Wednesday, June 23, 2010


In astronomy there is a cool word that has stuck in my consciousness over the years. This word is syzygy. How many words do you know of that include a "y" for every other letter and includes three of these buggers? Syzygy refers to a state where multiple planetary bodies (in a given gravitational system) are in direct alignment, like the sun, moon, and earth. It can also refer to the coming together of a number of separate threads into an unexpected windfall. I can assure you that when I experience this state of a distant hope or dream coming to fruition, that it makes me quite giddy, quite giddy indeed. Let me share my most recent experience.

I have come to find out over the years that kids love to spend their parent's hard-earned money. To be clear, when considering their preference between two different items, they always seem to much prefer the more expensive item. Then they set their hearts on said more expensive choice and look at their parental units with the saddest puppy-dog eyes known to mankind. In such a situation, it has been clinically proven that parents cannot deny their offspring's request. They may dearly want to say no, but are rendered physically incapable. This is the situation 99.999% of the time.

However, I experienced syzygy the other day in the local sporting goods store. My daughter and I were shopping for a field hockey stick for her. Her choice came down to two sticks that seemed to me to be quantifiably identical in every conceivable way down to the molecular level. However, one stick was $30.00 and the other was $90.00. If you have been paying attention to where this blog entry is leading, you will probably already have guessed that she chose the $30.00 stick as her favorite without any proddings from me. She looked at me as one might look at a demented dancing baboon when I did my dance of monetary joy in the middle of the aisle. Syzygy.