For Whom The Bell Tolls

24 03 2012

For those of you who write, sometimes you “hit the wall” or get in a rut writing.  It’s times like this I’ll try coming up with a title to a story before I even have the story.  I know it sounds like a bad idea, but for me it kickstarts the creative process.

The more I look at this picture of Ponce De Leon, the more tempted I am to change the title.  “The Fountain of Goof” is starting to have a nice ring to it!

Trying to write one short story a week is more challenging than you might think.  Especially when it’s all non-fiction.  (For those of us who still look at a hand when some when asks “right” or “left”, non-fiction is the true stuff.)

To me, the last few entries started to seem forced, formulaic, and boring.  So I decided to take some time off in order to give everyone a break, including myself.

Now the break is over and I’m ready to make my triumphant return.

I’m 37 years old this past July…  But what does that really mean?  To some I’m sure it’s young, to others old, but to me it’s the Bermuda Triangle of  responsibility tradition and adulthood.

How are 37-year-old husbands with a wife and two kids supposed to act?  I’ll just come right out and say it, “I have no idea.”  I mean I still play video games, buy the occasional pack of baseball cards and vintage 80’s candy.  Earlier this week I found myself in a comic book store under the guise that I was looking for something for the kids.

Is it possible that I’m the poster child for a new generation of men?  A group that on the outside looks just like our fathers before us, but in reality we love grape bubble gum and can’t stand scotch on the rocks.

The knee-jerk reaction is to say, “No this is the way it’s always been.”  To which I would say, “If our parents were the same as us, at this age, it would be the largest hoax ever committed, in the history mankind.”  Just ahead of Obama’s change coming to America, Bigfoot, spontaneous foreplay, and the alien autopsy.

A Deeper Look Within…

Maybe my reluctance to enter the traditional workforce and opting for a career as a degenerate golf pro has something to do with my adolescent tendencies.

Lets do some quick math:  From age 22 to 30 I played golf, gambled, boozed it up and had what was basically an early eight year retirement.  To which I have absolutely no regrets, why not take those years on the front end while you’re young and you can still move without a Hoveround?  I mean the year I spent living with my older, crazier, possibly wanted in several states cousin, was amazing.  More to come in the near future on that one.

The result, career wise, was a much later start in the real world than my peers.  Most of the guys I currently work with are 7 to 10 years younger than me.  When you spend 40 hours a week with a group of people, this is the pool of talent your friends come from.

Last year I took a trip home with one of my best friends who is a 20 something.  He also had me in his wedding as a groomsman, so not exactly like he’s a small child.  Anyway during a conversation with a woman at a party, his age came up.  “Oh no, You’re nine years older!”  She looked at me as though I was some sort of cradle robbing pedophile.

I guess when you spend your whole life in a small town, and keep the same inner circle of friends you’ve had since Kindergarten, it might seem weird.  But when you use the scientific Colvin method of DB / Non-DB it makes perfect sense.

As far as friends go, I’ve never really put too much credence in someones age when deciding who to hang out with.  I have simple criteria, if you’re not a douche, you’re in.  You may or may not be surprise to know this eliminates most of the general population.  Yes, I know it’s tough being perfect, but we all find a way.

I do however put credence to the theory that we’re a product of our environment.  Example: Hang out with boring people and you yourself will eventually become boring, or more boring depending where you started at.

In realizing we only have a limited number of breathes on this planet, none of which are guaranteed.  I’m opting to make the most of mine.  It’s a constant juggling act of juvenile behavior and adult responsibility.

No Clue…

I see so many people my age who want to be younger but just don’t get it.  They go about it the wrong way, the most common slip up is just simply trying to dress younger.

Yes I’m talking to you bitter late 30’s single mom still trying to dress 22.  Stop being so angry that nobody is paying attention to you.  Believe me when I tell you, the unfriendly, sourpuss, “I’m way too hot for anyone” face isn’t doing you any favors.  I know Pearl Jam playing at the Gorge feels like yesterday, but it wasn’t.  And all you’re accomplishing with the rhinestone pockets on those low-cut jeans, is drawing attention to your flat wide ass.  Also, it might be time to “pump the brakes” on the make-up.  Look deep within yourself and realize, “There’s a reason you’re single, and it’s not by your own choice.”  If you had a Reality Show it would be called, The Real Average Housewives of Middle Class Anonymity.

Since I’m an equal opportunist, I’m also talking to you late 30’s dad who rocks the jumbo white rim sunglasses, any type of Ed Hardy-esque,v-neck, smedium T-shirt with extra product in his hair.  Are you serious brah?  This also includes pro sports team jersey guy.  Were you “ballin” today like Jordan?  Were you shooting a Hip-hop video?  Or are you just a huge tool hitting on the teenage girl behind the counter at the pizza place?  Back to the first guy who also likes to spray tan.  When we were kids, we all wondered what type of creepy weirdo bought the underwear that came in the plastic tubes with the Playboy bunny logo…It’s this asshole.  Don’t believe me?  Check the glove box in his late model BMW.  They’re behind the Rufilin, so you may have to dig.

Every Ying has a Yang…

Time to get back on point, I should mention that along with my “adolescent” attitude I also carry the responsibility (stress) of being the sole earner for a family of four.  I’m responsible for getting the bills paid, making sure I choose the right coverages when it comes to health insurance, and reading up on issues before I vote.  I fix the kids’ flat tires on their bikes, read to them before bed, and listen to my wife vent.  I wear a tie to work and have concerns about this country’s debt.

I own cuff links and shirts that are starched.  I understand exactly how my 401 (k) works and why it’s important to save for retirement.  I love to read and write and believe taking an 81mg aspirin is a good idea.  Even though I can’t stand Scotch, I can tell you how it’s different than Whiskey.

The Big Finish…

Remember, good or bad, even as we get older, to some extent, we are who we’ve always been.

If you were the tattle tale in school, odds are you work in Human Resources.  If you were on student council, you’re probably in middle management.  If you played sports you’re in sales.  If you got bullied and teased you’re in prison for murder.  If you were a beauty queen you probably married for love the first time and money the second, third & fourth times.  If you were a cheerleader… Nah that’s too easy!

Obviously those are broad generalizations for comedic effect.   You know I love you, past members of Warrenton Cheer!

It’s not what you look like or how you want others to perceive you.  It’s really about who you are, combined with your outlook on life that keeps you young.

So how do I tie this all into the title?  Well it’s simple, eventually the “Bell Tolls” for all of us.  Mortality sucks, so stay connected to your youth, try to enjoy every day, use common sense, love those who matter most to you and have fun doing what makes you happy!

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One response

24 03 2012
Bonnie Doering

great job I enjoyed the read and sense of humor

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