Things My Dad Never Did

Recently I experienced some venom targeted my way and luckily I dodged it by my wit. It was nothing major, just the same ole “people-only-know-you-by-what-you-post” kind of nonsense. While some of what we post reveals a little about our personalities it is necessary to take a deeper dive into our lives to truly understand who we are as individuals…and as a society.

Thus, I started thinking about who I am and compared it to how I was raised. However, parents for people of my generation, especially our fathers, did not have the same things to contend with during their days of parenting. Society has changed so much that the norms of today may appear foreign for an entire generation. God only knows what the norms will be a generation from now.

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And so I decided to write some notes to capture the spirit of my thoughts. These notes detail some of the things my father never dealt with as he and my mother (in the same household no less) raised me and my siblings:

  1. Texting – the closest thing to my dad having used a text message back in the day was…NOTHING! I guess you can’t really call smoke-signals coming from his angry head as texting but that was pretty close. Usually his voice could carry across the neighborhood to grab my attention. While texting is very useful these days it doesn’t give much in the way of tone UNLESS I TYPE IN CAPS or use Emoticons. (When did this become a word? When it showed up in Wikipedia?)
  2. Working from Home – Many of today’s businesses are allowing folks to WFH. Keep in mind, it might appear to be for the benefit of the employee but not-so-fast…I’m using up my electricity with the air blasting, I don’t engage in water cooler conversations (unless it’s FB beef – see # 6 below), and I have to make my own lunch. Argh, the struggles I endure.
  3. Be a Stay at Home Dad – There were only a few men who actually admitted to being stay-at-home-dads back in the day. It’s commendable so don’t get it twisted, it just wasn’t practiced nor was it embraced. I do welcome the time I am allowed to hang with my kids while they struggle in the comforts of luxury and modern technology. #privilegedlivesthesedays
  4. Take a Selfie – Colin Powell admitted he was the first to take a self-proclaimed-selfie with a Polaroid (see picture above) and I can’t even imagine my dad (or other dads) doing such an act. The times have changed – and I’m certain the egos have not.
  5. Deal with petty shit – Did I ever see my father deal with petty shit? Not to my knowledge. Usually he would say something grumpy or down right indignant and leave it there. No room for pettiness in the old world. #pettypatty #politicalcorrectness
  6. Get into an internet (or public) IG, FB, TWITTER, beef – There were probably some good brawls that I was never privy to as a kid. But I can respect a good ass kicking every so often, up to a certain age. But nowadays you get into sissy-like confrontations hiding behind a GUI screen while in the security of your home. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
  7. Get divorced – Granted, marriage ain’t for everyone, nor can every couple stand the test of time. My parents have been married for a gazillion years and they’ve made the best of it. Right, wrong, bad, or indifferent they committed like many others did and they worked through their differences. Nice job parental units. Good luck with this to my Gay and Lesbian fellow human beings.

These are just a few things that come to mind about how my life differs from my dad. Not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just…different.

Now ‘scuse me while I get into a beef about Hillary vs Trump. It’s funner this way.

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Go well and with love good peeps.

I am a Whore for LIKEs

It started out innocently enough. A simple phrase, a quote if you will, coupled by back and forth banter that produced my first LIKE. I became excited about the idea of someone actually LIKING my post. There was a little Sally Fields in me as I accepted this newfound appreciation. The euphoric feeling was similar to the time I first spotted my own name in the Michigan State student directory – I was overcome with emotion! I had arrived. And now, the LIKEs I began to receive catapulted this addiction to another level. Every waking moment, every breath I took, was propelled by the fuel I was taking in because of my popularity. And then I realized as I sat in the middle of my room – alone – shivering – and destitute. I had become a whore for LIKEs. My name is Daniel and I am addicted to LIKEs.

My life didn’t start out this way. I was never a big attention whore. In fact, I was somewhat reserved. I wasn’t the type of person to blatantly display a desire to be noticed. But the technology made it so easy. Now there are LIKE buttons everywhere, they are unavoidable. Each new application insists on creating this sense of competition by allowing each of us to cast our votes on a minute by minute basis. Do you LIKE the restaurant? Do you LIKE my pic? Do you LIKE my posts? Do you like my YouTube of my bouncing on the edge of a cliff? Argh! It’s overwhelming. Help!

In the beginning I would make sure I rationed my guarded inventory of LIKEs so that I would not waste them. I didn’t know at the time that the companies allowed for an infinite number of LIKEs available for my disposal. Thus, I was careful to provide my opinion to only those posts that really mattered.

Then I became sucked into the attention machine. That’s when things began to unravel for me.

I quickly realized the success to gaining more attention…ahem…LIKEs was to reciprocate. If I was generous with my LIKEs then I might have others provide for me the same. And boy was I right. I used my mother for LIKEs, my nieces and nephews, my kids, even my dog! However, I can’t turn back the hands of time and the phenomenon is out of control. I dread the day when applications add a DISLIKE button. What if my posts end up on the higher side of DISLIKEs than LIKEs? YIKES!

At any rate, I vow to get this addiction under control. I believe we should be able to express ourselves however we like to – no pun intended – and not have to worry whether someone is paying attention to our thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you like to take pics of your food, show Fluffy the cat doing backflips, or provide deep thoughts like Stuart Smalley. Just be true to whom you are and screw everything else. And if you are fueled by the popularity bug in social media then so be it – just be ready that the bug could come back to bite you should our life patterns change. You, too, might find yourself in a help group for addictions.

In the meantime – please LIKE my post! I appreciate it!

Go well and with LIKEs good peeps.

And Now for Something a Little Lighter

All I can say is WOW. I mean, WOW. I’ve experienced heavy stuff over the last couple of days – the topic of the day – Domestic Violence. Video releases of extreme punches and the fallout from that video. The topic has drained me mentally and tired me out. Therefore, I need to focus on something else to wipe my mind clean of the stressors of the day. Thus, as my good friend Bill Murray exclaimed in Stripes, “lighten up Francis.”

And lighter it will become. In my moments of lightieness (is that even a word) I’d like to focus on none other than me. Me!

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment in your life that you’d wish you could take back? Of course you have. We all have had maybe even a few. And I’m no different. So let me start with my embarrassing moments.

College days – way back when – while grabbing dinner in the dorm and trying to look like the tough guy I was I overfilled my tray with the high-cholesterol grub of the day and I became careless. When I set my tray down on the edge of the drink rack is when it happened. Whoop! There went my tray, grub and all down my entire body. If there was a rock I would’ve hid under it. I grimaced as the crowd stared at me. I can barely remember any noise as the entire room of 300 or so hungry college students took notice. I cried in my head, “Mama!” On a good note – at least I didn’t spill my drink. Wait, I actually did.

Or how about a time when no one was looking? It’s a little strange having an embarrassing moment when no one is looking because it feels like that old tale – if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? If no one sees you are you still embarrassed?

The short answer is yes.

As I was walking home one day down a side street in my neighborhood, minding my own business, I unknowingly passed under a bird’s nest. What happened next surprised me. The damn mama bird began attacking me! It flew over my head and darted down toward me intermittently pecking at me. As it swooped down I flung my arms at it in that “shoo-away” action. What the Hell?! My work backpack flung around in confusion as I began to frantically try to get away from the crazy bird. And then the daddy bird began to attack me as well. I began to trot away to get out of the eyeshot of the birds and away from the nest. This was as bad as a bee attack. Had there been a video of me flailing it would have been both humorous and embarrassing. At least there were no human eyes on me to witness this event. Embarrassing nonetheless.

Ah. I feel better to get these things off my chest. And I’m happy to share with you my little life stories that make up my life. We have to find those moments in time when we really need to lighten our days and take the pressures off of us. This is merely one of those times and if you can’t laugh at yourself how can you laugh at others?

Go well and with love good peeps.

Time to Face the Change, Cha-Cha-Changes…

This is a significant week for me in terms of my transitions. My life is about to take another turn, albeit a welcomed turn, but a turn nonetheless. It’s MOVING DAY! Yah!

I hate moving. It’s annoying, tiring, and never seems to be worth the effort.

I can’t end my procrastination (hence my writing and avoidance) when it comes to preparing for this inglorious day. However, I have moved so many times in my lifetime you’d think I was cool with this (at least 30, but hey, who’s counting). But I’m not.

I remember my college days when my roommate and I moved when I got off work – at 10 PM! Yes, we went until about 4 AM. Let’s just say a lot of beer was consumed during the time.

Then there was the time I moved into my first house some years ago. My friend and I had to move an old, heavy 10ft couch and decided the best spot for the couch was the trash. Unfortunately, the small access areas throughout the old Chicago apartment complexes caused us some difficulties in throwing it off the back stairway. The couch got entangled on the back fence after we tossed it from the 3rd floor. This forced us to do acrobatic tricks in untangling the mess we created. It rained cat hair and loose change for an hour.

There was the moment of clarity when I felt “I’m getting too old for this shit” when I literally had two full 18ft U-Haul truck loads to complete. My small army of volunteers was exhausted from the full day battle. However, I did provide libations at the end of the day and we even had one for our fallen homie who had to “cut out early because of family.” Grrrr.

I finally reached moving nirvana when my employers moved me (multiple times – sweet!). I sat back and watched the magic occur. However, I did have to supervise as they would have packed my sleeping cats if I hadn’t stated “those aren’t statues.” I remember unpacking one of the boxes and it was my kitchen garbage can full to the brim with trash. Talk about being thorough.

So here are my pointers to consider for your DIY move:

  1. Plan as much as you can ahead of time. This is easier said than done but it will prevent you from stressing.
  2. Take a moment and pack a box here and there throughout your hectic week.
  3. Make lots of friends; and then enlist them when the time comes. It’s not manipulation but it is investment for your future.
  4. Get rid of shi…stuff. I know it’s not easy but we are all guilty of holding onto stuff. Like you I’m always hoping there’s that six-figure check I misplaced and happen to find during the move.
  5. Stock up on your favorite beverage to keep you motivated. This includes beer, wine, whiskey, Diet Mountain Dew, or whatever your heart’s desire to help you make it through the event.
  6. Make sure your beloved pets stay clear of packing hands.

Have fun! Regardless of the pain of moving, both physical and mental make it an outing to cherish. It not only gets you through the time but it will become a cherished memory itself.

Go well and with love good peeps.

COMMITAPHOBIA (kuh-mit-a-foh-bee-uh) –noun

1) A man’s irrational fear of being in a committed relationship; 2) Fear of “settling down” for a man; 3) Usually a condition found with men, difficulty being faithful; 4) A man’s emotional state when dreading the thought of only being with one female companion over and over and over and over again.

Sentence: Jason had been stricken with commitaphobia as he contemplated his future with his main squeeze Sheila.

We all have heard it a thousand times. Many of us have lived through it numerous times. And some of us men have been stricken by this disease in our lifetimes. How does it manifest itself in our lives and what can we do about it?

I have studied this disease among my male compadres and am puzzled by the same results – the fear I see in their eyes as they try to live a rich, deep, meaningful life by committing to the woman of their dreams. It doesn’t matter what walk of life this poor man comes from but any man is capable of contracting this condition. And once he gets the condition it is virtually impossible for him to recover. Or at least we know it will take him some time.

Symptoms of this ailment are usually the following: a) the inability of a man to focus on one single woman; b) a man backs out of conversations that deal with commitment when initiated by said female companion; c) the desire to sexually conquer a female – ALL females; d) lackadaisical attitude toward female companions when prompted for emotional intimacy [also known as “the arm’s length syndrome”].

Studies have shown more than 50% of men deal with this affliction yet help does not seem to be readily available. Some statistics have shown 2/3rds of the male population is screaming for assistance due to the onset of this terrible state. These numbers increase dramatically after divorce or over age 30. It is a serious epidemic in our communities. We need the government to take action and provide assistance – like mandated health care.

But wait; there is help for this affliction right around the corner!

I have personally enlisted the help of various psychologist and medical professionals to understand, dissect and learn more about our disease to see if there is a drug, similar to Viagra that can help a man overcome this fear. There seems to be hope on the horizon. I have found many times the affliction can be treated by mental stimulation. Other times it is best to wear a man down. It is also treated by constant catering to the man’s desires. Other sure proof methods show a way to a man’s heart (which is one source of this issue) is by his stomach and this still stands true.

Do not despair my female accompaniments. And do not act rash by switching gender teams (not that there is anything wrong with that). Instead, work with us men to eliminate this awful condition. Most of us men don’t want to be stuck with commitaphobia and are willing to go through treatment.

However, our studies need money. There are ways you can help. For the price of a cup of coffee a day you can save a man from this dilemma. You can help him find his way. Or you can adopt a man to wean him of his commitaphobia. It will take time but believe me it can work. I know this because I, too, was afflicted by this disease. I was a commitaphobe.

Be Blessed.

Next topic: Why are men pigs?