Archives for March 2019

Lead with what?

Last night, I began receiving unsolicited dating advice from a woman in her late twenties who was recently wed. She asked where my woman was. I said there wasn’t. She asked why I’m single. I said I don’t care. Then the interrogation began. We got to the topic of pets.

“I have two cats.”

My buddy jumped in to emphasize that I have — not one cat — TWO cats. She reacted predictably.

“Well, you might want to not lead with that.”

“Really?”

“Sure. What if she’s allergic or doesn’t like cats?”

“Oh, then I’d have them euthanized.”

“Ah, good answer.”

“Your sarcasm detector is broken. I would never get rid of my catSSSSSSSS because some pussy support unit was oversensitive.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re single.”

“Again, I don’t care. Single life suits me just fine. What if your man said he would only consider marrying you if you traded your beloved schnauzer for double-D implants?”

“I don’t have a dog.”

“Right. You certainly have something annoying that he is willing to overlook because he loves the rest of you more than he hates the annoyance. Otherwise, he would not have bent a knee.”

“No. Actually, he loves all of me including my flaws.”

“He tolerates your flaws. My cats are not my flaws. They are two of the finest things about me. They’re clean, quiet, and wonderful company. I’m crass, intolerant, and opinionated. I eat too many peanut butter cookies and drink too much wine and bourbon. My woman is going to have to deal with that or take me in small doses.”

“Well, it’s no surprise you’re having a difficult time finding the one.”

“You’re missing my point again. I’m not searching for the one. You found your one, which is great for you, for now. After you have your heart kicked around like a rugby ball for decades, you’ll understand my perspective. Single life unteathers the soul. Opportunities abound.”

She didn’t buy it. They never do. Ah, young love. It’s cute as a toddler, until shit starts flying.

In a Wink of Time

I’m sitting at a bar minding my own business as nearly everyone around me is in their phones tapping, scrolling, enlarging, and laughing. I used to think I was missing something; now, I think these electronic tumors have become a pandemic of sorts. People don’t talk to each other. There was a sign in a pub in Paso Robles that read, “We don’t have WiFi. Why not talk to the person next to you?” Word.

I usually face the door (Italian thing) and keep an eye on the TV, unless it is on soccer. I scan the surroundings, yes, looking for prospects. I’m single. It’s what we do.

Last night, while scanning, a young lady winked at me. Yes, at me. There was nobody next to me, that’s how I know. Signals have certainly evolved over the years, but I was pretty damned confident that a wink is a sign of flirtation. I didn’t want to wink back, because it had been so long since I winked, I was worried it would come off as a wince. So, I walked over and sat next to her.

“Hi.”

“Oh, hi. How are you?”

“Well, I’m flattered.”

“About?”

“You winked at me.”

“I what?”

Fuck.

“You winked … toward me … when I was over there … with nobody around me … maybe, somebody behind me?”

The mad scramble I made was embarrassing beyond words, yet I kept doggie paddling, hoping to surface with a modicum of self-respect.

“Um, no, I don’t think I did.”

“Is there something in your eye?”

“I don’t think so. I’m just here waiting for my to-go order … to take home and eat … with my boyfriend.”

“I’m sorry. Honestly, I’m not intending to hit on you. I just thought you winked at me as a sign of flirtation, inviting me to come over and chat.”

“Yeah?”

“I now understand that you blinked (which most people do two eyes at a time), and my interpretation of your body language was incorrect and quite presumptuous, so I bid you farewell as I return from wherse I came.”

“Where’s wherse?”

“You’re totally fucking with me, and I deserve every bit of it. I do know how to interpret a smirk. Over there is where I was and where I belong, gripping the blue mountains.”

“Ha ha, you’re kind of cute. Too bad I have a boyfriend.”

“Yes. Yes, it is. Well, until we meet again. Oh, and maybe some eye drops. Toodles.”

I sulked back to my origins and slugged back a long pull of fizzy yellow water. She grabbed her order, headed out, stopped at the door, turned, and winked (of course, she fucking did) as she departed.

Be the boss? Nope.

57 years into this experiment called life, I’ve come to learn that the worst job on earth is managing people. People suck. We’re unreliable. We tire easily. We lie and make excuses. We hate other workers who we think don’t work as hard as we do and make more money. We bring emotional issues from home to work. The average worker’s goal is to make more money by doing less work. This makes being the boss an absolute nightmare.

Sure, I’m generalizing. Not all workers are lazy shits, but we’re all lazy shits sometimes.

Staring at a computer in my home office for 15 years has made me less dough and more doughy, so I decided to take on part-time work. I’ve been working in restaurants and bars since I was 16. I can cook, wash dishes, and pour drinks. Easy-Peasy.

When I interviewed, it was similar to the scene in American Beauty when Lester re-enters the workforce and is deemed a bit overqualified. The interviewer asked if I wouldn’t rather take on a supervisory role. I laughed and said, “Oh f… I mean, heck, no. But, thank you.”

I just want to show up on time, clock in, do my job, clock out, and go home. I want to take nothing home from the job other than some smoke-laced dollar bills and wine stains. Deal with people? Sure — the ones next to me or on the other side of the bar, no problem.

The same thing goes for owning a business. I owned a bar for 10 years. It almost killed me. People ask if I’d consider owning another bar. Again, “Fuck, no. You could hand me the keys to the Bellagio, and I’d hand them right back to you.”

Look, life isn’t about owning more, bigger, better; It’s about stress reduction. Being able to earn a living and leave work at fucking work, is what it’s all about. If I bring home stress, it’s nothing a little bourbon can’t erase. Bourbon doesn’t pay the bills, though. Especially when it’s the bourbon you’re trying to sell.

Sorry if I’m a little preachy and self-helpie here. This is just my perspective. If you love having two screens on your cubicle desk and don’t mind the odors of corpocracy — coffee breath and Jason’s farts — keep slapping that keyboard, sweetie. For me, at this point in life, I’ll trade a Benz for a Bolt and employee reviews for salted rims. Cheers.