Sometimes I wonder what the teen and preteen that live with me think of their old man.
I wonder if they see me through a similar prism as I once viewed my own father or if times have impacted that sort of thing.
The talking heads say each generation looks at the ones around it with a certain amount of disdain, those that came before weren’t quite as knowledgeable and those that came after were lazier.
MyÂ old manÂ was a hard ass in many ways, most of them good but some of them not as much. He almost never missed a day of work and I am not sure if I ever heard him complain about his job or the people he worked for.
It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I heard any stories about the bosses he didn’t like and the hard moments at work that most of us encounter.
By that time I had already been working for a while and there were several moments where I felt like I was falling short of the mark.
Some of it was because one of the owners of the company I worked for was awful. He was so difficult to work with thatÂ he and his partner agreed that he would work from home and not the office
He was so difficult to work with thatÂ he and his partner agreed that he would work from home and not the office.
Company legend said that he was the reason seven or eight people quit during a single month.
Anyhoo, since I had never heard dad complain about work I figured that I had to do my best to suck it up and do the same.
That old bastard I worked for managed to get under my skin the same way he had done to so many others, a task that is far harder to accomplish now than it was when I was 25.
One day I lost it and screamed back at him, anger morphed into fear of getting fired but pride wouldn’t let me apologize.
A combination of dumb luck and some skill are probably among the reasons why all I got was a verbal warning, and a reminder that the partner was prickly, “we know he is a jerk, but he owns 50% so tip-toe Jacky boy.”
Neruda, my old friend and companion is close by. Were he actually around I might share the story about my first job and how my father’s behavior impacted my own.
I might ask him if were interested in participating in the next edition of the 100 word challenge and ask him how his past affected his present.
Maybe I’d tell him I know about aching windows and a heart that shrinks and expands like and accordion.
Perhaps I’d follow it up by saying I am not sure if I have ever had a perfect kiss but I know whose lips are perfect for my own.
We’d go back and forth and I’d share a couple of words about those lips and tell him how I told the owner of said lips there have to be at least a 100 pairs at anyone time that would be perfect for kissing.
I remember the look I received, a nod that I was correct and a look in her eyes that made me think she wanted me to follow up by saying I would never go looking for the others.
Don’t remember if I ever agreed to never search for those others but I did say that if my heart were not a liar we’d probably find time to find out if perfection existed in middle age and beyond.
The last conversation we had about it was in a different time and place, I told her my hand was open and that if her fingers found their way into mine, well that would be some kind of trick.
If I told you the last time I kissed her I said I tasted life would you believe me? Do you think she believe me?
There Is More Sex Than Lying In Blogging
Sometimes I look out upon the blogosphere and think about it reminds me of being in a junior high or high school locker room.
Can’t tell you how many of those boys talked about the girls they had been with and those they were going to be with.
Even at 13 or 14 I knew that some of the stories I heard were just that…stories.
People didn’t want to talk about how feeling like an outsider and or how confusing it all was. They didn’t want to tell you anything that didn’t make them feel/look cool so they engaged in a lot of self-censorship.
I grew up with four sisters so locker room talk was different for me.
That is because dad sat me down and told me to remember that some guys would talk about my sisters in the same way the boys in the locker room did.
He told me to remember that every girl I went on a date with should be given the same respect I wanted my sisters to get.
I am not going to lie and say that hormones and desire never impacted me, not going to say that I didn’t fall short sometimes because I did.
But most of the time I was very cognizant of my father’s words. Most of the time I heard them in my head so I was never the guy who spent his time in the locker room bragging about all of the women I had been with.
It is a lesson I have passed along to my son.
“Dad, I told you I am not going to get married or have a girlfriend.”
“I am not teasing you about this. I am serious and I want you to remember what I said.”
“I want you to remember what I said, girls are a pain.”
“Yeah, they are, but they aren’t always the pain you think of them as being. Nature has a way of pushing you to find out what I am talking about and I hope you do. I hope one day you understand the benefits that come from being with the right one.”
He shakes his head and I know he thinks I am crazy. But I still know some things about life he doesn’t.
As I walk back to my bedroom I hope that I have given him good advice and that I have given him a balanced view of the world.
I love being a dad and I think I am good at it, but this stuff is really freaking hard, worth it, but hard.