So I published that last post, and then I spent the better part of four minutes regretting it. Not regretting it in a way that would make me UN-post it, but in a way that made my heart hurt.
It just sounded so pathetic. And I don’t ever want to be that guy. So to show you that there are no hard feelings, I offer you an charming story from my childhood…
When I was about four years old, I was in the grocery store with my mother. She always took me grocery shopping with her because I did most of the cooking. And I had a spectacular eye for good produce. Toddlers don’t get enough credit for their abilities in the culinary arts… particularly at identifying a good melon.
So mom and I were cruising through the cereal aisle, which, to a four year old, is much like Mecca. Colorful boxes, cartoon mascots, and truckloads of sugar? I imagine that I am where I am today thanks to Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms**
But shockingly, cereal is not the point of this story. The point is, while in the Row of Delicious Awesomeness (which is how I think of the cereal aisle in my head) I noticed another boy about my age. Immediately upon seeing him, I knew that my life had taken an unfortunate turn somewhere. This kid was SO much more kick-ass than I was that it made my eyes water.
Here was a child, MY age, in MY grocery store, in MY Row of Delicious Awesomeness… and he had a MOHAWK. AND HE WASN’T WEARING A SHIRT!
How awesome is that!?!? He was out IN PUBLIC without a shirt on. I hated wearing clothes (a hatred which I carry to this day… ladies) but my dictatorial mother insisted that if I was outside the comfort of my room, I had to be fully dressed at all times. She was a maniacal, power-hungry woman who kept me from realizing my dreams. But I had no way of knowing that. Because up until the moment that this ‘Hawk rockin’ bad-ass got in between me and the Golden Grahams I had no idea that ANYONE was allowed in public without clothes on.
I imagine at this point that I asked my mother if I could also remove my shirt. I probably said it with a reasoned argument. I generally spoke to my dear mom like the equals that we were. The conversation sounds like this in my memory:
me- Hey Ma, I can’t help but notice that this young man isn’t wearing a shirt. Does that mean that it’s socially acceptable for me to remove my shirt as well?
mom- ABSOLUTELY NOT! This isn’t a slip ‘n slide, it’s a grocery store! Keep your shirt on!
me- Mother, please, calm down. I just assumed that if one person is allowed to remove their clothing, we all must be. Perhaps this is some “clothing optional” municipal holiday. Maybe we ought to ask that young lad.
mom- DON’T TALK TO HIM! He’s probably dying of some disease that makes him keep his shirt off! You’ll catch the dying naked disease! Now turn around and find me some fresh carrots!
Granted, my mother doesn’t talk like that. And at four years old, I probably begged to take my shirt off, was reasonably denied, and then spent the next hour crying and throwing a fit (cuz that’s how I do, baby) but in my mind’s eye, I will always associate my lack of coolness NOW with having to wear a shirt and having to stick with my Shirley Temple-esque curls and NO Mohawk.
Not a classic anecdote. But… better than me whining about what direction to take the blog AM I RIGHT?
**Don’t take that as an endorsement for eating sugary cereals. They are delicious and I’m a reasonably happy guy, but not many parents hope for their children to end up with my life.