This magazine cover caught my attention with its enticing headline, Escape the Ordinary. As much as I love wine, music and art, it occurred to me that what I’d really prefer is an escape to the ordinary.
The extraordinary is all around us. We can’t shut ourselves off from it. In the news, the entertainment industry, social media, and in casual conversation we are constantly bombarded by stories of extraordinary sadness, extraordinary horror, extraordinary weirdness, extraordinary rudeness, extraordinary hatred, and extraordinary corruption.
Sure, you can find stories of extraordinary kindness and so forth if you dredge the archives long enough, but based on the supply and demand of news and entertainment media content, we the people much prefer to consume the extraordinarily bad rather than the extraordinarily good.
In any case, I don’t like the idea that extraordinary is good and ordinary is bad. It’s a sloppy way of thinking and bit by bit it conditions us to reflexively reject the ordinary — without bothering to evaluate the ordinary thing or the extraordinary thing on its own merits.
The ordinary can be much better than the extraordinary. There can be great beauty and wisdom and tranquility in ordinary things. At this moment I’d much prefer an ordinary hamburger to a plate of steamed snails, and a Leave It to Beaver rerun to an episode of Enraged Manicurists of Beverly Hills. And while we’re on the subject of personal grooming, I’d rather discuss the weather with my barber than the latest political crisis with the Twitterati.
The good news is, escaping to the ordinary allows you to have your cake and eat it, too — because these days nothing is more extraordinary than the ordinary.