Counterfeit: a bad investment

I hate it when I get duped. I mean, who doesn’t? Sometimes even the most vigilant of us can take a nap and miss something we should have caught . . . like the fact that the cute little netbook that I bought off someone from C-list had Windows 7 Ultimate loaded as the operating system – along with MS Office Pro – all for a cool $220. Oh, the ignorant bliss of wanting something to be just as good as it looks!

So, I discovered yesterday that my netbook has a bogus installation of Windows 7 – a pirated version, a hack. That presents a long series of issues, you know. Some of those issues seem best resolved by just buying another netbook.

I remember being 18 years old and my then-boyfriend (who I later married) bought for me a street version of a Rolex watch on one of his trips to New York. I thought it was cool, just because I was so crazy about him. The fact that it was a fake watch didn’t bother me. My employer at the time was from China, Mr. Lee, and he was very “into” Rolex (real) watches. I remember how he laughed at mine. He couldn’t speak English, but he made the tick-tock motion with his fingers, then wagged a finger “no” at me, then made the smooth-glide motion of a real Rolex. And then he laughed – face to the sky laughter. Whatever. From then on, I referred to the watch as my “Relax”.

Disturbingly, people can be counterfeit, too. I’m sure most of us have experienced one or two of those. We may have even pretended to be something we’re not on occasion. Just for effect. Just to ensure a particular outcome. The day usually comes, though – unexpected and with great surprise – when the fraud is uncovered. Sometimes it isn’t a surprise because we didn’t already know. Sometimes it’s a surprise because we thought it didn’t really matter that much.

I’m a great big fan these days of authenticity. I value honesty and integrity in all relationships. But sometimes I still have to confront a counterfeit that creeps in under the radar.

I’m grateful that the truth always comes out when there are counterfeits in my life. I count it as proof that the God who called himself the Truth is in it. I wish it was always as easy for us to spot as the “Windows is not genuine” error message, but often it is much more subtle than that. I think we all yearn for “the real thing”, “the genuine article”. But we allow the imposter to stay around because it might cost a lot more than we hoped to pay. Being genuine does cost you a lot. (Ask Jesus, he knows all about that.) But it’s more like an investment with a good return. Investing in a counterfeit is always a loss.