I wonder how many people will go with COVID as their C word.
Or, coronavirus. It’s difficult for me to, even if I wanted to. Friday is my #GratitudeAndShit day, and pandemic viruses don’t make the cut. I am grateful, however, to have this new reality upon me. It’s not been easy, but there have been some pluses on small scales.
It’s exhausting to read post after post about how to work efficiently from home.
I haven’t found that. There are small gains. There’s stuff like birds on my bird feeder and tortilla chips in my pantry to serve enough distraction to get me off track. But I’m eating less fried food and takeout, more conscious that I’d better watch my intake.
I haven’t done a Go Ask Daddy post since … the last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl. Or the Patriots didn’t cheat. That was 1776. Anyway, it’s been a while, and the girls’ questions are different now, but I still have 250 unanswered waiting on a spreadsheet.
Here’s how it works.
I select five questions each week randomly. They come from a trove of inquiries my girls ask. I capture them on bits of paper or in my phone note-taking app or in sharpie on my skin. (Not really, that last one.) Most I forget if I don’t write them down immediately.
Note: This is part of an occasional series about my journey to find a job.
This is a story about a boy.
This boy has a story to tell. He hasn’t been allowed to tell it. Then, he thought better of telling it. Because it’s a story about losing a job and feeling lost and helpless. He usually tells stories of enchiladas and bad-ass soccer girls.
But he’s standing here now, wearing a hair net and smelling of bulk scallops, wondering who he is right now.
Only, that thought lasts less time than it takes to bag up a pound of scallops (or wrap a whole salmon without dipping your sleeves in salmon slime.) When an employer tells you you’re unfit to write any more, out of the blue, you can do one of two things:
You know me. I’m mostly the agreeable type. Sure, I mutter insults to people who tailgate me and blow past me on the highway – all while snapping chats on their mobiles. But for the most part? Live and let live.
Except for, maybe, refs.
Not all refs, mind you. I’ve had enough run-ins with our striped adversaries to write a post on it. I’d be itchy afterward, though. I don’t really want to get into it. How bad does it get?
I wouldn’t go to Sports Clips for awhile because the stylists wore referee shirts.
Meaning, there’s some deep philosophical questions here. Well, one at least. And one about cheese, which to me is a sign of higher intelligence. Although, when I was in college, it didn’t really feel like a haven of higher learning.
Was it just me?
I once got an 8 – yes, e-i-g-h-t – on a science test. I stayed after to ask, “is there any mathematical reason I shouldn’t hit drop-add after this?” My prof, he of feathered hair and a beard before beards were cool, simply shook his head.
Let me rephrase that. I love the female spirit. I mean, yeah, I love Elizabeth Banks and Kesha and also that woman who plays Jack’s wife in the Jack in the Box commercials, but I am also an appreciator of the work and substance of woman.
X is for xenogenous, which means, of an outside cause.
Writing on courage – that’s what I’d like to do now, and I’ve considered spelling courage X-C-O-U-R-A-G-E so I can get down to it. Instead, I’ve chosen an X word – xenogenous – which I bet no one else has, and I’ll use it like a rebound romance to get to where I want.
My status as a man means that I must appreciate the courage of a woman from a xenogenous perspective. (see what I did there?)
Some of my friends will never understand that. They can’t fathom a life of to-dos and deadlines and commitments and unexpected obligations that pack the hours of 6 a.m. to midnight and sometimes beyond.
When does soccer end? they’ll ask.
They might not understand that after a work shift that starts before business hours and after a day truncated by travel and training schedules that sometimes I look at my phone and can’t even imagine trying to tap out anything cohesive on that tiny keyboard.
Who hasn’t thought this? In those moments we’re out of gas, out of time or out of toilet paper (or all three). At times when we follow our favorite adorable pro golfer just to see she has three names now, just like those old-school 80s Olympic sprinters.
I like being me, though.
So much so that I would hate to not be me, to miss out on late-night ginger snaps and Sunlounger and Cher Lloyd on Pandora. On coaching my girls, raising my kids or writing my blog. Did I mention ginger snaps?
Some of us LIVE. Britt Skrabanek is one like this. She’s a life enthusiast, and for the unitiated, that doesn’t mean she runs with the bulls or skydives (without that goofy guide guy strapped to your back, either.)
(She doesn’t do those things, but she could.)
Britt is classic and new all at once. She writes to live and lives to write, always hopeful, never satisfied, forever pushing her own boundaries and exploring the outer reaches of others’. She’s been with me for much of this blogular journey.
It’s on Instagram and SnapChat. Right? Maybe What’sApp, but that’s less likely. Anyway, I know it’s like a place where people can, I don’t know, write something like a blog post? It’s kind of a big deal, I gather. Yet, no, I don’t know its parameters.
That’s okay – I’m 45 after all.
Like the Washington Redskins, I sometimes get lucky, with the terminology. I coach teenagers and work with millennials. The most awkward thing I can think of this side of Elizabeth Banks reading my mind would be to appear to try to be acting young.