Don’t you DARE Google the answer! So you know the Periodic Table by heart, you know if Pluto is a planet, and you don’t take a bite but consume in orders of magnitude. Are you smart enough to answer this question?
Life changing…awe inspiring…utterly terrifying. All cliché, and totally accurate descriptions of parenthood. I was not ready at 30, and cannot imagine how people sometimes half my age take on the challenge of parenting. In biblical times, it was the norm. Now it’s a statistic. My wife and I had been married for 3 years and together for 6 before we decided to take the metaphorical plunge. In the end, math won out. “I’ll be 48 when he or she graduates high school if we have one this year!” Game, set, and match.
There have only been 2 times in my life when I remembered dreams I had the night before. As a child, I saw JAWS on tv and had nightmares for a while after. The dream was me floating on my mattress in the open ocean with the shark swimming by and biting a piece off of the mattress with every pass. Finally I would be balancing on one foot on a shoebox size piece of mattress that gets bitten out from under my foot and I wake suddenly as I fall into the water. They eventually stopped, and now I actually have a goal of observing great white sharks from a cage someday. No longer am I scared, just very respectful and fascinated.
The second period of recalled dreams/nightmares came before our first child was born, our only son. (We have 2 girls also, and having 2 girls in a row coupled with my age, prompted my scheduling a weekend of sitting on frozen peas and watching Band of Brothers.) The dreams this time involved me holding my infant son in very precarious situations, almost always from a great height. I would be looking down while holding him, in high winds, from the tops of buildings, scaffolding, stadiums, cliffs, hot air balloons, etc…you get the point. Vivid is an understatement. I was getting no sleep and began thinking that I was not equipped for this challenge. I asked a friend who is a professional counselor what I could do about them, if anything. He reassured me that as a first time parent, my subconscious was getting me ready for the new responsibility and that they would subside when the time was right. He was right…but then I averaged 2 hours sleep every night for his first year and dreams were no longer an issue.
Young singles can’t fathom the profound loss of freedom, seeing it as a “life sentence” with no chance of parole. They don’t know yet that most of them will be willing to turn themselves in in a few short years. Why? Why take on the challenges, the complications, the risks…the sacrifice? Why indeed?
The only answer I have arrived at is the same answer that so many spiritual leaders and avatars have been teaching for thousands of years. Our lives are only truly meaningful when they’re given away. Parenthood is not the only way to live this teaching, there are many. But parenthood is what many of us choose. Done correctly, it refocuses your life forever off of you. You will never again make a decision that somehow does not have to consider that person or persons…never. A life lived for others, that is what parenting is.
“Life will always have a soundtrack if you sing…” That was quite a quote from my cohort…must have been listening to Fogelberg at the time. It is true, though. The pros so outweigh the cons, it’s almost absurd to even debate them. The first smile, walk, word…watching life unfold through their eyes…experiencing everything again for the first time with the benefit of wisdom to impart to them. Soon, things that were once crucial to you no longer hold any real value. The real value is in every opportunity you get to spend with them.
Single people reading this are either inspired…or quite possibly shitting their pants. Get used to the latter if you want to be a parent.
More often than not, there are more opportunities to observe in my life than I care to experience. Watching little Kayla at the hotel breakfast this morning was not one of those moments. She reminded me that life will always have a soundtrack if you sing and that every action is worthy of song. “Apple, apple juice. I want apple juice. Daddy brings me apple juice.” It is not often you will hear a toddler quote Shakespeare, but “this above all, to thine own self be true.”
I also reflected on the gaggle of mothers corralling the children. The topic of honking was the thankless job of parenting. In this moment, I could use some advice. Do I abhor my job or are they mistaken? I was under the impression I enjoy my job until I heard these ladies clatter. I have never, not once, nary a semblance of joy has come from my job as those I experience any moment my little smile factories faces light up.
Once I pretended to chew on little man’s foot, tickling it instead. When I stopped and he lifted it back up towards my mouth – I have never had that moment at work. When I was bouncing little lady on my leg and she would start bucking the moment I stopped, that connection, that moment of sheer Zen and the sense of fulfillment has never happened at work.
Is parenting really thankless, do I hate my job, or do these women not have taxable income? ‘Mocha, mocha, dark chocolate mocha. The company buys my mochas.’ For you Kayla, keep singing.
A gorilla is talking to his buddies at the zoo and says, “You see that lion sleeping over there? I bet I can run over there and screw him without waking him up.”. His buddies say, “No way, man, he’ll wake up and kill you!”. The gorilla says, “No, no, I can do it. It will be hilarious!” So the gorilla sneaks over and starts screwing the lion. The lion wakes up and of course is furious, and starts chasing the gorilla all over the zoo. The gorilla runs across the zoo and quickly ducks into the guard shack. He then puts on a guard hat and jacket, grabs a newspaper and sits pretending to read it. The lion bursts through the door and yells, “HAVE YOU SEEN A GORILLA RUN THROUGH HERE?”. The gorilla asks, “You mean the one that screwed the sleeping lion?”. The lion throws his arms up and shouts, ” IT’S IN THE PAPER ALREADY?!”
Perry the Platypus, arguably the most intriguing character in contemporary children’s animation. One argument, since tobacco companies have long since been prohibited from using characters such as Joe the Camel to arguably market their product to children, I think the CIA should be forbidden from the same trick. Recruiting via cartoons is improper. Oh Perry is definitely CIA, note the fedora.
Another argument is Perry’s like would make an excellent expansion team to rival University of Oregon and Oregon State teams. The PNW is the ideal place for the introduction of anthropomorphic sporting mascots. I expect far better reception of Perry the mascot than say, the University of Santa Cruz’s herald.
An inexplicable urgency to share the above struck me as I procrastinate a last menial work task for the day.
Struck helpless with laughter at a Facebook post, I was inspired with today’s blog. A photo of a woman kissing a frog and the explanatory caption sparked my curiosity. Has it ever occurred to women the majority of them cannot identify a male frog? So you kiss the female frog, who then becomes a prince and you complain to your gal pals about all the good ones being homosexual. Surprised?
A sincere Happy Valentine’s Day to all and for those still searching, from a man’s perspective, here is what the lucky women know about their lucky men. That boy who was next to you and taught you how to identify the male frog; the one who didn’t pull your hair but was ridiculous to gain your attention; the man who devoted the majority of his attention your direction because of something you said; that is the one who loves you. This is what those lucky people know about their counterparts. Hopefully this is a touch of wisdom for those still searching for their balancing counterweight.
For those stuck in the fairy tale; consider the possibility of kissing the frog that comes to you. For you frogs out there, steer towards the one with cinder dust on her cheeks and gold in her heart.
Be worthy of love.
A spectacular bridge burning indeed, and I forgot to bring the marshmallows.
My cohort’s post and subsequent arson led me to think a bit about civilians walking around armed. Full disclosure, I do not own a gun and have never served in the military or armed forces of any kind. I have the utmost respect for those that have and do continue to serve and protect us all. As a citizen, I am not without opinions on most subjects…but I do lack the passion that others have on a few of them. Typically when asked a question regarding my stance on religion or politics, my answer has been and will continue to be “Let’s just stay friends.” People too rigid in their beliefs are often not open to hearing another’s opinion, especially if that opinion makes too much sense and challenges their stance. “If your argument has no substance, abuse your opponent.” That’s almost every political debate I’ve ever seen.
Any rule or system, no matter how masterfully crafted, will always have the possibility of being corrupted or have its limits tested by people with no morals and/or common sense. The writers of the Constitution were great men, but they didn’t get everything right either. They were wrong about slavery and rights for women…and they were wrong about powdered wigs.
I choose to not carry a gun. I don’t have any problem with those that do legally. My decision is based on common sense and an abundance of self awareness. This morning I was carrying a small cup of coffee with some other items and spilled half of it on myself while getting in the van. This happens more frequently than I’d care to admit. Although there are remnants of athleticism, I have no natural grace and must take extra care not to bump into things while in a Hallmark or any gift shop. I know this about myself and therefore do not wish to endanger my fellow human beings. I see other people that I could make similar observations about that choose to ignore the obvious and proceed to get weapons of all kinds. Whether it’s a stylish, cute gun that will fit in your purse or armor piercing bullets for deer hunting…I guess I don’t get it. I’m on a different plateau, not better just different.
An argument I have heard often is violent video games make people desensitized and bloodthirsty. Really? I remember Denis Leary talking about teen suicide and heavy metal music. If Ozzy or James Hetfield called me up personally and told me to kill myself, I would tell them “No, thanks anyway though” and probably still listen to their music. Denis also said, “Can I sue Dan Fogelberg for making me a pussy in the 70′s?” I love that, that’s hilarious. The video game thing doesn’t ring true for me. Arcade games came out when I was a kid. Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Galaga, Pole Position…none of these made me a threat or unstable. Now if I dressed in all yellow and walked around constantly eating pez, avoiding ghosts, and running in and out of tunnels, then you’d have a point.
Carrying a gun is for defense, it puts you in a defensive mindset. In my opinion, living in a defensive mindset is living in fear of what might happen. I would be more anxious having one than not having one. So what is a suitable weapon to protect yourself and your family from an aggressor? Dan Fogelberg on Pandora.
He said –
She already dumped me years ago so what do I have to lose when there is so much for readers to gain?
Let’s say I know a certain woman. Let’s also say I have known this particular woman quite well for many years. I will narrow it no further as you already clearly know I don’t mean my mother. Hypothetically typing, this person attended classes and now has a CCW to carry a concealed weapon. It may have also happened that in a random communication she expressed a need to find a pistol that fits her better. She made it clear she meant size and weight and that the .45 was unsuited for carrying in her purse.
As oft happens, I was already pondering a more suitable weapon. Numerous options came to mind, some of them hysterical stereotypes of human sexuality. After ‘sleeping on it’, one point must be shared. Additionally, I am saving all of my really petty for Hym as the last sighting anyone has had was the guy who snapped the photo that was placed on the milk carton.
Disclaimer: I am an NRA member. I do not own a mass manufactured, gunpowder driven, projectile weapon of any kind. Potato gunners unite! This is not a political statement about any Amendment and its true purpose. I will say politely, should I choose to own one of the above mentioned projectilers and you come to my home to take possession you are no longer my voting sanctioned for violence government enforcement; but merely the uniformed ammo and weapon delivery person. Thank you for my new toys, the extra ammo, and my sincerest condolences to the bereaved.
A weapon more suited for carrying in your purse? It took me some time to realize the noise at the garage door was not the sign of final readiness for departure. That chaos was merely the sound of accessorizing, or relocation of strategic necessities for this particular outing. The outer camouflage (alleged to be an item called purse) is the far most important tactical piece and the mission chose the purse. Remember that one movie where Rambo took the strap off the purse, sawed down a tree, and built a catapult from the wood? Nor do I, as when they were filming Rambo FF (geek hexadecimal joke), the main character died when the damn strap broke, unable to carry the weight of the purse, and Rambo was killed by male silverback gorillas attracted to the lingering scent of honey badger leather and potpourri. I think it was Spock who once said ‘the need of a pistol outweighs the safety needed for a man’s gun.’ What he meant by that was, I absolutely need to have a pistol with me at all times, even if it means it rubs my forward pants button and the imminent danger points toward my man compass.
Fatal Flaw number two is as follows. Ever watch her rush to find keys in her purse? Cell phone ringing and has to be retrieved from the – I want to say undetectable extension charm—but, purse?
My suggestions for suitable: bazooka, SKS (inside joke I know she understands now), or H&K MP5. Any weapon too damned big to fit inside a purse is best suited.
Just my thoughts.
An ounce of planning prevents two, four-year terms of cure. Here is my suggestion when it comes to voting. Break from party politics, issues, even venture so far as to abandon morality. I will no longer vote into office anyone who doesn’t need the income. Has anyone ever suggested to you that you marry to promote your career? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have? What about having a mortgage and note on an expensive car? A boss/employer who knows you have bills is comforted in this knowledge. That debt enslaves you to your cubicle farm. Dance monkey, dance yells the organ grinder. Perform a quick search on what Benjamin Franklin had to say about debt.
Evolve this concept further than paying an extra c-note on your credit card debt. I suggest we place people into office that shudder at the thought of calling in sick to congressional meetings. Let’s establish a balance of power within a single branch of government. We don’t care if you are on dialysis; you get dressed, go in to work and fix those accursed helmet laws! You are an HR manager. You currently have a position open which demands long hours, keeps you from your family frequently, and requires you to have customer service skills to please a customer base possessing a multitude of educational levels and personal beliefs. Do you hire the affluent, self-made entrepreneur who wants to try a kicky new career and wants more job satisfaction; or do you employ the married parent of three children who forgoes the name brand makeup so her kids can have a pair of shoes from somewhere other than sneaker house? You know her, she drives the mini-van which is more expensive than any entry level German auto and it becomes a Transformer with the push of a remote button. Mini-V-Prime starts, opens windows/doors, scans the flank, and fires out an audible warning when the button is pressed. That kind of superfluous uselessness in obsidian charcoal does not sell for cheap. “Aww baby, you don’t feel well? Do you have a fever? Then you aren’t contagious and you can go to school. Here is a plastic grocery bag, we don’t reuse them so if you need to you can yack in it. Mama has to go to work and pay the bills so your no good father can keep his motorcycle.”
Err… back to the original subject matter.
I vote for her. That woman is going to put in work every day and pay her bills. As a patriotic HR manager, I expect the worth of that labor will outshine any well-to-do slumming it up with a working class job. I imagine a young Abraham Maslow first being told money doesn’t buy happiness. Well actually, the father of the pyramid scheme would retort, here is why it does indeed buy you happiness. With the upper echelon of this hierarchy of needs in mind, I propose someone who needs to make the ends meet at home has a better grasp of economics than someone who, in a few short years, went from struggling to pay exorbitant bills to family reunions in Hawaii. I also think someone who holds a nine to fiver, can cook, and has a teenage daughter in public school can probably maintain composure regarding foreign policy. Worst possible scenario we raise the debt ceiling after the failure of this experiment and eagerly await the next blog for the solution to the national debt.
Oh, don’t vote for my mom. That bitch be crazy, which explain so much.
The Golden Rule has long been the default setting for most people in the absence of a more detailed moral code. Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us covers a lot of territory, and doesn’t do a bad job. In practically every human relationship, people have no real problem adhering to this rule. And then…there’s dating/romantic relationships. The average dating relationship typically causes the type of confusion and paranoia that you find in a high risk profession like bomb diffusing or Kevlar vest tester. Who would sign up for this type of abuse and tension? Only all of us.
We know what we’re getting into…and yet we still try over and over…and over. The time and pressure works on us and shapes us, through every experience and obstacle we face. Slowly but surely, we begin to evolve…which is also to say we begin to compromise. We no longer only sew our wounds shut like Rambo in First Blood, we learn to sew and repair clothing. We no longer throw all of our laundry in at once, we learn to separate it all and wash each differently. We no longer just watch sports or go out drinking with our buddies. Now we stay in and cook and watch Downton Abbey or Grey”s Anatomy.
When we don’t get good results from our efforts, it is quite easy to become jaded and ask ourselves “Is it worth it?” We struggle with each new relationship with how honest to be, how soon to take each step, how much of ourselves to invest and how much to reign in. Do I want to set myself up to feel like an idiot again? What if I’m trusting the wrong person…again?
Risk/Reward is a bitch of a concept, and the older you get often the more you risk. When you’re young and inexperienced, you’re supposed to get your ass kicked…and every person has one love that drove you batshit crazy and ended badly. You drank for weeks/months after, listened to every bad 80′s rock ballad like it was the soundtrack of your life, and swore you would never let yourself be that vulnerable again. Then you meet her….goddamn it…
When you meet the right one, you know something is different. All of your same defenses are up and working overtime trying to find the gotcha…until finally it dawns on you there isn’t one. It’s confusing because your paranoia has always been right before…the bomb always went off…the vest kept me alive but I still got shot. So now what? I’m going to live? How do I do this? How does this work?
Forgive the cliché, but the answer is still one day at a time…which sounds like I’m in recovery. In a way, I am. It takes time to get used to the fact that the other shoe isn’t going to drop. Then you start to realize that all the time and pressure that came before actually made you who you are now, and who you are NOW is who she has been looking for all along. So…it all did serve a purpose…the confusion, the paranoia, the sewing, the laundry,…Downton Abbey….it was all worth it.