I’ve always liked Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but I’ve never really been obsessed with it. My cell phone is Verizon, not AT&T. But there’s something about this commercial that really gets to me. I’m not sure what it is, but every time I catch it on TV, I stop what I’m doing and just watch. Maybe it’s the whimsical, innocent, happy ideas. Maybe it’s the cute crayon-drawn characters. Maybe it’s the odd looking bearded man. Whatever it is, it touches me. If my heart had strings, this commercial would tug them.
Lately, my life has been difficult. I’ve been too stressed out at work and in life, I’ve been taking on a few too many freelance projects at once, and I’m in the middle of moving. Life is hard. It would be nice to be five again. It was such an innocent age, when your biggest worry was remembering to watch Sesame Street. The realities of life hadn’t crushed your spirits yet. I wasn’t constantly worried about lack of money, my weight, my utter lack of a love life, and the rest of my problems. My days were structured around Legos in the morning, floating GI Joes down the stream in the afternoon and catching lightning bugs in the evenings. Then my parents would tuck me into bed with a story, and I’d try to fade off to sleep while staring at my closet door in terror. I swear it just moved! (wait, scratch that last part!)
Today, when life gets you down today, just close your eyes for a minute. Think of something simple that makes you happy. Take a deep breath and smile. If that fails, just imagine Gene Wilder singing to you and crayon monsters tromping through the city. It works for me.