Unfairness of life is enough to curl your hairnot mine

ALICE STEINBACH ALICE STEINBACH

March 14, 1993

Life is not fair. If it were, there would be no need for headwaiters in restaurants. Or shampoos that build body into your hair. Or pantyhose with control tops.

And certainly, if life were fair, there would be no such thing as coach class on airline flights. Or assertiveness training workshops.

But, alas, life is not fair.

I have known this, of course, for a very long time. In fact, I date such knowledge back to my discovery at the age of 6 that such a thing as naturally curly hair existed.

And that I did not have it.

Fortunately, however, I am not the sort of person who dwells on life's unfairnesses. What I am is the sort of person who pursues by whatever means necessary the solution to such deficits.

Take, for example, the non-naturally curly hair problem. By utilizing two of civilization's most worthwhile inventions -- psychoanalysis and perms -- I managed to overcome the basic unfairness of this situation. Now I hardly ever dwell on it.

Except, of course, on humid days.

But every once in a while some situation or another will arise which, once again, alerts me to the profound truth that: Life is not fair.

It happened to me the other day while standing, exhausted, in a long line at the bank. I suddenly found myself dwelling on how unfair it is that I am not Liz Taylor. And not because she has naturally curly hair, but because of something I read recently in the New Republic.

In a story about how very rich people can buy their way into a hassle-free life, it was pointed out how La Liz, unlike me, has never in her life had to set foot in a bank.

Then -- because I had nothing better to do while standing in line -- I got to thinking about how the same article exposed the unfairness of modern-day air travel. Compare, for instance, the manner in which you travel with the following hassle-free travel experience of record mogul David Geffen:

"Oh, to be David Geffen, and not have to pack one's belongings, or even concern oneself with luggage, flying from Los Angeles to New York with no bags and merely arranging through an assistant for a new wardrobe to be bought and delivered upon your arrival."

Reading on, it became clear to me that the key to the non-hassled lifestyle -- in addition to possessing great wealth -- lies in the word "assistant."

Assistants, in this context, are people who exist to erase for their employers all the tiresome realities of daily life that face the rest of us.

Movie stars, in order to cope with the daily irritants of real life, often find it necessary to hire many assistants. Demi Moore, according to the New Republic, has six of them -- one for her clothes, one for makeup, a bodyguard, a nanny and "a general-purpose assistant, who has her own personal assistant, who is thinking of hiring one of her own."

Add to Demi's six assistants the 22 assistants employed by her husband, Bruce Willis, and you can see this is not a couple who spends time standing in the checkout line at the supermarket. Or waiting at the car repair shop for a muffler replacement.

Which reminds me: Can someone please explain to me why such people so often suffer from "exhaustion?"

As in: "Liz Taylor Hospitalized for Exhaustion."

Or: "Elton John Collapses from Exhaustion."

What exactly, may I ask, is it they are exhausted from? And why have I never known anyone who "collapsed" from exhaustion?

Oh, sure. There were many times, when my friends and I had young kids, were holding down jobs and running a household, that we all felt exhausted.

But, as appealing as it would have been, it was never suggested to us by our physicians or bosses that we be hospitalized for exhaustion. Or that we hire assistants to help us. Although most of us did have someone come in to clean the house once a week.

Which leads me to my Top Two Choices for Assistants If Life Were Fair and I Could Have Assistants:

1. A Cleaning Assistant to come in and clean the house before the regular house cleaner arrives.

2. A Cat Assistant who would be responsible for all cat-related matters such as shopping with them for their favorite foods, playing Mousie with them, carrying them at bedtime from the upstairs radiators to the downstairs radiators, etc., etc.

Of course, the truth is: If life were really fair, we'd all be cats.

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