Category Archives: New Word

Bathroom Stained Glass Window

As many successes as I’ve had in the last year, I’ve also had a few defeats. I’m absolutely not the person to conceal any of that from anyone who knows me. Being proud of my successes in no way conceals or denies the failures. At my age, I’ve peeked behind the curtains of so many lives that I understand better than ever that most of us aren’t following the playbook we imagined. More importantly, the shiny lives that you witness all have a stained glass window in their bathroom. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, it describes the way that mundane life intersects violently with the things we hold essential in our hearts – and the problems that living present. If you’re human, you’re going to experience the same problems that other humans share, even if we don’t see them. It’s easy to observe the world and people around us and deceive ourselves into not believing that what binds us shares more in common than what separates us.
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PS: Only in East Springdale can you have a crazy neighbor shooting bb pellets at your house (and arrows) while drinking. At 9 a.m. on a Sunday, which is bonus-level typical East Springdale.

Because Time Is Short

Minutes before, I endured a needlessly hateful experience at the retail level. I’d done my diligence and arrived with everything from the company itself to keep the process simple and without hitches. I should’ve known that would have disturbed the gods of Inner Peace & Tranquility. In response to being treated terribly, I gave my creative side permission to unleash a little hell on them. It was gloriously fun. I’ll write about it some other time. I admit that while I engaged in frivolous tomfoolery to repay their savagery, I was disappointed a bit at humanity in general, as if the rest of us were responsible for whatever that behavior was.

Proposed rule: “The greater your belief that you have dotted every ‘i’ and covered every base, the greater the likelihood that hell will rain down upon your head no matter what. And triply so if retail is involved or the word ‘service’ is literally in the job title of the person causing you grief.” I know the spirit of this is already contained in several Murphy’s Law. Nonetheless…

I ate lunch somewhere other than Mr. Taco Loco. (I wanted a lot of pico de gallo.) When asked for my order, I said, “Anything on special. Even cow hooves.” (Because I had no plans to eat it, anyway.) Two women were already seated closely nearby, to my right. Though I wasn’t eavesdropping, I could hear every word they said.

Something about the way they talked hinted at things that weren’t being said. I can’t put my finger on it – nor does it matter. I felt my mood flip to being grateful and for those in my life who could see past my stupidity and issues. It was Divine.

I told the waitress to bring me their check and asked her to say nothing to the two women. I spoke in Spanish, of course. The two women had carefully avoided speaking too loudly when they saw my little mountain of pico de gallo. I don’t know what they made of me. I ate quickly, too.

I paid for all three meals, tip included, and walked back to their table, placing one of my infamous index cards at the end of their table. “I included tip, too,” I said. I pirouetted quickly and marched quickly away from there before a torrent of thank-yous could envelop me. Near the front door sat a table full of construction workers. They looked up at me as I marched. The women behind me were excitedly commenting. I’m assuming the difference in pitch and enthusiasm, combined with me blazing across the floor after a dramatic pirouette confused the construction workers. I half-expected one of them to jump and prevent me from exiting. I laughed loudly and unexpectedly as I walked outside.

Behind me, as I left, I knew I’d surprised a couple of strangers. And that they had something to think about. All of us were a little more buoyant.

No matter who you are, take a moment and think about that sudden overwhelming flip of emotion I experienced at lunch, the one preceded by needless hatefulness and followed by sublime happiness. I hope you’re lucky enough to have people in your life for whom you can do the same.

L.I.T.S.

To start, L.I.T.S. = “Life Is Too Short.”

Secondly, I may be a person on other people’s lists. I admit that fully. We’re all villains in someone else’s eyes; accept it. Yes, it will feel hurtful.

Since I started seeing a counselor, I’ve probably become more annoying in a few ways. If you missed it in my previous posts, anytime you change, even if entirely for the better or positive reasons, people often don’t welcome the change. Change requires adaptation and often new boundaries. As the difference becomes more substantial, so too does the likelihood that someone will take issue – and probably not directly.

I keep a few of these printed in my wallet. Instead of getting frustrated again, I take one out and hand it to whoever is trying to trap me in a situation with the person on my L.I.T.S. List.

For most people, this opens up a conversation about my motivation. At its most simple, it lets the person know that I take issue with how the other person engages with me as a human being. If the person inquiring is a good person, I will take the time to explain. If not, I short-circuit the encounter as politely as possible.

It’s also possible that handing out these might get me in hot water. But let’s be honest, dealing with narcissists or unkind people often lands us in hot water through no fault of our own. I won’t put someone on my L.I.T.S. List unless I’ve been unsuccessful in getting them to stop mistreating me.

There will be situations in which nothing can be done. Even so, at least people will know that I’d prefer to minimize my exposure to the person in question.

Life is too short, indeed.

UnderWhere

Some milestones are preposterous. The one I reached today is both ridiculous and noteworthy: I bought new underwear. It’s not a life event, the act of buying new underwear. But it can make you feel markedly different, especially if you fail to put on pants while wearing them. It’s best to skip over any accidental mental image the last joke might have inspired.

Not to be stylish or because my other underwear was old and worn; quite the contrary. My last set of underwear was remarkably new, at least on a timeline representing men’s underwear. There are two types of men: those who need stylish and updated underwear and those who change underwear with each new president. (If they’re lucky.) As I do with my socks, I buy an entirely new set when I buy them, discarding all the old ones. It’s quite the ritual, one that people mock until they try it.

It hasn’t been that long since I replaced all my underwear. I did it because I had lost so much weight and size that I floated in them. The same is true today. I put off buying another set, as it seemed stupid and wasteful. (But not ‘waistful.’ Ha! I just added ‘waistful’ to my dictionary.) For reasons unknown to me, a woman at work said, “Hey, you look amazing!” as I retrieved a diet soda from the case. We briefly chatted, and I shared my deep secret of weight loss with her. (Don’t open your mouth so often.) She told me I was starting to look invisible, and she wished me luck in the future. She’s older, so she well knows that the yo-yo effect is no laughing matter, especially as we age.

Almost all my clothing is different now, over the last several months. It didn’t occur to me that I might need to downsize underwear twice during the process.

The picture on this post is of me wearing another vest. This one makes me look a bit pastorish for reasons that are hard to pinpoint. (I added ‘pastorish’ to my dictionary, too, because I am one of the millions of owners of this language we share.)

It’s hard to believe that I had trouble tucking in my shirt six months ago.

It’s even harder to believe I let myself stay fat for so long. I’m still processing why that was the case.

But for today, it’s new underwear – and bragging about it on the internet. Some people run marathons. The rest of us take our small victories where we can get them.

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“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
― Mark Twain

Signed, The Dork

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I now understand what Steven Wright meant when he said, “I’m addicted to placebos.”

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True / Dumb Words:”Nothing is on fire, fire is on things.”

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“It can’t be so simple.””What if it is?” – Six Feet Under

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As I turned from the frontage road near the interstate and careened through the roundabout, I saw two small dogs scampering across the road on the expansive asphalt. I then realized it was two very small foxes, scampering. The lead fox had a varmint of some kind clutched between its jaws. As they hit the middle of the parking lot, the lead fox slammed the varmint to the ground. Since there was zero traffic, I stopped and watched as the two foxes danced around their breakfast. I’m not sure why there are so many foxes this year. Their sporadic appearance always brightens my morning. -March 31st

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I’ve had a run of bad luck my whole life. Even my Mom evicted me after nine months.

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I need some new podcasts to not listen to.

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It’s not working! The therapist recommended I go somewhere relaxing and meditative; perhaps go watch the tide for awhile. I’m feeling nothing here. \●/

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My therapist told me to do something memorable to start the day. I guess my “Cymbal Crash In The Morning” idea needs a bit of work. Almost no one reacted joyously. But Jim did throw his coffee cup 34 feet.

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Life can be majestic; I woke up, my face covered in slobber. My beard was so soaked that I started to look around for the German Shepherd that must have been in the room last night, licking my face.

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These last 34 minutes were the best 15-minute break I’ve ever had!*

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