I am weak. A feather tossed around by the whims of the world, not dancing but pummeled wimbly-nimbly along. A leaf pushed about by invisible forces, spinning and diving and dipping pinned to poles or trees or walls until the winds change or something bigger disrupts the oppression. This is me – kind of.
I read a lot and I’m all over the place with it. Some things strike me as interesting. Others - not so much, but I read them nonetheless and the anecdotes contained in those words become part of the fabric of my reality. And my fallacy. There are times when I read something and I am overwhelmed by a longing to do that or be like that. Sometimes there is a nostalgia that sweeps over me – a deluge of emotion where the only appropriate response is a deep sigh signaling a false contentment with the world for further pursuit of said nostalgia would inevitably plunge me into depression.
I really enjoy beer. The darker the better, although in the summer, dark beer makes you full and fat and lethargic. I drink because I enjoy the taste of whatever I’m drinking. Scrutinized. Am I a lush? How the hell do I know? I suppose this is a staple of life – uncertainty in the face of certainty.
When I was in college, I apparently complained all the time. I thought I was communicating. When people asked, “How are you?” I foolishly assumed they wanted a genuine response. When I shared that I was doing shitily and that there were several aspects of my current state of existence that could use some improvement – this was bitching. Really, people just want to hear that life is peachy – all sunshine and rainbows. Perhaps a garden gnome on a unicorn. Perhaps some scotch.
Maybe I do bitch a lot.
I can’t stand it when people are late. With that said, I suppose I need to clarify a bit as everyone is inevitably late at some point or another. I’m talking about the flippant, I’ve got better things to do, you don’t matter that much for me to be on time, I know you’ll get over it – late. This is infuriating for all of the reasons listed and I am a fool for thinking that people will eventually demonstrate enough courtesy to be punctual.
I enjoy cooking and I enjoy cooking for other people. I’m fairly adept at it as well. One compliment I am paid often is that I get all the food out at the same time. Each course that is to be consumed is hot and ready at the predetermined time. There is no waiting. It’s ready. Let’s eat.
As an English teacher, I get hung up on words. Homer (Simpson) once implored one of his adversaries to “not get caught up in semantics.” This is an unfortunate realization for those I interact with, as it is all I can do. I am bound in semantics. When I invite guests to diner at 5:30, I am inviting people to my house to consume intentionally prepared food at 5:30. Some people might think of this as a casual, come over around 5:30 and sometime near there we’ll think about ordering a pizza. Not at the Palms, damn it. If I wanted people to casually arrive only to order pizza sometime after their arrival, I would say “casually arrive and we will order pizza sometime after your arrival.”
As a society, we take things for granted. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, so it is hypocritical of me to rant about it. If it makes you feel better, I’ll wear my “I’ll probably be a hypocrite when I grow up” t-shirt. With that, I hate being taken for granted. My friends make fun of my drinking habits, but they will always revel in my beer selection. People show up late for diner, but never refuse an invite or apologize for being late. People praise me for being forgiving and gracious, but do not extend the same courtesy.
I read an article in Esquire some time ago about saying “no.” A single word with no further explanation or apology. Get rid of the niceties. A stripped down, no nonsense, unmistakable, right to the point, “no.” I read this article and was consumed with the previously mentioned longing. Damn, I wish I could do that. Why shouldn’t we be able to do this? Why must everything be followed with explanations or rationale? What’s the point? In the end, what good does it do to banter about the why?
Because people are sensitive, that’s why. There’s no way I could roll this and attempt to be conflict free – which is precisely what I aim for. I’m non-confrontational, by nature. I want a smooth ride and a cold beer. A hug and a thank you. A cup of hot black coffee in the morning and about 30 minutes of silence before the cacophony of the day pierces my serenity.