Friday, February 27, 2009
I love wine. I love that wine makes me feel toasty and warm inside.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me realize that it's okay that I want to pierce my nose.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me want to get a tattoo.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me understand Monty Python.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me smart...and a smarty pants.
I love wine. I love that wine doesn't make me feel bloated like beer.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me think that Benny Hill is funny.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me think that it's okay to sit around on a Sunday afternoon and watch The Lord of the Rings marathon.
I love wine. I love that wine makes me feel that, even at 40 and with 2 kids, that maybe I still have a little something.
I love wine. I love that wine makes my lips turn purple (if I drink enough).
I love wine. I love wine because it makes me think it's okay to date a Hobbitt.
I love wine...
3 p.m., November 1, 2004. Jack gets in the car following another Monday in 3rd grade. When asked about his day, he bursts into tears. When asked what's causing the emotion, he relates his story. "We held mock elections today, and everyone was making fun of me. I'm the only one who voted for John Kerry." Hmmm. I ask for more. "We were given a list of things each of the candidates believes in, I looked at both, and I like what Mr. Kerry believes in more." Okay, so you picked the candidate who shares your views. "Yeah, but everyone else made fun of me because they said that their parents said Kerry was stupid and that he would hurt the country if elected. Who are you and mom voting for?" It's not important who I'm voting for, and your mother won't tell me who she's voting for. What's important is that you know who you would vote for. And, the great thing is no one HAS to tell anyone who they are voting for if they don't want to. "Well, it didn't sound like anyone in class except for me made up their own mind. They just did what their parents were saying." Yes, they did; didn't they?
Act 2: Why not?
Saturday afternoon, sometime in spring 2008. 8-year-old Maggie asks a zinger at dinner. “Is it true that a woman can’t be the President?” Why would you ask that? “Well, Aspen and I were playing outside today; and out of the blue she just says, ‘My dad says that a woman could never be the President.’” What did you say? “I told her I thought one could because otherwise why would Mrs. Clinton be running for President.” Any response from your friend? “She said her dad told her that she couldn’t do as good a job as a man.” And what do you think? “I always thought anyone could become President, and I do think a woman could do as good a job as a man.” Then, regardless of what your friend, her dad, or anyone believes, you are right. “Cool.”
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The most dangerous part of my day occurs at the start of my commute. Before exiting the neighborhood, my Concerta 27 begins to kick-in and I think. Clear, coherent thoughts emerge and merge to form sentences, paragraphs, even essays. Sadly, this is also the time I’m trying to make a right-hand turn into morning traffic.
I sit and wait wondering; no actually I am convinced that what I’m experiencing is a microcosm of our societal ills. Car after car passes without regard for me or the others waiting to join the stream. Eventually someone slows down and flashes their lights giving me hope.
Early in our development we, by nature, are egotistical. We have to be. When we’re 4 years-old life can be a jungle. When we’re hungry, thirsty, tired, we let the world know and, hopefully, our needs get met. Eventually we expand our idea of the world to include others. Often this is painful, but with the help of parents, family, and/or caregivers we soon realize the path is shorter with the help of others. Cooperation. This is a challenging concept, but eventually we get there.
Back to traffic. At some point we revert. Me. Me. Me. I can only imagine what, if anything, is streaming through the minds of those that can’t slow down to let another car in, or to those that speed up instead of slowing down to allow one to merge with traffic. “No way in hell am I going to do anything to jeopardize my chances of getting to my job 2 minutes earlier (even though my job sucks and the only reason I’m doing it is so I can live in a house that’s too big and drive a bigass car that seats seven even though I only have 2.5 kids and a wife that meds up each day just to handle life).”
Slow down. Realize there are others and to tackle the challenges we all face we need to work together instead of using people as stepping stones. Of course if there were bike paths to connect the places we live to the places we work…wait, that’s another essay I’ll craft tomorrow as I wait for the car that understands. That one car that is secure enough with their existence to contribute to the wellbeing of others. I may even take my Concerta earlier in anticipation.