Friday, September 5, 2008
I fear that I will one day become my father.
I will preface this post with this- my father is not an evil Vader like figure and at the end of the day is probably a really good buddy to play a quick pick-up game with or go on a fishing trip with. (I wouldn't be joining you but I think you guys would have a good time) I also want to say that he has some attributes that I like to embrace. For example, he is a good artist, highly creative, charming, witty, intelligent, confident and self-taught. And I don't hate the man. Hate is a strong word deserved for very special individuals and I don't think there will ever come a day where I say I hate my father. Disappointed and sometimes dislike? Yes. Hate? No.
My fear is this- that I will ultimately embrace his darker sides. He is a recovering addict, has multiple kids, does not keep up communications with said kids, always has "financial issues" to the point where I stopped asking for anything from him over a decade ago and is generally not someone to be in a relationship with. (this last one seems to have changed since he has been married for maybe a decade now)
I used to say all the time how I would never get married or have children. My reasoning for this was because I thought I would never find anyone I truly loved and the world was/is a screwed up place to bring a child into. Now, that I look back on it, it stems from watching this man. I fear that I would have kids that wouldn't be able to depend on me at all times and that I would screw up any relationship I chose to enter like he did. I have gotten over some of this fear but it still resides in the back of my head scratching at my brain like a rat.
Perfect example of the relationship or lack thereof I share with my father. Had a long talk with my friend and it made me think I should take a weekend to address some people I should apologize to and to be a bigger person and extend my hand to my father. I had, at the time, only called him if there was an issue with my brother or if my siblings needed me to ask him something/wanted to see him. His favorite line to me has been since high school "The phone works both ways." (familiar to a few of you, I know) My problem with this statement was 1) how come it only seemed to work from my house and 2) you have my number because it was yours for years so why should I as the child be the one to step up? But I looked pass all of this and made a phone call. It was a civil enough if generic conversation. The same question about my relatives and his old friends, i.e. a phone convo that was the exact same as the convos I had when I went to his house. Anyway, we talked and when it was all said and done he said he would call me back. I said I wasn't sure if I would have the same number but I would call him if it changed(it didn't).
Flash-forward to the end of October. He comes to Las Vegas on vacation with his wife for the weekend and doesn't even call. Mind you my number hasn't changed, he talked to my brother the prior week so he could have gotten it from there and the only reason I knew he was in town at all was because my brother mentioned it during my weekly conversation with my mother. Yeah. I was not happy about this but I chalked it up to just how that guy was.
But it made me reflect on my own actions. I quickly scrolled through my head and thought if I had behaved similar with people. There was one incident but I apologized immediately afterwards and, more importantly, my friend is not my son. It was just another incident involving me and my father that had made me recommit to not living my worst fear- becoming him.
I could go on with a few more stories but this post isn't to demonize the man just to state some issues I have with his behavior towards me or involving me tangentially.
My sister once told me that my father is a great friend but is lacking in the dad department. I have come to agree with her (but I'm currently not too interested in discovering if the friend part of that statement is true). My goal is to become a better man by not making the same mistakes he did.
1) travel around the world for 6 months to a year
2) force my mother to retire (there is no asking because she wouldn't do it if I asked nicely) and get her another house
3) pay for my niece and nephew's education
4) get a house away from everything to use when I want
5) wear nothing but t-shirts and jeans unless I choose to get dressed up (or as E says "Make people dress up to see me")
6) publish my own stuff
7) either learn to drive stick to buy one ridiculous sports car, fly a plane and/or get a van, turn it into The Mystery Machine and wear an ascot as I travel around the countryside solving mysteries with my gang of meddling kids
8) addendum to 5- robes. lots of robes a la Ghostface Killah
9) build a studio for my brother
10) vacations when I want
"If someone is always there, you sort of get to think that you can go away for as long as you like.
And come back.
And go away.
And come back.
And they'll always be where you left them last. Like the toys you turn up under sofa cushions. Or the good bits in a book you read when you were five."
Think this is true and we sometimes take the people that truly care about us for granted and mistreat them the most because we think they aren't ever going to leave us. But they can and they might and they often times do.
So, for all of those I have treated in such a manner, I apologize. It is human nature but that's no excuse. We should always try to evolve into better versions of ourselves and this is something that we shouldn't accept but it is something we should overcome.
“No offense. No disrespect.”
(This one sorts of builds on Idiom Series Installment Four- “But you’re different…”)
In the past few days (hell, really the last almost 20 something years) I have heard the same statements repeated to me by different people.
-Guys are losers.
-Men are dogs.
-Guys are slower in their development than women.
-You can’t trust males.
Etc, etc, etc….. I can go on with other variations on the above theme for awhile. (And, at times, you other fellas make it hard for me to fight for you) Generally, the point is that men are flawed and it’s epidemic for the gender.
Except for me.
I say except for me because these statements are made to me always (okay, 90% of the time) followed with the disclaimer “No offense” or “I don’t mean you.”
C’mon. You mean to tell me that all the males you meet are horrible people except for me? And why shouldn’t I be offended? You just used an insult brush to paint the male gender as inept buffoons who are incapable of being on the same level as you emotionally, mentally or whatever other aspect of human expression that you find important at that particular moment.
Additionally, just because you say no offense doesn’t negate the fact that I’ll get offended. Actually, if you omitted that phrase at the end of the comment, I would be less offended. You saying that means that you thought about what you said and felt the need to explain rather than it just being a situation where you are angry and just wanted to vent.
(Okay, I apologize for using women as the scapegoat for this one but they have been the ones who have used it with me recently and I feel that if I did the reverse to one of them that I would quickly have my “except me” status revoked)
Other groups of people do it as well, especially in regards to race. Can not tell you when I have heard a borderline racist comment made followed by “No disrespect.” Takes an EXTREME amount of willpower to not spaz out. Plus, I just don't have that amount of time.
Here’s a suggestion- How about not making general ass comments/statements and take people as they come?
I have told my friends before I don’t dislike people because they are male/female/gay/straight/black/white/Asian/Hispanic. I dislike them because they are pricks and they just happen to be male/female/gay/straight/black/white/Asian/Hispanic. Wish everyone could be the same in their approach but then again people are ignorant.
Next In Series- TBD
Installment number FIF!!!!!!!!!!!
Fine is only truly meant when it is said by a male five minutes after whatever issue/situation has passed. Or when used to describe a piece of china.
Or one of these ladies.
That’s it. Period. Let’s move on.
Next in Series- “No offense. No disrespect.”
Sometimes you meet a person who IS different. Someone there is a person that means a lot more to you than the normal person of the opposite sex that you encounter. This is more than even the person that you are in love with or in a relationship with. This might just be a special friend (not special like that but someone you can be close with). There are those people.
But guess what? Normally, no you’re not that person.
Don’t like being the person to bring the doom and gloom but I’m stepping in for my brother on this one (check his blog on my list to the right). If a person tells you this multiple times because
-there is someone issue that pops up constantly
-that person doesn’t have time to contact you
-they got frustrated and tired of your whining about the above issues
-they said it to explain hanging out with someone else
then usually you are not different. You are just one of five people in that person’s rotation.
I know, I know. There does exist that special person for everyone or at least that’s the theory. Unfortunately, it’s usually not you at that moment.
You’re not different.
Next In Series- "Fine."
Been encountering this one more and more lately and....
HAHAHAHAHAHA…..I’m sorry. This one just always makes me laugh. HA! Who seriously says this? Oh, yeah. Douchebags in clubs.
If you ask someone if they want to take something outside, that is telling that person that you are 1) uncreative, 2) unintelligent, 3) don’t really want to fight for real and 4) have a small penis. Let me further explain it to you….
1) You are uncreative- This is SUCH a cliché movie line. It is so badly used that I can’t even recall the last time they even used it in a movie. Think of something clever, bub, if you wanna do the man-dance.
2) You are unintelligent- Refer to 1). Also, if “taking it outside” is how you choose to solve a problem, you may want to rethink your schooling. Fights are always the last resort and people who normally say this don’t think that way. Nimrods.
3) You don’t want really want to fight for real- There are two types of fights- the first is for show and is pretty and is used in front of crowds to impress them. The second is dirty, fast and about winning- that’s all. People who get into the first fight scenario are usually not here to fight; they are here to show off in front of their friends. This is normally the reason why there is a lot of lip-bumping before these people fight. We will call these people punks.
People who engage in the second fight usually end up there after much inner debate. They are there to win or survive and want to do it quick. They have no time to get friends to showboat in front of. Let’s call these people grown-ass men. Guess which group the “take it outside” guy falls into?
4) You have a small penis- You just do. Accept it. What other reason do you need to
prove your manhood? That’s the only reason I can come up with.
With all of this being said, there are only two appropriate responses to the question of “Do you want to take this outside?” You can either laugh right in this person’s face and walk away shaking your head like you feel sorry for their mother (my personal fave). The other option is to smile and walk up to them and say in your most serious Bobby Deniro voice “Actually, I like it fine in here. Make a move, punk.”
Next In Series- “But you’re different…”
"I'm sorry, but…"
This is not referring to when you are telling a story and using this term to reference how you would react in a situation, i.e. "Then, he left his girl on the corner. I'm sorry but I wouldn't do that, kid." This refers to the apology "I'm sorry."
Just to let you know when you say but you have just negated the entire apology. The but that you are using is just to justify that you still think that you are correct in the argument. If you think you are right, then you really don't mean your apology. Who apologizes when they think they are in the right? (actually, I DO have an answer for that but that's for another time) When you say but you are not acknowledging your blame in the situation or taking responsibility for your previous actions that got you here.
But = Not. Just for your information.
Next In Series- "Do you wanna take this outside?" (one of the funniest lines…..ever)
“How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?”
Uhh, yeah. This is dumb. I’m all for giving most things and people a fair shot but there are just certain things I KNOW I won’t like without having to try them out. I recognize there are certain things that other people absolutely love but I know I won’t be a fan of. It’s cool that you like that kind of sandwich but I think I’ll pass on that burger made of liver, thank you kindly. There are people that will argue with this statement and say that it is an issue indicative of a lack of courage. I ask these people this- "Have you ever engaged in bestiality? No? Then how do know you won’t like it?" *
Look, you can like a person, place, thing or food but you can’t win an argument just by stating the above question. It’s inane and doesn’t make you better than someone else because you have found what you like and want all people to like what you like. I know what I like or don’t like. Don’t need to test my boundaries. Thanks.
“I know what I said but what I meant was…..”
I have slowly become the king of misunderstood statements. This is due to fast talking, tone and the general speed between me thinking and saying something. This is NOT due to the actual content of what I stated. If I said it, I meant it.
Why say something if you don’t mean it? I don’t think anyone does that really. Usually, what comes out of your mouth is EXACTLY what you mean. Unless you are out and out lying, I cannot think of a single situation where you would say something without any connection to what you mean. I mean phrasing is an issue but the general message is still the same.
Next In Series- “I’m sorry, but…..”
* If you have a friend who happens to practice bestiality, GET NEW FRIENDS. NOW.
1. I’m lazy- known this since about the 5th grade. I can get lazy about projects and things that aren’t right in front of me. But I always do my job and I do it well, no matter how much I may complain about it later and my curse of competency. I think a lot of people are like this; I just may be worse than the majority of other lazy souls. It’s not a lack of caring, I think. It just goes to a whole lot of other issues I have- such as not wanting to do things I don’t enjoy. This is my key flaw I’m trying to correct. Bear with me.
2. I focus on others too much- this is one of my own personal observations. I find I tend to do things for others at the cost of my own happiness/self-worth. I do it less and less nowadays but there are still times when I won’t do what I want to do for myself and will instead make sure others are alright. I often do this in my male-female relationships and it usually ends up with me alone and some cocky bastard winning off of my giving and time. (I’m forkin’ Good Luck Chuck) I also engage in this behavior with my friends and this can lead to me possibly resenting them for something or me hating myself, which I want not to happen on either count.
3. I mumble/don’t speak right on the phone- a few people have told me this. I don’t understand it. Weird phenomenon. May be due to me not being able to adjust my pitch to people unless they are directly near me or I just have a lot on my mind and at particular moments in the conversation it all tries to get out. I used to have a speech impediment when I was a kid so this should be something I can overcome.
4. I tell (white) lies- I don’t think I do this at all but since it was brought to my attention I will list it. My memory is generally pretty good 88% of the time so in those rare instances where I get something wrong it is usually due to miscommunication or my own unique phrasing and not outright lying.
5. I’m not adventurous- somewhat true. I do random shit like get up and leave work or travel across the country with no grand plan. I used to do more just random activities when I was in teens/early twenties but I guess I could be seen as not being that adventurous any longer. Trust me though, non-adventurous Sean, although less “fun”, is MUCH nicer than Adventure Sean. That guy was an ass, cared less about your feelings and would get you in some shite if you weren’t careful.
6. I don’t complete what I start- I don’t always and this is something I’m trying MAD hard to address. I need to complete my stories just so I can do what I want to do. This also goes back to #1- laziness.
7. I can become very taciturn- yeah, this one is me. This happens for many reasons- I truly have nothing to say/contribute, I’m thinking, I’m angry and am trying not to say some slick and/or hurtful shite, I’m not paying attention to what you say, I really want to just listen to you spin your tales or I just generally don’t want to talk right now. I’m not a big phone talker anyway so if you do end up on the phone with me for more than 7 minutes I must really like you and/or you are telling me something very interesting/important. Usually it’s or. Besides, see # 3. Do you really want my mumbly mouth yakking your ear off?
8. I don’t live healthy enough- I don’t. I hate exercise, don’t watch what I eat, sleep only a few hours a night and, although not so much anymore, party recklessly. Don’t see this changing anytime soon. The best you can hope for from me is tiny adjustments in this department.
9. I get frustrated. Quickly- I get angry slowly but can get frustrated quickly. This normally only happens with people I actually care about. Very rarely do I waste my time thinking about how a stranger or someone I don’t like is making me feel anymore.
10. I don’t express my feelings a lot- I don’t. That's why you didn't know about #9. I’m getting better but it is a very SSLLOOOWWW process-hence all the namby-pamby blogs. I’d rather type out what I want to say because I can make it more coherent and it gives me time to cool down from silly anger (an emotion I’m more intimately familiar with as opposed to vulnerability) like I did with this thing. See? I’m already cool as a polar bears’ toe nails again. Plus, I hate people knowing they have any sort of control over the way I feel. Hate it, son.
11. I’m too proud to ask for assistance- yup. This one is probably here for the long haul and is intrinsically connected to # 2. Don’t see me getting rid of this one since I feel it is a key trait of mine. #2 is too but I NEED to deal with that one before I just lose it one day and flip out on someone.
12. I do things out of spite- this can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing, you ask? Yes. Spite has motivated me in the past to try hard just because others said I couldn’t do it. Spite is also a bad motivator for me because it used to make me pursue things that weren’t good for me just to piss people off.
13. I think too much- how is this bad? Well, I can often build things up in my mind as more serious than they really are and this can occupy my thoughts and consequently my time. This leads back to 2, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
14. I judge people- now, I don’t outright say things about people and their actions but in my head I formulate opinions on them. Is it worse to say it aloud or keep it inside? I don’t know. What I do know is that I mostly think the worse of many individuals and when they do happen to do something wrong I am rarely surprised because they are just doing what I assumed they would do all along anyway.
15. I hold grudges- I still dislike certain kids from back in elementary school, still feel bitter towards my dad and still don’t like one of E’s boys from college. I have gotten better and let go of a lot of the past because it makes no sense to dwell on it but there are still some things I need to get over.
Anything else? I’m sure there are other things that can go on this list for me. Just a friendly reminder before you contribute- I don’t really take it personal if it is true. You who are gonna add or comment should know this about me already anyways. I get upset about a situation/disagreement but I can always separate from the person making the statement and why I am cool with them to begin with. So, feel free to add something or message me with another one.
Especially, since all of you have similar and worse flaws like being stubborn, scattered, too accepting and judgmental, just to name a few. ;)
Have a good one, you motor boating sonsuvabitches.
- arrived in the world early by at least a month. Very small baby. Spent a nice portion of my first few years in the hospital. Used to have epileptic seizures (possible west syndrome?) and stopped breathing at various points along with having to endure spinal taps. Good thing I don't remember any of that shite.
- my older sister gave me my first name. Why a five year-old was given that sort of power over my life, I don't know. Middle name came from my dad. Various mispronunciations and newly created nicknames ensue.
- got one full, angry younger brother, an older half-sister that I didn't realize was a half-sister until my twenties (not that it matters), an older half-brother from Coney Island that used to visit us in The Rock all the time when we were young. Found out I have another half-brother and half-sister a few years ago at my dad's wedding. Also, a younger step-brother now. My dad was busy.
- mother has been a hard-working telephone operator for as long as I can remember. Taught me all about hard work and dedication. She was the tough, scary parent. The real disciplinarian and I used to assume all arguments between her and my dad was mostly her fault but I grew up and learned the truth. In the past 6 or 7 years, I have gotten very close to her. Not an outwardly emotional person (hence, why I am who I am) but always looks out for her loved one and is extremely generous, to her detriment (another trait I seem to have unfortunately inherited as well, like my sis)
- father was the "cool" parent when I was little, i.e. he was the one who bought you cool toys and talked to you somewhat like an adult and was funny. He was the emotional one of the mom-dad duo. He was very relaxed, but this may have been very much due to marijuana abuse. Nation of Islam half-supporter, which was why I had to end my love affair with pepperoni for awhile and was always of the initial mindset that white people were the devil (except those who bought drugs from us-kind of like George Jefferson in that regard). Disappeared for days at a time, went to rehab, cleaned up his act, came back different and then just left one day not to return until he wanted the crap he bought back. Nice. As you can tell, I still have some unresolved issues with dude and haven't seen/talked to him since my brother was assaulted last year.
- always lived with my grandmother and aunt and various uncles who have flitted in and out of the house. Aunt always looked out in her own unique way and uncles contributed as well as they could but they are also the reason for my inflated "Fields Ego" at times, meaning the belief that we can get any woman we want if we say the right shite. Have slightly overcome that cocky mindset.
- emotions/emotion related activities in my house in my youth- anger, sarcastic responses (prerequisite for being in my family is having tough skin), not backing down from fights, non-use of the l-word and limited hugging or any other act to show the l-word.
- I was the third oldest in the living nearby cousin rankings. My sister was definitely in charge of all of us but she was also at least 4 years older than my only older cousin and his parents brought him by to play infrequently with us before they moved to Maryland (later learned they thought me, my bro and my other cousins were kinda bad influences- J.Witnesses, wha are you gonna do?). So, that made me the default one in charge when I could be bothered to lead. My father was sort of the official male role model for me and my cousins. Pretty good example, when he was there, outside of the drug use/selling but then again that was sort of a family tradition that still continues in some form ‘til this day. He left, I had to pick up the slack. Should have done a better job but I have kept the situations from getting worse than they could potentially be. Hopefully, my brother and cousins feel the same.
-Where I grew up....
- exposed to drug use/selling at early age. also, other criminal activities were nearby at most times. definitely brings to mind a term from the movie Sleepers in my head- " a place of innocence ruled by corruption." This essentially means while the neighborhood is safe for children, the people in charge are often involved in illegal incidents. People followed some sort of rules back in the day though so I was never really worried except when police showed up. Didn't like cops as a kid- can deal with them for the most part now. Unless they are pricks. Hate prick cops.
- saw people shot full in the face before, as well as other extremities. One incident pops into my head instantly- must have been fifth or sixth grade and my sis' boyfriend (future husband) was visiting for the first time. Cool guy. He, my sis, my bro and me are inside the house at the time (don't recall if my cousins were there or not). my mother, grandmother and aunt were outside on the porch talking to some dude we knew from down the street. grandmother's husband was across the street probably doing something illegal. All in all a good night. That was until someone started shooting at my grandmother's husband. Or at least I think he was the target that evening. Think they only caught him in the foot but the man my grandmother was talking to was hit in the face. Bullet went in through cheek and out through the nose. What I remember clearly was my brother freaking out because he thought my mother might have got hit and my future bro-in-law keeping him and my sis calm. I also remember the dude leaking blood out in our hallway floor near the front door. Kinda weird scene to see around the age of 10. Wouldn't be the last time I saw someone hit like that either but luckily this guy made it. And my sis' boyfriend came back the next day. Dude gets all props for that because I'm not sure what I would have done in the same predicament. Kudos.
- didn't sleep a great deal as a kid, a tradition I carry on somewhat to this day. still only sleep about four hours now too. Always stayed awake until like 3 in the am constantly on the weekend with my father on the porch outside. saw a lot and heard a lot. Also stayed up a lot in the house so I was privy to discussions (read: arguments) that my brother missed between my parents. Lucky him.
- there used to be a show that filmed in our neighborhood for CourtTv called The System. It was about local crime. My bro and cousins were on it during a drive-by filming of our street. Lived next to the crack spot so that made our house a hot attraction. Well, that, and all the drug dealers that hung out at my house or on our porch. oh, and my father was on the intro for awhile-getting arrested. He went missing one night and found out he got arrested for drinking on the porch. Recognized him because he was wearing a letterman's jacket that I used to rock sometimes.
- had to replace a few house windows, dig bullets out of our wall and visit a rehab or two in my time (not rehab for me- for others).
- how I learned to swim- went to a party on the beach (literally, one block from my house). Random cousin of the birthday boy picked me up and threw me into the water as I was screaming my lungs out. "Swim or die." Guess which I did.
- went to public school until 8th grade with mostly minorities and some white people who were not of the highest caliber. Then went to private school and had to adjust and overcome my perceptions of all white people. Took me about three years to overcome my racism. Realized that white people aren't jerks because they are white. They just happen to be jerky AND white. Also met jerky black, hispanic and asian people.
- outside of e, al, shak and crew, my closest homeboy was normally a big white boy who was funny and/or violent on my bus. The first was dan reynolds who fell more into the violent column. Then there was neil mccarthy, who was definitely in the funny category. Good people, that neil. Still on my friends’ list on Myspace.
- another person who helped me overcome my initial dislike of anything other than me was Dee Madison. Cute, funny, smart ass blonde chick. Tough too. Reminded me of my mother a little bit in that last aspect. Had a crush on her but didn't make a move. Still had some of that old daddy programming in me. Plus, I was a punk. Also, on my Myspace friends’ list.
- that's not to say high school was all sweet. The table where all the minorities sat was nicknamed "the Nable". Guess why. Yeah….that was a fun time.
- drink a lot less than I used to. Used to swill a lot and get those moments of binging when I'm with crew still. Thinking my drinking really started in force after sophomore year of college when I was living in Georgia. Also, the vodka lemonades I had during the junior and senior years of high school didn't hurt. And when I say during, I mean DURING- like between classes.
- smoking of the trees begin around 16 and ended last year with differing periods of sobriety. Been exposed to second-hand since I could remember though. Not gonna go back. Done with it. T and crew will pick up my slack. Was fun while it lasted.
- outside of those two vices, I've only ever tried one other drug and that was mushrooms. Did them once. Won't do them again unless I become filthy rich. Wasn't a horrible experience but I'm in no rush to do again. That or drugs of any kind.
- girls/chicks/ladies/wimmens- normally attracted to the crazy, odd, and/or shat upon chicks. Don’t know why. Maybe it goes to a savior complex or I like trouble. Regardless, when I find myself attracted to a woman, I wonder what is gonna be the problem I will have to deal with later. Hopefully, I have broken this trend or I'm going to have to really re-evaluate myself.
- relationships- as you can tell, emotional expression is a difficult thing for me. Feel I am improving but I still need work. The only successful relationship in my family is my sister and her husband. All the others have not been good. Hence, my fear of marriage and long-term relationships in general. Also, don't want to be a total man-whore like my older male family counterparts.
- need to work on my focus. Used to like school and really get into my work. Since about high school that has been on the decline. Outside of moments of extreme focusedness (know it isn't a word but we use it anyway) on certain things, I need to dedicate my self to elementary school focus. 9 year-old Sean would be cursing out 28 year-old Sean right now. Used to rely on luck too much and still have a tendency to leap without looking. Need to address that too.
Why should you read it?
Well, I dunno. I would like to think that I'm somewhat interesting and I'm a pretty nice guy. But if that isn't enough just read for help or to pass the time. Or, I don't know, something.
So, this page is like a combination of an electronic journal that I'm allowing you to read and, hopefully, a place to leave comments about things.
Feel free to comment or just read.
PS You can check out my other blog too if you are bored. It's called The Thracian Drive and it's listed to the right. Just some fiction and earlier randomness. Or any blog to the right in the list is good as well.