more than a feeling …

I’ve already written a blog post about musical memories but I thought I would take a moment to dig a little deeper into one of those memories.

I met my first crush working at Rax Restaurant in the early 80s. Like the other women I have fallen hard for, it never seems to happen right away. I probably worked with Caron for about year before the switch finally flipped all of the way to “She is amazing!”

Of course, even then it still took me awhile to get up the nerve to ask her out, but I did. And she said yes!!! We went on a couple dates and things seemed to be going pretty well when she told me she had also started dating another guy two weeks before we went out. And they were becoming exclusive.

Ugh!

Of course, I still thought she was amazing and the other guy was going away to college so we ended up becoming the best of friends, spending quite a bit of time together when she wasn’t visiting her boyfriend.

So, fast forward a year or two. Caron and I are doing as great as ever and heading out for another night of boozing and live music at Trippers Night Club in North Canton. The place was packed, loud and the pitchers were disappearing just a little too fast when she excused herself to go to the bathroom. Of course, the lines for the ladies’ room can be long so as I waited the need for a bathroom break hit me as well.

Fortunately, she had taken her purse with her so I threw my jacket over a chair hoping no one would take our table and sought relief. On my way back to the table I saw her off in a corner on a pay phone having what looked like a pretty emotional conversation, but I just kept walking.

Of course, when she returned to the table I quipped, “Did everything come out okay?” Her response was underwhelming so I smiled a bit and we returned to our beers.

The relative silence was broken by two things. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston followed by her reaching across the table to tug on my arm followed by two words.

“Say it!”

I furrowed my brow and turned my head slightly as I looked back. She wasn’t angry or sad, but a couple tears leaked from her eyes.

“Say what?”

“SAY IT!”

To this day I don’t know exactly what she wanted me to say. And I didn’t want to say the wrong the wrong thing because this seemed pretty important to her and I was clueless.

In my wildest dreams, she was asking me to tell her I was still in love with her because she had fallen for me. But you can’t blurt that out and be wrong, can you?

Instead, I could only ask her if she was okay. There were only more tears. I barely noticed we had been holding hands across the table.

As this happened, the song hit its climax:

“And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away.”

She married that guy and last I heard they were doing great. And me? Well, still working on those affairs of the heart.

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It’s not working …

Orangutan_FacepalmI’ll start with a basic premise. Mass shootings are a problem. They are not normal. If you don’t agree, fuck you. You can stop reading now.

Second, what we are doing (or not doing) right now isn’t working. Yes, there are laws and regulations and funding and so on directed at guns and mental health and education and so on and so forth, and honestly I don’t what they all are. I don’t even know for sure if the areas I just mentioned are even part of the problem. Nobody does for sure, regardless of their mastery of Google and the caps lock key.

But I do know it’s not working (see basic premise above), and that means there needs to be change. Real change.

Maybe my taxes will go up. Maybe I won’t be able to buy certain guns. Maybe my doctor will ask me a few extra questions at my next physical. Maybe I won’t be able to walk in a public building without going through metal detectors. Maybe there will be armed guards. Maybe my personal health information will be shared in a different way. Maybe all of the above and more. I’m sure you can think of a few too.

And guess what, the change might not be convenient or fair or a perfect political compromise. It may not even be what you or I want. What it does need to be is the best possible solution to the problem, regardless of who it upsets.

I also know where it needs to start. It needs to start at the top – the federal government. This is exactly the kind of shit they need to be doing. Something for the common good. I’m not gonna pick on a party or a branch or an office. We need them all for this one. We need them to bring together the people and the resources to really take a look at what is going on. We’re not going to have answers overnight, but we need to at least start looking for them, now.

So it’s your turn, powers that be. If you can’t get something started maybe we can start looking for your replacements in November.

Who’s your daddy!?

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I love nicknames. I was in fourth grade the first time I remember having one. It was on an icy winter morning during recess in the parking lot that served as the playground at our grade school.

I was probably hanging out with a couple friends when I decided to have a little fun with the fact that my dress shoes were like skis on the ice-covered pavement. Spying a nearby parking stump, I ran towards it building up enough speed until I was able to stop running and just slide toward the stump, jumping it and landing back on my feet without ending up on my ass.

Well that was fun.

I was always tall for my age, especially my legs. I usually outgrew my school pants by several inches toward the end of the year. While my legs added to my perpetually-awkward appearance, they were great for stump jumping.

Of course, after trying it a few more times the thrill quickly faded so I convinced a nearby first grader to lie down next to the stump. And then another, and another. Eventually, I had at least five of them lined up, willing human barrels for this slick-footed daredevil.

They squealed every time I flew over them. On one of my flights I remember one of them screaming, “Woo, hoo, daddy long legs!”

I guess it’s all relative. I was only in fourth grade but I was already a stump-jumping daddy.

The art of dodging

I recently had an unusual on-line dating experience. I sent a message to a prospective date and not only did I get a response, it came less than 10 minutes later! (Yes, that was the unusual part)

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In 2017, I sent messages to nearly 200 ladies, and received only a handful of responses. Of these, most were thanks but no thanks. In relative terms, this was pretty exciting. We continued chatting and the conversation went well.

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So I decided to ask for a meet up and …

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Technically speaking, she answered my question. But did she really? She can’t meet up now because she’s sick. That’s legit. But does she want to meet up at some point or is that a no too? If you’ve ever been on either end of this situation you know exactly the point I’m making.

So I decided to see if she still wanted to talk and she did. And it seemed to go well.

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So I decided to ask again if she wanted to meet up … at any point.

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Hmmm. While it wasn’t the response I’d hoped for I did appreciate her honesty. At least I know this wasn’t going anywhere.

And that’s the thing. From the moment she looked at my pictures, before she even responded to me, this wasn’t going anywhere. If she was going to respond, this last message should have been her first.

But what can you do? First world dating problems, eh. Another chink in the armor, for sure, but there’s room for more … I hope.

ooooommmmmmmyyyyyy

yoga

I went to a restorative yoga class a few weeks ago and much of the session was spent on mantras, or words or sounds repeated to aid with meditation. It was an interesting exercise but for a chronic overthinker like me, focus can be a challenge at best. That said, I’ll keep plugging away.

To reset my focus, I’ve had better luck using mental bandages. On the occasions where I find my thoughts circling the virtual rabbit hole, I dig out a happy thought. I’ve got a few in reserve, and they rotate in and out depending on the situation. Sometimes, it’s a memory. Other times, it’s a person. It could also be a place or a feeling or pretty much whatever I want it to be as long as it throws a pie in the face of whatever was twisting me up.

Running is good too but that’s another post…

triplet tales, vol. 2

phdlc
It may not look like much, but this is where by daughters spent their preschool years.

How do you spell relief? In the fall of 2001, I spelled it P-H-D-L-C, short for the Palm Harbor Diversified Learning Center. Tucked into the corner of another stucco-covered strip plaza along US 19, the PHDLC was messy, loud, and sometimes it smelled a little funny. In other words, it was family.

A family that brought my triplets into the fold and followed a Montessori-style teaching system that, among other things, taught my daughters to read, write, paint and co-exist with others in their little ragtag rainbow corner of Florida. They also learned sign language, Spanish and even some manners along the way. And all for $276 per week. If you’ve ever had kids in daycare, I don’t need to say anything else.

But to me, that wasn’t the coolest thing.

I don’t remember if was the first day, or even the first week, that I stopped after work to pick them. I was chatting with Miss Chris, the owner, when she said she’d let the girls. She disappeared around the corner from the front desk and was walking down the hallway between the classrooms when she started calling, “1, 2, 3! 1, 2, 3!”

Why didn’t I think of that? I could only smile and drop to my knees as three sandy, sweaty three year olds raced around the corner and into my arms.

touching moments …

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In the early 90s I worked with, and then dated, an amazing woman. In addition to being smart, funny, beautiful, etc. etc., she was one of the most together, sincere people I have ever met.

To this point, after we had been dating for a while, she felt compelled to confess something to me. Before we had begun dating, and even while we were dating different people, she had been “stealing touches” from me.

Maybe she brushed by me in a hallway, or used my shoulder to support herself while she adjusted a shoe, or tapped me on the shoulder when she had a question. Whatever shape the contact took, her underlying motive was to make physical contact with me – to safely, innocently, express her attraction.

Wow.

I don’t remember my exact reaction, but if it wasn’t to lean in for a kiss and then steal away for other unspeakable acts, I would be disappointed with my younger self.

When I think back to the idea of “stealing touches”, it always reminds me of how powerful physical contact can be, and not just in romantic situations.

Whether it’s a handshake to say hello, a hug to say goodbye, a tear wiped from a cheek, collapsing on a couch together in a fit of laughter, or rubbing a shoulder to offer solace, the emotional bonds strengthened by touch seem to go far beyond the physical connection.

So reach out, when appropriate, and let others know you care, that they are important to you. It might make more of a difference than you know. They might even blog about it 25 years later.