to say encouraging things to her customers. She seems like the proverbial bar tender, listening to everyone’s tales with a kind ear, only in a store filled with last season’s clothes.

The two women approached giddiness as they talked. The one said that she’d given the book to her daughter and son-in-law and it had given them a whole new spirit. Completely changed their life. They talked about other people they’d loaned the book to. And tapes. And a movie. “We can have anything we want,” I heard, “if we just use our minds to get it.” They were saying stuff like that. Other words I heard were: Egyptians, dousing, something about numbers or gems. The phone rang and the conversation continued involving the woman on the phone. She was on her way over to borrow the book. Just before the owner hang up there was a long silence on her end, “Aha....aha......aha......I know you don’t want it to be true, but it is. It’s truth, honey, It’s truth.” She hung up and then, with sadness, told her friend sitting there that the other friend just wasn’t going to get it. “Not everyone will accept it,” said the one. “No, but it’s the truth, it’s the truth,” said the other. Hmm...I wonder if she meant truth with a capital “T”?

Obviously, my curiousity was aroused; I kept out of the conversation, however. Instead, I kept on task looking for those jeans, but the task had by now expanded to include finding a couple other good buys. The second woman eventually left and the store was silent but for the music playing on the speakers, an orchestral version of “Close to You”, by the Carpenters.

I brought my purchases to the counter, a small stack that didn’t include the perfect pair of jeans. As she started ringing up the sale, she asked me if I knew about the secret that was sweeping the country. I said no. In her typical kind fashion she said, “I’ll tell you about it because I want you to know what it is.” She told me how there’s been a secret that has existed from ancient times, that handfuls of people have known this secret over the ages, and that those living now who know it are coming forward with the proof of it. “You can get anything you want if you think about it in your mind,” she said. She described it as the basic law of attraction. For example, she said I might want to think about a house that I wanted. Think about how it’s arranged, how many bedrooms, the size of the lot it’s on. Easy as that, I’d eventually get that house! But, she warned, I can’t think about it just any which way. “There’s a formula,” she said, “You have to use the formula.”  She assured me that she’s known for a long time that she could use her mind to focus on what she wanted and get it, but until now she never knew the formula to guarantee it. She glowed as if she’d just found the key to the bank in her back pocket.

Leaving the store without a pair of jeans, I wondered where I’d gone wrong. I could picture the perfect jeans in my mind, really I could. If only I’d had that formula...

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Addendum: Here are a couple articles about what I'm referring to above: Washington Post and Salon.com