I often share overly personal information about my family on Mostly Teachable, but neglect to share some of the honest to goodness details of my happy life here in the wilds of Southern Michigan. This year I plan to post my photo collection from each Week That Was. To kick off 2013, I thought I’d go back into my vault and share some of what turned out be a really nice 2012. Here are some of the pictures from the last 12 months:
People have been unusually kind towards me lately. The only reason I mention this new era of kindness here is because it’s frightening. I am a simple, basement dwelling clerk, not used to having pleasantries offered in my direction. Most days during the course of my adult life, I’ve tried to maintain a certain consistency. I’ve always awoken as a messy haired, maladjusted crank and adhered to that high standard throughout each day. This was a calling, and a vocation in itself, passed down from my angry, potato chomping ancestors. Lately, however, this standard became too much and I started turning my frown upside down. This scared those close to me at first, because my chin went up my nose. Now, everyone’s used to it. “Hey Chin Nostrils! Nice to see you so happy!” I don’t believe in Karma, but won’t deny the existence of Carmex. All the good Carmex has been returned and kindness has been coming my way. After all of these years it just took not being a mean, grouchy jagdork. I like this and may keep up being a nice, giving sort of guy.
I was nice to people for a couple of months during high school, and now wish I’d stuck with it. When you’re 15, all sorts of radical notions cloud the mind. My reasons for being a decent person weren’t exactly altruistic. There was a girl. There was always a girl. In this case, we’d read poetry while sitting on a bench that was located in an all glass atrium. We’d talk, or I would. You can imagine which one of us did most of the talking. I started to enjoy being a stand-up guy and extended my kind nature to others besides Poetry Girl. Opening doors, holding other people’s hair while they threw up after hearing my self-penned poetry. I was becoming a gentleman. Eventually Poetry Girl started referring to me as “Edgar Allen Poe” behind my back and I resorted being my old self. Something about putting raven poop in her textbooks ended the relationship and my new-found heart-felt living. Bad Carmex. Yet, here I am xx years later, working on being a generous person and dodging birds. Life is only getting better.
There is a strange bond between men and the women who raise them. We are dependent on our mothers for life-sustaining food and shelter as very young children, while they depend on us as part of what defines and deepens their lives and livelihoods. That, and we depend on our mothers as little men to tell us the truth about the ugly, wrong-in-every-way outfits they buy us. They coo over us as children and smooth the wrinkles out of stupid looking short sets and creepy polo shirts. Men know from birth that we were made to wear two things: dirt and animal attraction. We somehow believe mom, however, when she tells us tiny beige leisure suits are adorable. That is the power the women who give birth to us hold. Despite the way they combed our hair constantly with mom spit and called every woman we ever tried to impress our “little girlfriend,” each man feels a mysterious compunction to go and visit mom on Mother’s Day. In my case, it’s because my wife (formerly referred to as “Who’s your little girlfriend?”) makes me visit.
I try to assuage my bad son guilt feelings by presenting mom with a gift each mother’s day. Much difficulty goes into the choice of gift given. The journey toward redeemed son-hood begins with getting up from my desk at the hospital and going upstairs to the gift shop. Lots of stairs, but the gift is important. Every gift choice comes with hearing mom’s voice. If I choose to give her soap, I distinctly hear “Soap? Do you think I’m dirty?” No good. Maybe some Absinthe, for which I can hear her scolding me with “Absinthe? Do you think I’m Edgar Allen Poe?” I always get her a card, which after a year is still displayed on her piano. No matter what they dressed us in, our moms harbor some secret pride for us. Even if I don’t own a leisure suit.