Rivals & Choices

Thanksgiving isn’t known as a holiday in which you confess your sins and I am not going to start a new tradition but I will share a memory.

It happened so long ago it feels like a different life time though I know for certain it was this one.

I met a guy who was seeing someone I had some interest in and was shocked by what I encountered.

The few stories I had heard about him made it clear our physical appearance was quite different, I have darker features and his were light.

I was average height, but broad and he was tall and skinny.

He had a couple of inches on me but my hand swallowed his and I had to make an effort not to crush hands that felt feminine to me.

I remember thinking it was mean and unkind of me to feel that way while simultaneously wondering if my response was nature or nurture.

He was a sort of rival and I remember thinking he felt fragile and that I needed to be careful not to pump his hand too aggressively as it and his entire arm might come off.

Unkind again, but honest.

An Otis Redding Moment

I remember hearing Hard To Handle play inside my head and thinking about the choices we make.

Did I want to be direct and tell her exactly what I thought or did I want to soft peddle it a bit and say I thought he was nice but she probably wanted to consider a man who wasn’t going to blow away in a soft breeze.

I chose not to say anything about him or share any of my thoughts and if I were a different sort of man I’d say it was an intentional move to be cool.

Let her think I was indifferent with the thought that if she had any interest in me my indifference would lead to her trying to figure out what was going on in my head.

But the truth is I wasn’t indifferent. I was irked to see a guy I saw as not being as good a match as I was standing ahead of me in line.

Since I knew I wouldn’t be diplomatic I kept my mouth shut as I saw no benefit in telling her what I really thought.

Especially since I knew that if someone had said something similar to me about who I was seeing it wouldn’t have been well received.

Not sure what prompted that particular memory other than I think I shared it with dad.


Cue Three Dog Night’s Never Been To Spain and continue our visit through the past and present.

There was a moment the other day that tore the scab off of the wound and brought some of this front and center.

Won’t say what it was because that doesn’t matter but when it happened it brought dad’s absence to the surface.

One of the things I have learned is that so much happened during the last few months of his life, the funeral and the days after is I didn’t see it all.

There was too much to process and in the time since some of what was blurry has come into focus and I have remembered and in some cases experienced again.

If you’re new or haven’t figured this out I am prone to sticking my hands into the fire or placing them on the stove to see how hot it is.

Not to prove anything to anyone and not because I like pain but because I like to understand.

Because I have eight million questions and find sometimes the best way to get answers is to go seek them myself.

What Is New Is Old

Got Band On The Run playing and memories about how people used to make cracks about younger people saying “Did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”

My 15 going on 30-year-old daughter finds it amusing to hear me use teenage slang and to know more than just my music.

For example when she said some of the girls in school heard that Post Malone had purchased a house nearby I knew who she was referring to.

Confession, I knew that he did a song with Ozzie Osbourne and the name of it but had Ozzie not been tied in I probably wouldn’t have known anything.


Said daughter is learning how to drive so the other night I asked her if she wanted to try driving my sedan instead of the minivan.

I wasn’t surprised when she jumped at the chance and was very pleased with how well she did.

Right after she finished I asked her what differences she had noticed. She shared those with me and told me about how two of her friends had been given cars by their parents.

“X has Apple Car play but Y doesn’t. He has ox.”

It took me a moment to figure out what that meant. Was it some sort of Texas ranch term and then I looked down and noticed my Aux ports and started laughing.

“You mean auxiliary.”

“No, I mean Aux, you sound so old dad.”

That made me laugh as I have often told her that technology may be a little different now but people aren’t.

But it really did remind me about how different the world is in some respects.

My parents never had to have conversations about not using phones while driving or needed to remind my sisters and I to be conscious about what we post online.

My kids are pretty good about that, at least as far as I can tell and I hope that is as accurate as I believe.


I expect if dad hadn’t died my age would still make me conscious of time and choices made past and present.

Given my nature it is impossible for me to believe otherwise, not because it is impossible to hold my attention or satisfy me because that is false.

But because I have a broad base of interests and a desire to explore them.

Anyhoo, since dad is gone it has heightened my awareness of time and made me more willing to take a look at making some changes in less time than I might have.

Not in a reckless fashion but without some of the analysis I would have put in before.

With more face in my experience and my gut, faith in the combination.

The benefit of having been knocked down is the knowledge that I know how to get back up as well as knowing I might not be knocked down.

Sometimes you are dealt the kind of cards you can make something good out of and you don’t have to worry about folding.

Watch and see.

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