Pop’s Panties

It’s Memorial Day.  Time to think back on the men and women who bravely served our country.  I am fortunate enough to have many current and former servicemen and women in my family and circle of friends.  However, every Memorial Day (and most other days throughout the year) I find myself thinking about my grandfather, “Pop.”  I’ve spoken of him a few other times in my ramblings, like when he “helped” me buy my first car or when he bruised his hip after a semi ripped his car in half on the highway.  But he was always a cool guy – half of his vocabulary consisted of grunts, chuckles, and words he made up (to this day, I’ve never met anyone else who puts “boor” on their bread or “cahookins” on their salad) and he showed his love with lunch meats for Saturday “sangwich” time (that’s not one he made up, most Italian grandparents throw “sangwich” around almost as much as “sugu” or “minchia”).

He was a veteran of World War II – a medic actually.  He never talked about what he saw and we never asked because we knew in that position he probably saw the worst of the worst.  I do know that for the rest of his life nothing medical phased him.  I often heard talk of my mother as a young child cracking her head open on a table and while every else was panicking, Pop closed the wound with literally nothing.  He held it closed with his thumbs until it clotted and sealed itself, then he bandaged her and cleaned her up.  Like I said, the dude was cool.

He was an awesome grandfather and the toughest guy I knew.  Literally walked away from getting hit by an 18-wheeler, beat cancer a couple times, brought himself out of a coma following brain surgery, and, even with limited speech, managed to make fun of all the “old people” in the retirement home and a particularly douchey therapist (if you go up to a man like this expecting to coo and talk down to him like a small child, you’re going to have a bad day).

He took me fishing, taught me to drive, came to all of my sister’s and my concerts and plays and dance recitals (even if he constantly got in trouble when we went to my sister’s Nutcracker performances because he lacked the maturity to control his laughter and color commentary when the guys in tights showed off a little too much…well…Nutcracker).  He was an awesome grandfather – whatever we did, he was there.  But what I remember most about this amazing pillar of our family would have to be…

…his underpants.

Not just any underpants, mind you, there is a story behind these. Ironically, many of the other veterans I think about today have also given me memories of them in their underwear.  Come to think of it, a large number of people seem very comfortable just dropping trou in my presence.  In fact, out of the first 10 friends and relatives that popped into my mind who have served or are serving 7 of them have been pants-less around me and only 6 of those wore underwear!!!  I really don’t know what it means about my personality – hopefully it’s a positive thing.

Anyway, back to my grandfather’s skivvies.  I was in 8th grade and my final project for my Home Ec. class was to make an apron or a pair of boxer shorts.  Naturally I went with the boxers!  Not a sexist thing, c’mon guys, if you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m the guy who lived for the day he’d be graded on the chance to make underwear in school!  The first thing I did was run to JoAnn Fabrics and buy the most godawful golfing fabric I could find.  I was doing this as a joke (what, me not take something seriously?  surely you jest!) so I needed to find the most obnoxiously patterned fabric I could.

I started to cut the fabric to the pattern’s specification.  However, I always believed in erring on the side of caution…so I added a couple inches in each direction.  I also didn’t understand how to make the fly to the boxers, so I just sewed the front shut.  So when all was said and done, I had a pair of boxers that could fit two of me, hung to my knees, looked the same from the front and the back, and was covered with the ugliest pictures of golf equipment I could find.  So what to do with these monstrosities?

Father’s Day was right around the corner.  My grandfather was, shall we say, generous around the midsection, so these would probably fit him. So, lo and behold, Pop was given the infamous “mutandes” and he wore them.  Every.  Night.  If we went over to my grandparents’ house in the evening, there he’d be: plain white t-shirt, his false teeth out, and a pair of black socks reaching up (as my Nana called them) “his chicken legs” trying to meet those shorts at about his knees (now, granted, those shorts should have hung down to his ankles seeing as though he was far from a tall man, however since he hiked the waistband up to his ribcage, it allowed his shins to breathe comfortably).

He was certainly missed at the parade and the barbecue today, but it always makes me smile to think about this amazing man and his “chicken legs.”  I hope one day, thousands of years from now, archeologists will treat our burial grounds like those of the ancient Egyptians.  And on one of those days, someone discovers my grandfather.  Because we buried him in those boxer shorts and anyone who does that for a living needs a good laugh!

Happy Memorial Day.  Thank you to the veterans for keeping my family safe and for giving us the freedoms we are so fortunate to have today (to wear underpants or not for example).  What I write is meant to entertain and it is something I enjoy very much, but I fully acknowledge that this hobby of mine could very easily get me killed in many other parts of the world.  God bless you.

“This morning when I put on my underwear I could hear the fruit-of-the-loom guys laughing at me.” ~ Rodney Dangerfield

Top Ten Places Where You Rethink Having Children

I promise, promise, promise it is not my intention to only do Top Ten Tuesdays.  My schedule WILL loosen up a bit soon and I’ll go back to my normal ramblings.  Things have been SO CRAZY lately and, the bright side, I am gathering so much more ammunition for this blog once I get back into the swing of things.  One of the things that has caused such a disruption in the writing schedule is the fact that I am still a parent.  I am still a parent because, apparently, we aren’t allowed to sell them on eBay. BUT they are good inspiration for things such as this week’s list:


10.  Sporting Events

You’d think a place where things are supposed to be loud and obnoxious is the perfect location to bring your little minions without worrying.  You thought wrong, Hoss!  First of all, a hot dog costs a small fortune and I believe you need to give up a kidney if you want to feed the whole family and, let me tell you, the pickiest eaters end their hunger strikes as soon as they walk into the stadium.  You could be convinced that your child is the next Gandhi until the food venders walk by your seats and all of a sudden they’re as dangerously expensive as having a seizure at an auction!  Hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, ice cream, drinks in a collectable spinning glow-in-the-dark wearable gallon jug with free refills to guaran-damn-tee that they will have to go to the bathroom during all of the best plays of the game forcing you to take them to the most vile bathrooms on the planet where you explain why everyone is peeing in the same metal bathtub while simultaneously playing a game of “don’t stare at that.”  When you finally give up and head for the car, your child will have an aching stomach, an armful of souvenirs you had to remortgage your house for, and a fresh set of vocabulary words courtesy of your seatmates whose only coherent bits of drunken ramblings contained four colorful letters.

9.  Disney World

I went to the Magic Kingdom when I was a senior in high school.  It was AWESOME!  My sister and brother-in-law went after they got married and didn’t want to leave.  What did we have in common?  We went without children.  It is certainly the happiest place on Earth…unless you’re a parent.  Then it’s expensive and hot and full of things that make children cry.  According to a survey that I’m completely making up, the things that make small children cry are being uncomfortable, being too hot, being hungry, waiting to do things, wanting things you won’t buy them, being tired from a hectic day, and hearing other children crying because of all the aforementioned reasons.  And, thus, we realize the magic of Disney is powered by children’s tears and parents’ broken souls.

8.  In Bed

Get your minds out of the gutter.  I’m talking about good ol’ comfy sleepy time goodness!  Bad dreams, bed wetting, strange noises, monsters in closets, thunderstorms, or no freaking reason at all and all of a sudden you have a mini-tyrant squeezing under the covers and taking up twice as much room as you do even though they’re a quarter of your size.  Now this little tyke with whom you’ve tried endlessly and unsuccessfully to perfect their aim and timing to kick a soccer ball or swing a baseball bat can catch you with a punch to the throat or a kick to the groin LITERALLY with their eyes closed!  I remember when I was little and sought refuge in my parents’ bed, it was the best sleep I had in my life…now I know why.  I might need to bunk with them again for a while.

7.  In the Car

No, we’re not there yet.  No, we’re not stopping for snacks again.  Of course we can listen to your music, especially that one annoying song and I wouldn’t dream of not putting it on repeat.  No, we’re not there yet.  We have three and a half hours to go.  No, I don’t know how many seconds that is.  Please don’t count until we get there.  Which one of you…oh God, roll down the window.  We just stopped for the bathroom and you didn’t have to go!  No, we’re not there yet!  About two minutes closer than the last time you asked.

6.  Work

There are few experiences more humbling than bringing your children to where you work.  This is the place where you get paid to come across as a person who has their act together.  You might even be the boss!  And then they come in.  Remember that vocabulary from the sporting event or the time you told them you weren’t pulling over at the rest stop and they had an accident or what your pajamas look like?  Now is their time to share all of this information with your coworkers.  Things you don’t even remember happening will all of a sudden come into light.  And, let’s face it, kids are cute and always have your coworkers’ attention – so they have a captive audience ready to absorb every excruciatingly embarrassing detail.

5.  Family Gatherings

You’d think you’d be safe with family…you’re not.  Even if you have awesome kids and you think your parenting game is strong – this is the place where your reality gets body checked into the boards!  Because, now, there are probably more than just your kids there and they’re related so their powers are amplified!  So.  Many.  Children.  All the parents are huddling in fear as this mini mob, hopped up on juice boxes start chucking frisbees and water balloons all over Pawpaw and Meemah’s backyard.  And they think they are just “so adorable” and “kids will be kids” and “you were a handful too.”  Well, that’s all well and good, but they have to come home with ME after YOU washed solid bricks of red dye #5 down their gullets with a bath of Jolt Cola!

4.  Church

I’m sorry Lord, it’s not you, it’s me.  Actually, no.  It’s not me, it’s them.  I can’t remember ever going to church when there wasn’t a screaming child testing the building’s amazing acoustics or yelling out that they have to go potty during a moment of silence (yes, I remember, this is a little pot calling the kettle black situation seeing as what I did during a moment of silence).  And there is so much for them to trip over and bump their head on which leads to a cringeworthy echoing thump which resonates for a moment of shocked silence from the child before the wailing starts.  There are also SO MANY people that your child can “tell the truth about.”  I know it’s a church and there’s the whole “thou shalt not lie” thing, but it’s not a lie if we just don’t talk about that man’s funny looking pretend hair or that lady’s wiggly arms. Churches need to make drive through blessing stations for parents…we need all the help we can get.

3.  Movies

First of all, you will have very few opportunities to see any movies that don’t contain singing woodland creatures.  But, once in a while, you’ll be interested in something your kids want to see.  Lego Movie?  Finding Nemo? AWESOME FLICKS!  But it’s almost better to force yourself to go to the awful movies, because you won’t be able to pay attention anyway.  You’ll also have issues seeing because NO CHILD ever says, “Hey let’s sit toward the center so that we have the best position.  No, it’s either front row or back row.  And, like the sports outings, they’ll want armloads of snacks, but they’ll use your arms as the snack caddy.  So you’ll be passing and taking back popcorn, candy, nachos, and slushies for the film’s entirety. You will also be questioned like a crime’s primary suspect about who someone is or why they’re doing what they’re doing or what’s happening. Haven’t they watched as much of the film as you have?!!  You didn’t direct it!  If they would just keep shoving popcorn in their mouth and paying attention they would know!  And, hopefully, there isn’t a surprise at the ending, because that’s when the inevitable potty break will occur.

2.  Restaurants

Your little one would probably eat a hot dog for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day if you let them.  But if you order them a hot dog at a restaurant it’s like you’re asking them to eat eels.  They only want to eat one thing…whatever it is you ordered.  And YOU KNOW they don’t like what you ordered but they insist it’s what they want, so you share and they hate it and you try to hold back a massive “No &$#*, Sherlock! That’s why we ordered you a hot dog!”  And I think restaurants challenge each other to see how many projectiles they can put on their tables – sugar packets, creamers, salt and pepper shakers, jellies, crayons, silverware, and on and on and on…and on the floor they all go.  They’re volume inexplicably goes up a few hundred decibels and you can feel the eyes from other tables turning your way.  You swallow your food so fast that you forget what you ate by the time you make it back to the car but you’ll be sure to remember what your little minion ate because they shoved some in their pants to be found later.

1.  Grocery Stores

To be honest, I don’t like going grocery shopping even WITHOUT kids. But having them with is a whole new challenge.  You put on cartoons and they turn into catatonic lumps on the couch.  You bring them to a grocery store and all of a sudden they have ninja-like reflexes and everything within their reach is coming off the shelves.  And everything is liquid in glass or millions of pieces of dried goods in easily opened boxes and the poor pimply-faced high schooler hasn’t finished your clean up on aisle 3 before aisles 4, 5, and 6 are in need of his attention.  And WHOEVER thought up the grocery cart with the car on it is the antichrist!  It’s irresistible to children and impossible to drive through the store!  And the checkout lane designer who loaded it with balloons and candy?  OH HOOOO – there is a special place in Hell for you, my friend!  Do you know who designed these things?  Grandparents!  Because they remember what we were like and they are silently adding obstacles to our daily lives as payback!  Very sneaky, Grams and Gramps, very sneaky indeed…but remember, when we ship you off to the retirement home, we’re sending the grandkids to spend time alone with you and there is nowhere for you to run!  Game on…

“Be nice to children, for they will choose your rest home.” ~ Phillis Diller

Top Ten Things to Know About “The Rest” of New York

I’m technically a New Yorker.  Unless you’re from New York City – then to you I’m not.  To the New York City “New Yorkers” I’m from Upstate New York.  Unless you’re from the Syracuse or Albany area – then to you I’m not.  My peeps and I have our own little forgotten portion of the state. Look at a map of New York and put your pencil about halfway across the Pennsylvania state line on good ol’ Binghamton.  Draw a line up and over through Rochester and trace your way along the Canadian border, through Buffalo, back down to the PA line again and back.  That’s us.  It is a HUGE chunk of the state but most of the world…country…hell, our own state’s cohabitants know so little about us.  There is so much more to us than just roads connecting New York City to west.  Not much, no, but SOME stuff. Like:

10.  Celebrities Like Us…kinda

Daniel Radcliffe, Justin Timberlake, and even Clint Eastwood have had amazing experiences in our part of the world and praised our residents for being such awesome people.  Former Disney big shot, Michael Eisner, designed part of Disney World to look like a small community in Western New York.  And, even though I disagree with nearly everything about him, The Donald is a ‘uge fan of our part of his home state.  So that means we have tons and tons of celebrity summer homes around here, right?  No. They like us, but, psht not like to live here or visit often or too long or anything crazy like that!

9.  We Have Our Own Language

We don’t drink soda – it’s pop.  If you are talking to one person, you will refer to them as “ya,” however “yous” and “all o’ ya” are both acceptable pluralizations.  The word “sandwich” can be interchangeable with “sangwich” or “sammich.”  “Ish” can be used if something is really gross (“Dog poop?  Ish!”) or it can be used to talk about something that is close to an exact location or time (“I’ll meet you around 10-ish, right around here-ish.”).  It is also acceptable to throw a “thereabouts” into that last statement.  All highways and thruways need to start with a “The” because you don’t take route 90, you take The 90.  Above all, be sure you speak quickly and nasally and mumble as much as possible – like Steve Urkel, but not as intelligible.

8.  We Are Experts

On what?  Everything.  We are the Farmer’s Almanac, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and the freakin’ Psychic Hotline all rolled into a grumpy little frost-bitten package!  We can tell you tomorrow’s forecast by watching the sunset, sniffing the air, and reciting nursery rhymes.  We know how hot our summer is going to be by shoveling our driveways in the winter. We know what to pull out of your kitchen cupboards that could be a cure. A cure for what?  Everything.  We know who is going to win the Superbowl.  The next one?  All of them.  And on the off chance we might not know something first-hand, no worries.  We all know someone, or at least know someone who knows someone, who knows and that’s just as good.  You might not think it is but you’d be wrong.  About what? Everything.

7.  We Could Drive on the Lunar Landscape

The roads are bad.  No, like really bad.  You could close your eyes while you’re driving (hey, they have Braille on drive-up ATMs, so why not) and know when you crossed over the Pennsylvania state line.  It starts with a WHAM and continues like an off-balanced washing machine.  We have “Bump” signs on the side of the road, but it’s unclear which “Bump” it was talking about!  Everyone knows someone (see, what did I tell you in #8) who has done MAJOR damage to their vehicle simply by hitting a pothole.  In my hometown, a pothole flipped a van.  FLIPPED THE DAMN VAN!  One minute you’re driving – you don’t swerve, you don’t hit another vehicle, you do absolutely nothing but drive in a straight line – and the next minute you’re upside down!  Potholes jar your car and your body a bit; we need a whole new term for something that makes cars do somersaults.

6. There are Only Two or Three Cities

In our part of the world, you might live in Binghamton or Rochester (“The Bing” or “Rachacha” if you speak the lingo) but you more than likely live X hours from Buffalo.  Even if that “X” means 3 or 4 and you need to pass through dozens of other towns and cities to get there, you’re still from Buffalo.  If you counted the population by how many people just take the easy route and say they’re from Buffalo, it would be a city of MILLIONS. Which is why there are really only five places in New York – Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, The City, and everywhere else.

5.  We Missed the Concept of the Civil War

We are a little slice of Dixie in the vast blueness of our state.  You think about New York and you picture skyscrapers, bustling streets, Lady Liberty, and the epitome of metropolis living.  “Union blue” through and through.  But not over here.  Over here it’s chockfull of country music stations, rodeos, Confederate flags, and terms like “pumpkin chuckin’.”  I regularly see a dude walking down the street in a ten-gallon hat, tassled leather vest, boots, and spurs.  SPURS!!!  WHY THE HELL DO YOU NEED SPURS?!!!  Ever see a guy walking his pet miniature horse on a leash through your downtown business district?  I have.  Yeehaw.

4.  Beer

We like beer.  A lot.  We go for the domestics and the imports right off the shelf.  We have mix and match beer emporiums where you build your own six packs.  We have countless privately owned breweries.  We have beers that taste like chocolate, or coffee, or oranges, or maple, or apples, or caramel, or pumpkin, or cinnamon, or honey, or bacon, or cloves, or horsemeat, and even some that taste like beer.  And, of course, after you’ve made the rounds through all of the ales, stouts, IPAs, and lagers, you go grab some supplies and start brewing experimental batches in your basement.

3.  We Are VERY Bitter About Sports

We have no championships.  None.  Playoffs?  Yes!  Finals?  YES! CHAMPIONSHIPS?!!  Nope.  Of course, I’m only talking professional sports – we’ve had some high school and local teams that have done very well. But we only have one NFL team and one NHL team.  Why don’t we have an MLB or NBA team?  Because we don’t want to lose four major sporting events every year!  While some franchises have phrases like “One for the thumb” and “I’m going to Disney World,” we’re left with “Wide right” and “No goal.”  Hell, the only major Western New York sports victory we had was when OJ Simpson was found not guilty!

2.  Iron Clad Stomachs

Our cuisine is far from “fine dining.”  We are the creators or perfecters of hot wings, garbage plates, speedies, the fish fry, beef on weck, and Texas hots.  If it’s a cast off part of the animal, marinated, fried, and drowned in gravy, chili, hot sauce, or “secret concoctions” – we eat it by the boatload. Wings can never be hot enough, fish can never be battered enough, and hot dogs can never be “everythinged” enough.  Our arteries squeak, our blood holds a ranking on the Scoville Scale, and we can drink the water in Mexico without fear.

1.  Mother Nature is Psychotic

It’s May.  Last week I dressed my children in shorts and t-shirts AND in winter coats and hats two days later.  We had sun, rain, and snow in the same day.  It’s not unheard of to have a 40-degree swing in temperature over the course of a day.  Words like “Snowmageddon” and “Polar Vortex” are normal phrases that are tossed around between the months of October and March (you know, half the freaking year).  We had a blizzard, a flood, a tornado, and an earthquake in the same year.  We don’t pay attention to winter advisories unless the temperature hits negative double digits or the snowfall hits multiple feet.  CNN?  ESPN?  FOX?  They barely notice us. But The Weather Channel?  They’re here all the time.  Boom.  Drop the mic.

“A person who speaks good English in New York sounds like a foreigner.” ~ Jackie Mason

Top Ten Things You Can No Longer Do Because You’re an Adult

I’M BACK!!!  I know, I know, it’s been two whole weeks since my last post and BELIEVE ME, I would have much rather been here writing to you guys instead of all the garbage (in some cases, literally) that I was dealing with. It seems as though I have survived a whole week of Mondays and I found my way back to you (a whole week of Mondays sounds like a good future topic…hint, hint).

One of the things that found its way into my email inbox was an article a good friend sent me (which I encourage you ALL to do – email, tweet, or Facebook me if you have anything cool or have an idea on something you want me to write about – I’d love to hear from you).  In this article, a high school football player is in a ton of trouble for exposing his junk during the team photograph.  The photo was used in every program during the season but went unnoticed until the yearbooks came out.  Now, it should be punishment enough to know that no one noticed it in hundreds and hundreds of copies until almost a year later (now THAT’S a real shot to the ego) but on top of that he now has a slew of criminal charges pending – 69 to be exact…yeah…I noticed.

So it got me thinking – this is TOTALLY age-ist!  Most of us have baby pictures that our parents took of us in the bathtub or some other random fit of nudity when we were youngsters.  But, at some point, these photos ceased to be acceptable.  So – nearly 300 words later – that brings me to the topic of this week’s Top 10 Tuesday: things we are no longer allowed to do now that we’re no longer children.

10. Wear Velcro Shoes

Yes, there are some exceptions, if you’re going through some sort of physical therapy or when you’re too elderly to get your fingers to function properly.  But, on the whole, where are all the cool velcro shoes?!!  If I was a betting man (which I am, I’m just not very good at it – seriously, why would I bet on a horse whose name sounds like a codeine-laden cold medicine?!!  Whodathought THAT horse was fast?!!) I would wager that there are more adults who tie new shoes a few times and then just slip them on and off without worrying about the laces any more.  Just because our shoes have ties, doesn’t mean we tie them!  So give us back our velcro…and, while you’re at it, the cool cartoon characters…and the flashing lights.

9.  Go to Restaurant Playgrounds

Come on, when we were kids we never went to McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese for the fine culinary experience.  We went there to choke down their borderline edible food as fast as possible so we could swan dive into the disease-riddled ballpit!  You wanted to crawl through the oversized hamster tube maze and slide down the staticky slide and then release the charge by poking the first person who ran by you and your newly vertical wisps of hair.  But now look at you.  Sitting on the bench, holding onto hoodies and stinky velcro fastened sneakers…with the cool cartoon characters…and the flashing lights watching your kids have all the fun. You can’t join them because you “exceed the legal weight limit” or something stupid like that.  And GODFORBID you go by yourself or else you “scare the children” and become “the creepy guy.”  The man is keeping us down.

8.  Hang Out with Random Strangers

When we were allowed to go to these restaurants or to actual outdoorsy playgrounds and parks, we didn’t worry about other kids being there.  You went over to what you wanted to play with and started playing.  If the kid who was there was pretending to be a pirate, you turned into a pirate too. It was no big deal to walk over to the sandbox, plop down next to a total stranger, and ask them to be your friend.  Try that now, I dare you.  Go to a bar, walk up to a group of strangers sitting at a table, join in on their conversation, and say “wanna be friends?”  I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU!  Uh oh…now you HAVE to do it!

7.  Sit on Santa’s Lap

Again with the “creepy guy.”  It’s either you or Santa.  If you’re male, it’s you.  If you’re female, all of a sudden Santa looks like the creeper. Christmas is still awesome and you still have a list of cool things you’d like to get but you now know the value of money and know that your family and friends probably won’t be able to give you the big ticket items. So it’s natural to get the urge to ask “the big guy.”  But, just for a moment, try to picture the look on the mall Santa’s face as he sees you standing in line, with you looking him dead in the eye with the smile of someone who wants to have a serious Christmas present talk, and he realizes that none of the children in line are with you.  For bonus points, pay one of his elves for the photo package.

6.  Run Naked Through Sprinklers

Nope.  The word naked has a whole different connotation once you’re all grown up.  Gone are the days when you could throw off your Pampers and run through the sprinkler in your backyard or skinny dip in your kiddy pool.  It starts out with your mother calling your father to get the camera, then one day it becomes your neighbors calling the cops.

5.  Have Someone Wipe Your Nose

My sons recently were simultaneously fighting nasty springtime colds. The eleven-year-old suffered pretty much independently.  But the three-year-old would yell “tissue” or “snots” and my wife and I would thoughtlessly grab the kleenex and take care of the gelatinous muck that was protruding from his face.  I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find many takers when you’re in your 30s and you’re yelling for a tissue while you stand in the middle of the room with “boog-boogs.”  I don’t remember when I gained this independence or even when I cut my older son loose from this privilege, but I’m guessing it comes as a real shock to the system the first time you are abandoned and expected to wipe your nose (or other areas for that matter) for the first time.  “You want me to do what?!!  No way, that’s gross, that’s why I have you do it!!”

4.  Formally Introduce Yourself as Informally as Possible

When we meet some one new now, it’s pretty basic.  There’s a handshake, steady eye contact, and the exchanging of names and possibly a “nice to meet you.”  That’s it.  No one gets to really know you, not like when you were a kid.  Next time you meet someone for the first time, don’t shake their hand.  Just look them in the eye and say, “I’m Jim.  I’m 40.  How old are you?”  Now you can either wait for them to answer or interject something about how you have a dog, or don’t like tomatoes, or what you got for your last birthday, or that your mom drinks from a hip flask whenever she thinks you’re not looking.

3.  Randomly Dress Up

Why do you dress up now?  Halloween?  Costume party?  Theme night at the ballpark?  Random, stupid, office team building blahdy-blah?  Why did you dress up as a child?  BECAUSE YOU FOUND THE COSTUME!  You’re digging through your toy box and voila!  There’s your cape and you decide that for the rest of the day, you’re Batman.  We totally need more costumes in our regular wardrobe rotation!  How cool would it be to just see some dude walking down the sidewalk wearing goggles, a Spongebob t-shirt, and a clip on tie that barely passes his collarbone?!  And, ladies, c’mon, you know you want to randomly pair a fairy princess gown and a lightsaber with your froggy rain boots before heading into work.

2.  Ordering from the Kids’ Menu

Our food has the calorie counts and fat content listed on the menus now, but, let’s get down to the important issues.  Where’s the toy?!!  Is there any way we could have a turkey club with the crust cut off?!!  It’s awesome that we have so many more choices when we go out to eat, but c’mon! Would it kill someone to arrange the food on our plate like a smiley face? We’re the ones who tip, people, not the youngsters!  Maybe I want my food cut into stick form; maybe I want pudding as a side dish; maybe I want to help the dolphin find his way through the coral maze on my placemat!  Did ya ever think about that?!!

1.  Making People Happy by Napping

I feel like a schmuck for never appreciating my naps.  It’s so true that you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.  Furthermore, back in the day, other people were brought joy by your napping!  Your parents would tiptoe our of your room with smiles on their faces.  Now blaring alarms and vibrating phones violently yank us out of our dreamland.  Back then your loved ones would peek in on you and whisper to themselves how you looked like an angel while you slept.  Now your significant other lies awake as you snore, staring in disgust at the drool faucet coming out of your slacked jaw and wondering about the insurance money and the pillow in their clenched hands. Back then you were encouraged to get your rest so you could grow big and strong.  Now when you tell them you took a nap, they either wonder if you’re sick or why your lazy ass wasn’t busy working.

Enjoy it while you can, kiddos, the ugly double standard sneaks up on you.

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” ~ Katharine Hepburn