manufactured fun…

Doesn’t it sound like a contradiction in terms?  Can we manufacture fun?  Is fun planned or spontaneous?

I mean you can’t just throw someone a party without any planning?  We need people to have fun with.  So at the very least they need to be told upfront.  That’s planning.  You need to get the food and drinks.  That means providing for time to either cook (yeah right); alright buy or pre-order.  All that is “pre” work.  That requires some planning too.

Even to go on a holiday, no matter how spontaneous (like going to UK on the next day after you book your ticket … ok two days after booking your ticket :p), you still need to get your airtickets in advance and there is this thing called applying for leave.  Yes leave from the work you do that will pay for your holidays.  If you want to visit certain places, you will at least need to know opening and closing times and if it needs guided tours, when it starts and ends.

Why am I asking this?  I am just intrigued.  How much planning anyone needs in our lives and for what and how much else we go with the flow?

Like for me, the best holiday is pretty much free and easy.  Whether we just chill or go on self-drive holidays.  Note package tours, not in the cards :p  Too many people to cater to.  Even travelling with one other person takes adjustment, what more a bus load!  If they are inconsiderate, you are stuck for the rest of the trip!  Then the trips are like, “Ok everyone, this is the Eiffel Tower.  Take a picture.  Buy a souvenir.  Knock your socks off.  You have 10 minutes.”  That’s if they speak in a language you understand.  There is also the loooooooooonnnnng bus rides that doesn’t allow for pit stops to take that breathtaking picture.  Or enjoy wine and cheese picnic by the lakes…Awwww…..  Or the other thing that kills me – crawling out of bed at unearthly hours.  On my leave days?!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get up at 4.30am for that hot air balloon ride.  You need to set up the balloon and catch the sunrise.  Breathtaking!  And the descent and champagne brunch at a vineyard.  Way cool!  Worth any sleep deprivation.  But I can’t do the chop, chop 5am to 9pm gruelling schedule day after seven days packing in every possible single sight and yet seeing nothing.  I’ll need a holiday from my holiday.

I just need to plan around the bigger things, like those mentioned earlier, then go with the flow.  I’m luckier as I can travel off-peak periods.  But so as not to stress yourselves, plan to arrive at the place, in the day so you can go to the “I” and have plenty of time to check around on things to do and places to stay before you check in.  Once you have the information for the bigger pieces, you can decide what to do fuss-free (well almost :p)  Of course, you also need to have an idea of one or two big things you really don’t want to miss.  Everything else is a bonus as it would generally be new and therefore novel anyway.  So like a wise friend says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

I get it that some people need to plan everything to the “t”.  I think it’s about control.  I guess it is a certain type of “manufactured” fun.  Is that an oxymoron?  We certainly need a balance.  We can’t all sit around and expect a trip, a party, an anniversary celebration to happen. Especially when there is more than one person involved.  Heck, even retirement needs some planning.  By all means, plan the “pre” stuff.  Then when the event takes place, you pretty much go with the flow.  Enjoy the expected and the unexpected. 

But there is spontaneous fun.  I’m not a believer in the stars or anything but sometimes when you sense that things are falling into place, just on a whim, by yourself or with a friend or family member/s (there is always someone available somehow), go cycling.  Take some pictures.  Have a leisurely brunch.  Walk by the beach.  Have an intimate dinner.  Catch up with old friends.  Go for a spa.  Take a short weekend getaway.  Whatever.  Borrowing from NIKE, “Just Do it”. (I prefer the old tag line) 🙂

What do you think?  Can we plan fun?  How much of it do we plan?  What do we let go before we can actually have fun?


4 thoughts on “manufactured fun…”

  1. ” … (there is always someone available somehow), go cycling. Take some pictures. Have a leisurely brunch. Walk by the beach. Have an intimate dinner. Catch up with old friends. Go for a spa. Take a short weekend getaway.”


  2. I know a couple of people who seem to plan everything in their lives. I used to work for the most organised person on earth…..I dare say, universe. This guy does not leave anything to chance…there was a joke going around that even his intimate moments with his wife are planned. Err…sorry not tonigh honey, it is Tuesday 😛
    My view is that there are 2 types of people who manufacture fun. The first category are people who are OCD. Nothing goes unplanned.
    The other category of folks are probably believe that the world is a stage. They are probably so worried that whatever they plan will fall flat that they manufacture the spontaneity (another oxymoron?). To those in the know, it is manufactured. To the uninitiated, it comes across as “spontaneous fun and participation”. It is not unlike the good old days in school when we had a VIP come give a talk and the Literary Society will plant some members in the audience to ask questions. Of course the VIP will be prepared beacuse he will be told that some questions have been submitted by eager students. Going to the work environment, when I was in the army many years ago, it was not uncommon for army camps to be given a fresh coat of paint whenever a Bragadier General visited. (In those days, BG was a real BIG SHOT)…literally whitewashing.
    Ultimately, I beleive it is about how comfortable you are under your own skin. If you are confident enough as a person, you should just do what you please rather than worry about what others think of you. I am not saying we should disregard the perception of others, but we should not be hung up on it.
    What was the last spontaneous thing I did? hmmmm…..I spent hours in a queue some weeks ago. I cannot tell you what it was for …let me give you a hint…it was not for National Day Parade tickets ….. 😛

    1. er…honey…let’s plan for some spontaneous fun after tuesday…woo hoo :p hahahaha…….. sad – is that a fair adjective to use? some people are happy planning fun. dunno lah… c’est la vie i guess, as long as they don’t impose their planned MO on others.

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