This morning I was at the office early when I stumbled upon some handy bit of magic. I had a meeting across town so I was grabbing my computer charger from the bottom drawer of my shelving unit, a drawer filled with heavy hardback books. I grabbed the charger and slid the drawer shut with my foot. It closed with a small thud and a wondrous side-effect—there, at eye level, four feet above said drawer, sits a collection of bobblehead figurines. Ten or so of the dead-eyed figures are from the TV show The Office, another is a co-bobbler made in the likeness of my wife and me. The last one is Gandalf the White, from Lord of the Rings. My sister got me that one for Christmas when I was employed at a church, noting that she knows I prefer the homeless, grungy look of Gandalf the Gray more, but this way, if any church people get offended by the presence of a wizard in my office—even of the bobblehead variety (because, let’s be honest, sometimes we church-folk can get a little weird)—I could simply tell them it was Moses. Fair enough.
And here on this shelf these bobbleheads perch, looking on at passersby and guests to my humble office. Normally they are stoic; they are still. But on this day, when that drawer slammed shut, each bobblehead, to a man and to a woman, nodded emphatically up at me. I opened the bottom drawer with my foot and asked them the following question, “Will I have a great day?” I nudged the drawer shut, and they eagerly answered in the affirmative.
Again, the door was opened, and again it was shut.
Is unforeseen fortune coming my way?
Will Mizzou neglect that they have NO POST PRESENCE and win the SEC anyway?
Is my life about to come together in some amazing ways?
Is Walter White going to be okay in season 5?
Will I ever get on Wheel of Fortune?
Will my wife be unable to keep her hands off me tonight?
Boy, it didn’t matter what I asked, as long as that drawer kept closing, those heads kept nodding their joyous yeses. Yes! Yes! YES!
It was pretty great, till I got to thinking about it. I mean, yes, I was just fooling around, amusing myself as I’m prone to do. But in life, I often find myself doing this same thing. Sure, I don’t have a whole gang of “yes-men” but there are a few of them. And I seek these people out, typically they are the first ones too.
I’m not crazy am I?
She’s way off base, right?
I’m still the greatest thing ever, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes! Yes! YES! they nod emphatically. They tell me precisely what I want to hear, and that is why I love them so much. I would love nothing more than to sit them on the shelf of whatever room I am in, and constantly have them there to remind me of my own greatness and how I’m never, ever, couldn’t possibly be!, wrong about anything. They’d just stand idly by, wide-eyed waiting for me to call on them, dolls and dummies, the truest kind of friends.
Sure, sometimes what they say gets me in trouble. Often it makes me prideful and narrow. Sometimes—okay, most times—it keeps me from growth. But, man, does it feel good to get that big, fat juicy “yes” time and time again. But as I age, I’m realizing more and more that a productive life isn’t one propped up by a queue of “fans” and frauds thoughtlessly waiting to tell me “You can do it!” and “Of course you should!” and “You the man!” like reading a line.
Plus, now I don’t need these people anyway–I have all the “Yes” I need in my bobblehead friends just a drawer-kick away . . . just ask them.