There are three of us standing outside the restaurant waiting for the rest of our party to join us.
It is mid summer and the night air is almost the perfect temperature and I am kind of excited about the coming meal.
“I hear this place is supposed to be great. I am really looking forward to it.”
The guy next to me snorts, “business dinners at great restaurants are like anniversary sex. You know it is going to feel good but you have been with her for 20 years. You know all of her moves and she knows yours so it is never quite as good as you hope.”
In a different setting I would have made a crack about his not quite being Casanova but I play it more cautiously here and I give him a wry smile and a head shake.
“I might need a stiffer drink after that one.”
Everyone laughs and we move on to the next topic about who is taking lead. I can do it, but if things go sideways they’ll hold me accountable.
Could go down in flames but I could rise up as the conqueror.
Could Be Night Or It Could Be Day
Some storms can be seen from a distance and they give you ample time to prepare and some come upon you without warning.
I like to think that describes the current one and say it wouldn’t matter if I was an ancient grizzled mariner who simply missed the signs.
There have been other moments where I was forced to dance in the fire alone and they always kept me working too hard to determine if it was day or night.
I walked the damn line and did what I had to because I am never smart enough to just lie down and give up.
There is always a way, always a chance, opportunity or solution to be found.
Sometimes it was to work harder and sometimes it was to work smarter but it was always there.
Even when my air was taken from me and I was choking the idea was simple.
Put one foot in front of the other until you find the eye or the far side and can see clearly.
Intermixed with the push to get through there were always those who put up hurdles and always those who tried to clear them.
I wasn’t particularly bothered with the hurdles because those are always there but I was frustrated with the lack of support from those who had promised to always be there.
That is the kind of promise I don’t make unless I intend to keep and one I don’t often take seriously from others because people say a lot of things.
If I accepted it that acceptance often came from my gut and was based upon something I just knew and not science.
Sometimes I had to forgive others because they just couldn’t and what I asked was too much for them and sometimes I refused because they had different standards for me than for them.
Don’t tell me happiness is as simple as making a choice because when you are choking you don’t have the luxury of thinking about whether you could make it all better by trying to smile.
You are too busy surviving during that moment to consider whether inspirational posters are legitimate sources of inspiration.
Until you reach a place where you have time to determine if it is night or day you just do what must be done.
Monty Hall Is Waiting
“Dad, who is Monty Hall and why is he waiting for you?”
“He is a game show host and he wants me to decide whether to choose the cash or what is behind one of those three doors.”
“What is your plan?’
“I am not sure yet. I kind of feel like I dressed up like a bottle of ketchup and am at the Ketchup haters of America club meeting.”
“Dad, sometimes you say such random things.”
I nod and smile but don’t try to explain that people dressed in costume on Let’s Make a Deal. It would prove I am not quite as random as I sound today but that is not necessary.
Daughters loves their fathers whether random or precise with their speech or so I hear.
This moment is about accepting I haven’t any control of this situation and all I can do is try to manage it.
Believe it or not I can handle the lack of control but I am frustrated about the managing it part because the menu of choices is 5,969 options long.
And it is hard for me to look at the current moment and not want to kick myself for not having taken a different path a while back.
That feeling won’t last because I know if I had I might stand here today questioning whether I should have made other choices.
So I’ll sigh once or twice, wonder whether stress is killing my sleep and making my body feel like I went ten rounds.
There is a two hands solution for this moment but chances at that one coming through are slim. “But not impossible” says that voice inside my head.
I don’t have to look in the mirror to see the curved lip and smile, I can feel it.
Twenty Years Of Anniversary Sex
We’re standing outside of the restaurant, post meal and taking a moment recap.
“If that is what 20 years of anniversary sex is like I don’t think I’ll make it past five years of marriage.”
I look at the kid who said it and ask him how long he has been married.
“Debbie and I have been living together for 3 months, but we’re not married.”
He sees me snort and asks me to explain myself.
I smile and tell him three months of living together with no kids, no pets and no responsibility can’t give him a frame of reference for 20 years together.
“You sound so negative.”
“I didn’t say don’t get married but I am saying you can’t compare your situation to 20 years of marriage with kids and responsibility. But that is a side note to what I want to say about my food.
I am glad I didn’t have to pay for this meal, I thought it was fair. If I come back I’ll need to try something different.”
And that is where I am today, trying something different.
Can’t hurt and it could make a big difference…if I manage it right.