AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Friday, November 7, 2014
Life is Like "Let's Make A Deal"
This column originally appear3ed in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, November 7, 2014
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
I get older and inch closer to my sixth decade of life, I have come to a
relatively simple yet still startling revelation:
is pretty much a series of episodes of the old television game show, Let’s
Make a Deal.
of us, I wasn’t worried about the aging process during my younger and more
foolish days.I mean, I wasn’t exactly a
“wild and crazy guy” in the old Saturday Night Live image (could I
possibly date myself any earlier into a column?).But neither was I any type of “health nut”,
devoted to a lifestyle that would ensure me a long and fruitful existence.
weighed 120 pounds when I graduated from high school.I’m just a little bit over that now, some 40
years later.Well, maybe a lot over
that. Okay, so I’m double that and have
shrunk about an inch – you wanna make something of it?
didn’t get this way overnight.It was a
long and selfish road that led me to this spot where I currently waddle.It took a lot of fatty foods and Coke (the
beverage, not the other stuff) to get to this point.And it wasn’t because I didn’t know any
better.I knew the job was dangerous,
but I kept taking it.
of us are willing to sacrifice our longevity for short-term pleasure and
enjoyment – at least when we are younger.As we get older, we want to start making a deal.
start worrying about ourselves, and rightly so.Some eat less, eat better, exercise more, and generally take better care
of their bodies.They go to bed earlier
and get more rest.In return for these
acts, they ask the higher powers we hope control these things to recognize
their belated efforts and reward them with a longer and healthier time on this
if I give up butter and go to margarine, you give me an extra three years.I change to Diet Coke, I get another 18
months.And passing on salt should
definitely mean an extra five years,” you reason with the forces that control
in the end, we have to make choices.Just like in the aforementioned game show, we are unsure what is
actually behind doors number one, two and three.There are no sure things.
we get shown what is hidden behind one door, and have to decide if we are
willing to settle for that.Our heads
tell us it might be the best possible deal, but our hearts urge us to try and
get something better.Go ahead – eat
that bowl of ice cream every night.It’s
got to be worth the risk, right?
the second door swings open, we are often pleasantly surprised.We got this far without paying an overly high
price, and it’s not so bad.Of course we
aren’t going to settle for this.We both
want and need more.And what the heck –
we’ve gotten by so far, haven’t we?
is where I am now, and it won’t be long before Door Number Three swings open
and reveals what the road to the final prize will look like.Now the bargaining starts for real, because
the stakes seem much higher looking forward.
I’ll do better,” you reason with the disembodied voices in your head.“I’ll actually go to the gym once in a
while.I’ll get that physical I’ve been
putting off.I’ll even stop taking my
diabetes pill with a Coke every night,” you add, throwing in what could be the
I realize I decided a while ago not to take the deal – at least, not
fully.I’m not saying that’s the smart
move, and I’m not suggesting anyone else do the same.I’m just saying it’s the choice I’ve made.
know when I’m 70 and facing various issues, I’ll probably be sorry.I’ll be regretting my short-sightedness.I’ll be thinking I should have sacrificed
more for the longer view. I might be
wishing I had done it differently, and start trying to make a deal.
I have certainly enjoyed getting to this point.And maybe – just maybe – there’s a treat behind Door Number Three.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at