The ‘Special’ of Special


When I was a kid we looked forward to the Fair because it was where we could ingest massive quantities of cotton candy. What little kid doesn’t like colorfully, spun sugar that melts in your mouth? It was an amazing moment when you were handed the paper cone full of the pink and blue and purple sugary delight. I saw this container in the store and it made me think about all those evenings at the Fair eating myself sick to my heart’s content.

As I stood in line it also made me wonder about ‘special’ things losing their special-ness. If you can eat cotton candy anytime you want, does it still hold a special place in your heart? Or does it become something ordinary like a bag of potato chips? The excitement about going to the Fair was the fact that the foods we ate there were only eaten there. If I could have eaten my fill of cotton candy at home, then what was there to look forward to at the Fair? I know it can be exciting to eat cotton candy outside of the Fair, but does that make it less special?

I have a friend who loves going to the day spa. She enjoys manicures, pedicures, massages and facials. She loves it so much that she goes two or three times a month. It has become a regular part of her life, and as a result it has lost it’s special-ness.  I have another friend who loves coffee. She started buying a special cup each Friday on her way home; it kick started her weekend. Now she has two or three special cups of coffee a day; and it has become a standard part of her life and less special.

When we take the special and make it ordinary we lose a bit of our excitement, anticipation, our ability to value the special. We consider the special special only when we have it or experience it infrequently. When we don’t know when we will have it or experience it again, we have something to look forward to and somehow that enhances the special that much more. Capitalism is a great thing; it can provide anything and everything we want, most of the time from an online vendor. Maybe this summer instead of saturating yourself with your special items, consider consuming them only a few times. In that way they remain special, you have something to look forward to, and the special can maintain it’s special-ness.

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