Saturday, April 29, 2017

Some Pots Don't Have Lids

I'm sitting here, realizing how long it has been since I have touched a woman.  Touched, as in felt, handled, held hands, kissed, or otherwise been familiar with.
Most of you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Either you're a woman who has to beat men off with a stick, or you're a man who has some "game" that leads women to you.  Either way, you probably cannot identify with me when I tell you that I have not touched a woman in an amorous way in over five years.


I say it's been five years, but it may be longer than that.  I said five because it's a nice round number.  It might be six, or eight.  I don't remember - which is the point, exactly.

I will be 60 years old soon.  Sixty.  I have never been in jail.  I have been employed since I was 18, and I have owned my own home for over 25 years.  There must be something wrong with me, right?

I see men who have no idea what cleanliness means, what deodorant is, how their shoes should be tied, how to hitch their pants to their (disappearing) waist line, or if a razor exists or what to do with it -- and yet, they have women crawling all over them, and have been happily co-existing for several decades.

Me - I can't have an argument with a woman without her abandoning me for -- nothing -  and I can't dress myself up enough to make a difference.  I guess it's because I have no money, or no "game," or whatever it is that draws desperate women to men like that.  That's their choice, and I cannot dispute it.

I think I'm an interesting person.  I have ideas, opinions, and things to say.  I clean-up and speak nicely when I'm around people. I'm in decent shape for a man of my age, and I have my own car, a job, and ... stuff.  Not enough, I suppose.

I've run it through my head a number of times, and I can't rationalize the difference between me and the rest of "them."  You know "them."  Those guys.  Them.

Perhaps I underestimate women?  Or overestimate them?  Maybe they want more than what I am, or maybe they want less?  Either way, I cannot pretend to be someone I am not in order to impress someone.

I remember my ex-wife telling me, "I was disappointed in you."  I wondered how, since I never put-on airs or told her that I was something I was not.  I figured that she wanted me to be something that she had built-up in her head, and I didn't measure up to that.  I can't change that.  Meanwhile, the real disappointment came from me toward her.  I was disappointed that she didn't love me for who I was, which is what our wedding vows said.  But, I digress.

When people stop smoking, they spend the first few weeks craving a cigarette.  After a month or two, they still miss it, but they can get along without it.  Once the feeling passes (after years?) they realize that they never needed the cigarettes at all, and it was silly to crave them to begin with.  I'm in the fifth year of being without "cigarettes."  I'm starting to get frightened that I might be weaned off the feeling altogether.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  I'm not interested in some one-night hook-up via Tinder or one of those disastrous web sites.  When I have sex with someone, it's a bonding experience, not a notch in my bedpost.  I can't "hunt and gather."

I've tried to dismiss the feeling, as though it's something that is unique to me, but I keep seeing people happily coupled-up and I can't help but think that, at nearly 60, that there isn't something wrong with me -- because there is.

There is.

Millions (literally) of people are couples, and contests give away "tickets for two" to something (which I refuse to enter) and vacations are priced "Per person, double occupancy" because one person traveling alone is more expensive, and even our government screws individual taxpayers.  The world is made for two.

Lonely is an Eyesore.

I sit at bars, restaurants, and shows in my single seat.  I see the glances, the "oh, he's by himself," and I have been asked, "How can you go to a show by yourself?"  Well, it's either go alone or miss it altogether.  They don't think about that part.  The upside is, it's easy to get seats to shows when you're only looking for one.  The downside is ... the downside.

So, where does it leave me?  Right where I was, unfortunately.  I thought that, as I aged, I'd be "A Catch."  The kind of guy that women saw as secure or ... whatever ... and I'd be the guy who "beats them off with a stick."  I don't have a stick.

It is like talking politics or religion.  Say, "I'm lonely" and people turn their heads and pretend to get a phone call.  It's social anathema.  Think about it, but don't talk about it.  It goes hand-in-hand with depression.  Lonely people are depressed because they are lonely, and they are lonely because they are depressed.  Nobody wants anything to do with them.  You can say it, go ahead.

We don't want to be a charity case or some project or puzzle for you to solve.  Some puzzles cannot be solved. Some projects have no conclusion.  It's the reason the whale - the largest mammal on the face of the Earth has a small throat-opening and most of them have no teeth. It's just the way it is, and there's nothing you can do about it.

It's up to us to live with it.  You can't eat steak if all you can eat is plankton.

I know, you were expecting more from me, but that's all I have.

I was expecting more from you, too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sports Uber Alles

There is no bigger example of how sports rules American life than the NFL draft going on this week in Philadelphia.
For several weeks, traffic has been diverted around the site near the iconic Art Museum, and it will be diverted for several more weeks while they set-up and clean-up the massive structures that are being erected to commemorate the religion that is professional football.

So, what's going on?  Well - a professional football league (the National Football League) is drawing names in a progressive order, to declare which college players will be eligible to play for them in the upcoming season.  Sounds important, right?  Oh - no?  Well, it's pretty important, if you stop to look at what's going on in the city.

Streets around the Art Museum have been blocked off for a couple of weeks, and more are being blocked every day.  We didn't do this much when the Pope came here.  These are young adults playing football, fer-Christ-sakes. Supposedly, the largest stage ever built in North America is being built for ... what?  22-year-old's running up to hear their name called to become part of the National Football League.  That sounds important, right?

Meanwhile, other 22-year-old's are graduating with high honors at colleges across America, and they are fortunate to have a cake and a dinner with their family.  I know, some of them are getting expensive cars and gifts ... from their families ... but there is no national league of (oh, I don't know) accountants or scientists giving them a big stage to come up and get a hug from the head of the Big Accountants of America or the National Scientific American Association (assuming either of those exist) upon their successful graduation with something close to a 4.0 grade-point-average.

Well, wait ... these kids on Thursday ... what? Ran really fast and jumped higher than their fellow student --- um, student athletes -- so it's only fitting that we shut-down an entire city for a month to reward them with a hug from the head of their employer and a two-hour stint on national television.

That seems fair, right?

After all, who will contribute more to society?  A guy who spends four years running an oblong object up and down a grass field for our entertainment or an honor student who discovers a cure for some disease or declaring some new scientific principle?  It's a no-brainer, right?

Yes, the term no-brainer is a particular problem with me, but I digress.

The glorification of sports in society is the problem.  It is fed by the saturation of media and their obsession with people who can jump high or run fast over those who can think or react.  It's not that it isn't important, it's that it isn't that important - or as important as we make it.  
Think about it -  three days, and countless hours of network television time over a professional sports league picking players to work for them.

Get a grip, America.