Not a great 48 hours of parenting

Winter is here

It’s not been a great 48 hours of parenting around these parts.

The snowstorm – and the lack of scaffolding – meant that I was constantly shoveling and adjusting the boiler so that my tenants didn’t freeze or boil. And ensure that the boiler didn’t explode.

But this was the first snow that the boy and I were sharing together, in a meaningful way, so I wanted to go out and enjoy it with him. Luckily, Cappy and his wife dropped off this great snow outfit for him so we could brave the snow. Once we got to the park, however, I realized that we didn’t have a sled and most/all the other kids did.

Him: Do we have a sled?
Me: I’m sorry, kiddo. I totally forgot to get one.
Him: Oh. (sadly) That’s ok. Maybe you can buy one?
Me: I’ll do that as soon as we get home.

Gotta tell you, that ripped me up. He just sat and stared at all the other kids having fun. And I felt like shit.

Tried my best to keep him happy and made him some hot chocolate when we got back, which he enjoyed. Then I called up every store around me trying to get a sled. They were all sold out. So, I bought one via Amazon but the earliest it would arrive was Saturday.

Him: Will the snow be gone by then?
Me: I’m not sure.
Him: Hopefully not.
Me: Yes. Hopefully not.

It was a pretty sleepless night.

The ABFF, though, randomly called me the next day to tell me that she was going out to the park and that she had an innertube.

So my sitter took him so I could catch up on some work and I went to pick him up after dinner.

Him: I was on a sled for the first time today! It’s so much fun!
Me: I bet it was!

While the kids all played, I caught up with the ABFF and her sister.

ABFF: What’s up with you and Mouse?
Me: That’s a whole story right there.
Her: Well, she’s great. You two should figure something out.

It was late when we finally left.

Him: I wish I could stay there. At home, it’s just you and me.
Me: (coughing) I’m sorry it’s just me.
Him: I wish there was someone else.
Me: Someday, maybe?
Him: (sighing) It’s just the two of us. I wish mommy was here.
Me: This is our stop. Let’s go.

Broke my intermittent fasting when I put the kid down and picked up a drink or three.

Like I said, it’s not been a great 48 hours of parenting around these parts.

I don’t want him to be a sad kid. It’s the last thing Alison woulda wanted. Then again, neither of us wanted any of this.

Location: home
Mood: less than ideal
Music: In life, there is lots of grief (Spotify)

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Meant to be

You should have picked 7

Me: That’s me in Germany.
Him: You look exactly the same. What are you a vampire?!
Me: (laughing) Here, take this belt, it’s too big for me.
Him: I think I like that (mustard) colour.
Me: Good. Basic black is for basic bitches.

I’ve got a small group of people that I mentor. I remember being young and not knowing a thing about anything, really.

My first seismic shift happened when I met my first real girlfriend. As a poor kid from Queens, she was the daughter of a connected restaurateur. Our first date, she brought me to a restaurant at Rockefeller Center where a burger was $20 (a fortune at the time).

She also gave me a Fendi automatic watch for Xmas when I was 17. She basically taught me how to dress. She was pure evil, but she changed me for the better in many regards.

Then, when I was college, I met Buckley who first me taught me about computer and networks. That was life-altering. I just wished him a happy birthday tonight.

Him: Thanks! It’s the end of my 48th trip around the sun. I’m thankful that we’re still on this ride together
Me: Jesus Christ. I met you when we were teenagers. Welp, the world is definitely better with you in it, homie.

Cappy made sure I had a place to live and helped me make life-long friends that I still consider my safe-harbor. He just called me too.

Him: We’ll stop by on the 26th with clothes for the boy.
Me: I’ll be here.

I also met Joe who let me crash in his pad off Times Square for $300 a month. Yup, you read that right. We were roomies for years after college and he taught me how real New Yorkers lived in Manhattan. A woman I met and chat with regularly last year is best friends with his ex-wife. What a small world.

While in Manhattan, I met Bobby, Johnny, and the Devil, who introduced me to the clubs and the colorful side of NYC life.  They also taught me how to dress and walk into an expensive restaurant and not feel out of place. All three are gone for my life now. I only miss one of them and hope he’s still alive.

I dated the doctor, who got me into this building, and worked with me to buy it – along with her mom. We all actually still talk because we’re part of the same tribe.

I met my old boss at CNET, Kirk, who taught me sales and tech and why a naturally aspirated straight-6 engine is so cool. I also met Jim there, who threw me into the legal tech fire and got me meeting with CEOs and fighting fortune 100 companies (I won).

After everything went down with Alison, he sent me on a trip to Bermuda.

My boss, whom I just chatted with today as well, taught me how to be a better lawyer, far beyond anything I learned in law school. He also sued my biggest frenemy for me ages ago. We won that too.

Paul and Will helped me end up with Alison. I just saw Paul today.

Me: Man, that hair’s still wild.
Him: Yeah, I gotta see a barber somehow.

And, of course, there was Alison herself. All the blog entries from her first appearance to this one was her influencing my life. She still does; she reminds me what I’m worth.

People try to convince me that I’m not worth all that much, but she thought I was just tops.

On that note, a touchstone of my life has always been to leave people better off having met me than not. Those people left me better off; most by coming into it, some by coming in and leaving.

The hope is that I can help some people figure out who they were meant to be.

And then maybe I can take my lessons and help the one I love most in the world become who he’s meant to be.

Him: I picked 11.
Me: You shoulda picked 7. Because that’s the most likely number with two dice.
Him: Can I go now?
Me: (laughs) Sure.

Location: home, dreaming of family
Mood: hopeful
Music: They say through time I’ll find some healing but the clock goes slow (Spotify)
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You’re in danger

Tasting our own medicine

Him: Are you serious, you’re not gonna let your kid play tug-of-war?
Me: Yup.
Him: That’s nuts.
Me: Did you eat lunch yet?
Him: (puzzled) Not yet, why?
Me: Good, Google “tug of war fatalities.” And, if you haven’t eaten yet, click on images.

People don’t realize when they’re in danger.

If COVID has shown me anything, it’s that people do shockingly dumb things because they don’t understand that some rules cannot be broken.

For example, the rule of gravity; we all follow it, at a rate of 9.8 meters per second, per second.

We all age at a rate of 1,440 minutes a day.

But societal rules based on scientific rules for similarly mundane but dangerous things – like covering up your face during a pandemic – seem to be a mystery to people.

Take potential energy, for example. Potential energy is merely energy that could happen, versus kinetic energy, which is energy actually happening.

When you’re playing tug-of-war, you have no idea how much potential energy is being amassed by a piece of rope that – were is sentient – would be like, “The hell are you guys doing? Are you insane?”

The amount of force being applied to what is conceivably a comparatively tiny single point of failure is pretty mind boggling. Now, most of the time, if the rope holds, it’s just fun and games. But, if the rope fails?

Well, click here (super graphic) or here (less graphic) and you can see.

One thing that I’ve been learning with Chad is noticing when I’m in danger while wrestling. It’s an interesting way of looking at something I’ve been doing for years.

Him: Logan, stop doing that. You’re in danger here. You shouldn’t be in attacking mode, you should be in defending mode. You need to know where you are.

That alone seems to have improved my game substantially.

I think there’s a lot of life lessons to be learned everywhere. You just have to follow the rules.

On a related/unrelated point, I meet lots of people that I don’t even start relationships with, because I know it won’t go anywhere. Business, romantic, whatever.

In those scenarios, at least, I know when I’m in danger.

I suppose that’s why I always prefer being the dumpee than the dumper; I never was one for hurting others.

Besides, tasting your own medicine’s never a bad thing, I think. It keeps you from becoming cruel.

OK, “never” may be too strong a word.

Her: I got you something, it’s a supplement that might help with all your health issues.
Me: Thank you – you’re very sweet.
Her: No need for thanks. Especially once you try it.
Me: OK, here goes nuthin…(later) Gah! Do you hate me?!
Her: (laughs)

Podcast Version
Location: upstairs, watching an AC being installed in 2B
Mood: hungry
Music: I’m used to ripping hearts out (Spotify)
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Hating being single

How do you think I’m accomplishing that?

It was raining here for a while.

Me: I wanted to tell you to your face, but the weather’s conspiring against us.
Her: Can I ask why?
Me: I don’t wanna waste your time – anyone’s really. I’m not your person and everyone should be with their person.
Her: Is it the other girl? Or your ex?
Me: That’s a distinction without a difference.
Her: I always did like how you talked. (later) Goodbye, Logan.

I hate being single.

On the plus side, Chad came by to coach Mouse and me on some new stuff that he’s been working on. They both said hi to the boy via FaceTime.

This is us listening to him sing the Rolling Stones.

She and I took Chad out to eat as part of thanking him for the training.

We also chipped in to get him a nice automatic watch.

Him: Wow, thanks you two.
Me: We wanted to give it to you after COVID for always helping us but who knows when that will ever be?

Afterward, she stuck around for a bit to catch up. In a weird but kinda cool nexus, Lviv wrote me about another guy she was seeing.

Mouse, upon hearing some of it, took my phone and gave her her opinion via text.

Mouse: You don’t need that in your life. You can find something better.

If there’s any commonality to the women I’m attracted to, it’s that they’re all universally kind. That’s a baseline requirement for me.

And all – very coincidentally – seem to come from the same European country.

Him: Wait, this is a new person?
Me: Yes. From the same town as one of them.
Him: Wha…how…are you finding them on purpose?
Me: How do you think I’m accomplishing that?
Him: I dunno, Logan. I feel if there’s someone that can figure something like that out, it’d be you.

Podcast Version
Location: Verdi Square, discussing Nightwing with Joseph
Mood: sad
Music: you made me happier than I’ve been, by far (Spotify)
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Doubling-Down, Pt 1

Everyone’s got a red line

Do you remember when I gave you that three-step PSA on how to apologize?

      1. The words: “I’m sorry.”
      2. Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
      3. Some overt act to try make things right again: “I’ll make it up to you. Let’s go to counseling.”

Think about Michel Scott from The Office: He’s lonely because he regularly hurts people but he can’t seem to do Steps 2 or 3. He can barely do 1.

The actress that played Pam said that she broke down twice while filming the episode where you saw why Michael was Michael.

[Michael is] asked what he wants to be when he grows up and he says, ‘I want to be married and have 100 kids, so I can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being my friend.’…This is when I had to turn off the episode.

I get it. I always make excuses for other people’s shitty behaviour.

But I submit that a lotta lonely people are the ones that don’t understand that apologies are a three-step process.

And the loneliest ones are the ones that not only don’t understand this, they’re the ones that double-down; they make the situation worse, so that there’s no coming back.

As much as possible, I make this blog about me. But screw it, I’m in a writing mood for reasons I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Lemme tell you about something on my mind lately.

I have an acquaintance that does Step 1: He apologizes for things, but that’s it. He never feels bad about what he did (Step 2), and, not only doesn’t do Step 3 either – try to make it better – he always doubles-down.

For example, he was always talking about his female “best friend.” While I know the girlfriend, I finally met the “best friend” at a party one night and she told me, “We’re not best friends, we barely talk. He’s just always been infatuated with me.”

The thing is, she might’ve once legitimately’ve been a close friend. But that stopped when he got jealous one day and bailed on her in a foreign country.

Two years later, he ran into her and did Step 3 – by pretending everything was fine – but never he did steps 1 and 2. The thing is, he caused an injury to that relationship that never healed. And now, never will. Too much time has passed.

Full disclosure – the best friend was honestly quite nice. And oblivious that the acquaintance was going around town calling her his best friend.

But it was only after we finally met that I realized that her being his best friend was all just a ruse; he told everyone that because he just wanted an excuse to be around her, even when he was dating other people, just in case an opportunity arose for him.

The opportunity actually happened – after a decade – when he got drunk and made a sloppy pass at his best friend at this party.

With his girlfriend there.

And the best friend’s boyfriend there as well.

The girlfriend demanded that he finally admit that they weren’t best friends and to defriend all the rando women that he kept picking up. That’s a whole different story.

Not only did he not apologize and not defriend anyone, he doubled-down and broke up with her.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

I guess everyone – him, his girlfriend, the mythical best friend, and everyone that saw him make this drunken pass at the party – finally knew what only he knew: He didn’t love his girlfriend and had been holding a torch for his supposed best friend the entire time. Ten years.

Why do I care? Well, I hate injustice.

But I also hate this whole situation because it goes against everything I know to be true; men and women can – and should – be friends. But people like this screw it up for the rest of us.

I’ve got so many female friends that I’ve not only never made a pass at, we’ve never come close. Even when massive amounts of alcohol are involved.

I feel bad for his ex, she wasted three years of her life with him. She loved him completely, and her life story would break your heart.

Me riding past the Hudson Yards and The Shed.

See, she actually supported the dude while he was a struggling student and one day, he won this prize. Instead of giving it to her, he ended up giving it to this random girl he met just a few weeks earlier.

Even when the girlfriend found out about the prize, she still stayed with him because he had an admittedly rough life, just like Michael Scott.

And she was madly in love with him. He literally bragged to people that he went on this date with this girl. It was hilarious to him. He showed me a text where he wrote his best friend, “At least I squeezed in two dates before I got caught.”

Like I said, he never apologizes and can’t help but double-down.

It’s a goddamn shame.

I mean, she’s an idiot, but it’s still a goddamn shame. That kind of loyalty and love is rare; if you’re lucky enough to find someone that’s always on your side, you should protect it with all you got.

Education’s expensive though. At least she finally learned and moved on. To quote one of my exes, Everyone’s got a red line.

This is getting super long, so I’ll finish it up tomorrow. I got a lotta time on my hands to think. And write.

Speaking of female friends, I just finished writing this when KG Betty wrote me.

We’ve known each other a decade as well. I crashed at her place a buncha times and she at mine. Never kissed her or anything ever. I just don’t get how other people live. For serious.

Cause, my relationship with KG Betty is valuable to me, I won’t jeopardize that for something stupid.

Her: Finally! I heard you got sick, I was worried about you.
Me: It’s good to hear from you. How’s life in Korea?
Her: (laughing) Much better than where you are, Logan. You guys are in trouble.

Podcast Version: Doubling-Down, Pt 1
Location: yesterday, riding past my possible pasts
Mood: free
Music: What a shame, we coulda had a good thing (Spotify)
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Stupid attractive

My best friend

One of the last conversations I had before COVID-19 hit was with a lawyer.

I’d gone to his office and one of his co-workers was stupid attractive. We walked out together.

Me: Hard to believe someone could be that attractive and that successful.
Him: She kind of annoys me, actually. She’s always dressing way too inappropriately for work.
Me: (stopping) Wait, you just a had a kid, yeah?
Him: Yeah, why?
Me: Well, there’s a weird quirk in relationships where couples in secure, happy relationships get turned off by third parties like attractive people, because they view it as a threat to what they consider the most valuable thing they have, the relationship.
Him: Whoa, that’s it exactly.

Think that’s why I never came close to cheating on anyone I’ve ever dated. I just never had an interest.

My buddy swears he saw me kissing someone at Mouse’s birthday party. But that’s just not in my nature. Other people are fine with it but then again, they reap what they sow, I suppose.

I may be a womanizer but, when it comes to an actual relationship, I’m all in.

Alison’s best friend was this guy named Shawn. She cut him off completely when he said something rude about me. I remember being so flattered and she just thought it was weird that I made such a big deal about it.

Me: He was your best friend.
Her: (rolls eyes) You’re my best friend, Logan.

Full disclosure, when Alison got sick, Shawn somehow found out about it and still sent her a large check to try and help. It’s hard to dislike someone that is nice to someone you love.

To know her was to love her.

On a related matter, I got a really sweet email the other day from one of Alison’s grad school buddies.

ABFF: Oh, her? I’m surprised because I recall that she was in love with a guy that was in love with Alison.
Me: (laughing) Alison never told me that and this girl certainly didn’t mention it.
Her: Yeah, she was jealous and maybe even had a fight with Alison over this guy? Because everyone always had some sort of real or hidden crush on Alison and so she was jelly
Me: I believe it.

My son was once going to be named Jack.

But this guy Jack kept asking her out, even when she said she and I were dating so that ruined the name for both of us. She told him to knock it off at this Halloween party with the ABFF; Alison actually shoved him against the wall.

I remember thinking I wanted to yell, “Yeah that’s right, she’s with me!” But I figured that would be too douchey.

I always liked the name Jack. I named one of the main characters in my book Jack because I liked it so much.

Spoke to Rain recently as well.

Him: You need to find someone that thinks you’re great. Like, I look at my wife and worry that I’m in a dream and I’ll wake up and find out it’s all imaginary.
Me: You know how you know this is real? I’m in it. And you hate me.
Him: (laughs)
Me: I don’t think people are lucky enough to find someone that thinks you’re made of awesome twice in life. I know I’m not the greatest thing on the planet; it’s just nice when someone thinks you are. We both married up.
Him: (nodding) Definitely. We definitely did.

It’s selfish, I know, but I miss having someone (not so) secretly on my side.

Really, though, I should just try and meet someone that thinks my son is the greatest thing on the planet.

Now, how hard could that be?

Podcast Version: Stupid Attractive
Location: my empty apartment, with the last jar of peanut butter
Mood: accepting that I’m not the one
Music: Why do you have to go and make things so complicated (Spotify)
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Roommates

See you tomorrow

Me: I’ve never had anyone in my life that wanted to hang out with me 24/7.
Katsmw: He’s your son!
Me: Yeah, but still…

While I don’t like publicly complaining about any one person, I have to say that the boy is probably the worst roommate I’ve ever had. And I’ve had roommates for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

Granted, I was never a perfect roommate. But I’m still better than the kid is.

He rarely, if ever, cleans up after himself and even something as simple as scrambled eggs transmogrifies to a mess of ginormous proportions. And he just leaves it there because he knows I’ll eventually clean it up.

On that note, he’s never offered to cook – ever – for me, instead he: (a) constantly asks what’s for dinner and then (b) refuses to eat whatever we’ve previously agreed upon.

Him: I don’t want to eat this.
Me: YOU JUST ASKED ME TO MAKE IT!
Him: I just want milk.

On the rare nights we go out, he’s never even made the attempt to offer to pay. I’m not saying that he’s not offered to pay (which he hasn’t) he doesn’t even make the attempt to offer to pay.

Literally, the check will come and he’ll just look at me blankly.

Me: (looking at check) Should I get that?
Him: OK, papa!
Me: (muttering) Not really what I was getting at, but sure…

This isn’t just limited to food. Groceries, utilities, even the mortgage itself; not only doesn’t he offer to help with anything – anything – he doesn’t even say thanks when I cover things for both of us.

Which I do. Every time.

Me: You didn’t say, “thank you.”
Him: Thank you, papa!
Me: I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you!
Him: (laughing) Sorry, papa.

I will say that he does offer to help around the house, to his credit. But this is outweighed by the fact that, he almost always makes more work for me. Cabinet doors are open for no reason whatsoever…

Me: Why is this open?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: YOU’RE THE ONE THAT OPENED IT!

…lights are left on…

Me: Please turn off the lights if you’re not going to be in the room.
Him: Why papa?
Me: BECAUSE WE’RE NOT MADE OF MONEY!

…even the toilet isn’t flushed. Who doesn’t flush the toilet? Oh, wait, I know, my roommate.

Me: Did you flush?
Him: It’s too loud.
Me: Oh, for goodness sakes…

Finally, and this is admittedly petty, he thinks he’s hilarious but I’ve yet to get a single joke he’s made. Not a one.

Him: Why did the chicken cross the house?
Me: I don’t know, why did the chicken cross the house?
Him: To get over the roof!
Me: (shaking head)

Instead of helping around the house, you know what he does? He spends every free moment working on his “art.” Seriously, I could do better than this – what is this even supposed to be?!

Worst. Roommate. Ever.

Him: Papa?
Me: Yeah?
Him: (quietly) I love you. And mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: (sigh) I love you too, kid. Go to sleep. When you turn 14, you better start bringing home a paycheck.
Him: (sleepily) OK, papa. See you tomorrow.
Me: See you tomorrow. (shuts door and smiles)

Met James Lipton at a shindig with RE Mike a dozen years ago.

He was a super nice guy and we chatted briefly about Phobe Cates, a crush I had growing up. A woman overheard and said that she set up Phobe Cates with her now husband, Kevin Klein. She tried to set me up with her kid but that didn’t work out, as told in the link above.

Anywho, I thanked him for the chat and he said he enjoyed it. Dunno if he was just being polite but I appreciated it.

93 – that’s a good number. I’ll take that today if I could.

RIP, James. You were a nice fella.

Location: Our pad, with open cabinets, egg on the floors, and the cutest damn kid on the UWS
Mood: tired
Music: I’ll help you if you’ll help me

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Logan. Logan? Logan!

A bright girl

Before Rain moved out into the middle of nowhere, we had a convo about a decade ago that went something like this:

Me: Got a job offer; six-figures, cushy work work times, assistant, the whole nine. 
Rain: You and I are like the only ones left here that eat-what-we-kill. We survive because of our reputations and our work. You take that job, and you’re just like every other working stiff in this city.
Me: Maybe I should take it. Grow up.
Him: And take a 9-to-5? Man, that kinda stuff kills people like us. We’re not cut out for that.

Didn’t take it. In hindsight, I made the right decision.

Both Rain and I worked with the old Guilani-before-he-lost-his-goddamn-mind credo: Under-promise and over-deliver.

In the past five weeks, booked the equivalent of half-a-year’s salary of work. It’s part of why I kept getting sick; been working non-stop every single day, when I’m not rolling or taking care of the kid.

I feel honored, in a way, that I’m trusted with the level of work required of me. I’m just a dude that works mainly from home – heading into the office or court only when there’s no way for me to avoid it.

But, for the most part, my clients just shoot me an email – or even a text – tell me what they want, I tell them a price, and a few days later, money appears in my bank account.

This is the link for Renaissance Technologies. If you click it, you’ll get to their really boring and drab website. Looks kinda like the thing some college kid woulda cooked up in 1999 for a website.

The thing is, Renaissance Technologies is a hedge fund that essentially figured out how to beat the market – way back in 1982. Since then – after working out some kinks – every dollar you put in, returned you $0.66. Year-in, year-out. For the past 38 years.

Put it this way, if you put in $1,000 in 1988, you’d have $6,658,106,371.09 today. That’s $6 billion from a $1,000 investment.

Pretty insane for a shitty little website like that, yeah?  No, you can’t open an account there; it’s been closed to new investors since 1993.

I like that Renaissance looks so crappy. Like I said, there are people that have known me decades that don’t know much about me. There are things I’ve not told you yet about my life, which is why it’s so interesting when I meet someone from a possible past.

At the end of the day, all we are are our reputations and our work product. No matter what it is we do.

Although it’s probably best if you keep your personal reputation and your professional one separate.

Her: OK, I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you this. The client…she’s…she’s insanely hot.
Me: Wait, what?
Her: (sighing) She’s insanely hot. (facing me) Listen, Logan. Do NOT do…what you do…with the client.
Me: (dismissively) What are you talking about? I’m a professional. Don’t be ridiculous. (door opens, client walks in)
Her: (to client) Hello! This is my associate…
Me: (interrupting, holding out hand) Logan.
Her: Logan!
Client: (laughs, takes hand) Logan?
Me: (nodding) Logan. So nice to finally meet you. I like your white nail polish. Now, let’s talk about this problem you’re having – how can I help?

All of that’s just fun and games.

Real life is much more pedestrian: The boy’s been away so I’ve been catching up on sleep, cleaning, and going to the gym – sometimes twice in one day, for no real reason.

Her: What are you doing here? Don’t you usually come in the daytime?
Me: Usually. But the boy’s away so I thought I’d come at night too.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) You’re a bright girl. I’m sure you can figure it out. Grab a drink?
Her:  (laughing) This is a bad idea.
Me: (nodding) For sure.

OK, maybe it’s not completely pedestrian.

Location: another gym, trying not to get stabbed
Mood: rested
Music: don’t let go of me

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PSA: How to apologize

So, this is chivalry

It’s no great secret to say that a lotta people hated my old coach.

He knew it as well when he couldn’t figure out who, of his former students, tried to shut down his business.

Him: Was it you?
Me: I’m a lawyer. If I wanted you shut down, you’d be shut down. Plus, I’d want you to know it was me. (pause) You know both these things I’ve just said are true.

Wasn’t me because I was too busy trying not to kill myself and raise my son.

As I write these words, I’m amazed he thought he anything mattered enough to me to even bother. I think I was still sleeping with a bottle of rum next to me those days.

Plus, I never reached hate so much as pity and disappointment.

But I realized recently exactly what it was about him that bothered people on a visceral level while my son was watching Daniel Tiger: I don’t think that he ever learned how to properly apologize.

An apology consists of three steps:

      1. The words: “I’m sorry.”
      2. Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
      3. And then some overt act to try make things right again.

Whenever he did anything untoward, he would either blame the other person, not mention it, or – and this was the best we could hope for – perhaps offer to buy us a lunch (step 3).

Don’t recall Steps 1 and 2 ever happening. Spoke to a few other former students and they agreed with me.

The last time we spoke, I asked him how he could be ok with so many people hating him – enough that someone was willing to ruin his life and business. He said he was fine with it.

That blew my mind.

Don’t mind being ignored – I wished for that as a kid. But to be hated so deeply by so many people who have known you for years shows a level of sociopathy that I don’t want anything to do with.

Who wants to be friends with someone that’s so ok with being hated?

Then again, I didn’t leave so much as I was asked to leave. In a very teenage sorta way:

Me: Wait, are you kicking me out?
Him: I’m not kicking you out, I just don’t think this is the gym for you.
Me: So, you’re kicking me out.
Him: No, I just don’t think this is the gym for you.
Me: So, I can come when one of the other instructors are here?
Him: No. It’s not a good fit.

You see, he told the Gymgirl/Mouse that if she dated anyone in the gym, he would kick the male out. If nothing else, he follows through.

This is despite the fact that she was a full-grown 28 year-old adult with brothers and a living father (which I only mention because it seems he thinks a male must be part of a female’s decision-making process). No matter, he knew best and he would make decisions on her personal life for her and she had no say.

It’s a special form of sexism that I, as a womanizer and a feminist, found repulsive. He called it chivalry.

I’ve always believed you don’t treat someone differently because they were or weren’t born with a particular organ.

You certainly don’t make decisions about their personal life if you’re being paid monthly to provide a service.

Mentioned this to my cousin, another former student, the other day.

Her: Wait, he said that? That’s so gross. I hate that.
Me: You and me both.

He never apologized to Mouse, or me, or anyone else for his poor behaviour. I wonder if it bothers him in the least.

Then again, we think he’s a sociopath so probably not.

I’m always surprised how many people have opinions on how two other consenting adults live their lives.

Oh well, not my circus, not my monkeys…

Here’s a picture of us just because I’m being petty. And she looks pretty in it.

Location: earlier today, another gym with three other former students
Mood: annoyed
Music: Burn all them bridges down, to the ground, cos I won’t be coming this way again.

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It’s terribly lonely

So different from everyone else

I’m doing only a little work these days and yet it still manages to overwhelm me at times. Whatever work I do has to be interesting and challenging enough to keep me engaged for something more than just a paycheck.

Of course, it’s nice to talk to adults from time-to-time. Well, nice for me at least….

Me: …so that was the Battle of Vienna. It’s the reason why Europe’s Christian and not Muslim and is also a great example of how, when you lose your primary weapon – in this case, cannons – it’s better to bail than pour good assets after bad. Which is my point.
Him: Honestly, how do you know all this ____?
Me: (shrugging) We’re all given 24 hours to spend. It’s how you spend it that makes us different. For me, the choice is between self-improvement and mental masturbation.
Him: (laughing) You roll around on the ground with sweaty dudes all day, I’m not sure you should be one to talk about mental masturbation.
Me: I don’t like to run or lift weights. Wrestling’s the most economical way, in terms of raw time, for me to be physically fit.
Him: You’re the strangest dude I’ve ever met.
Me: Mission accomplished, then.

Went out to NJ this past Saturday and met up with an ex again.

Afterward, I went to a birthday party for a gym friend but rang up Mouse ahead of time.

Me: Free for a drink beforehand?
Her: (pause) Sure.

We ended up showing up late and leaving late.

There’s more to alla that, but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Life surprises me, almost always in ways I don’t like. Still, the occasional nice surprise happens here and there.

The boy, meanwhile, is always surprising me. Suppose time will tell if they’re ultimately good or bad.

Teacher: (in Irish accent) Mr. Lo, I have to tell you: In 11 years of teaching, I’ve never had a three-year old student read before and certainly, nothing like your son does. Every book I pulled out – even up to third grade level – he could read. I honestly don’t know what to do because he’s so far ahead of any child I’ve ever seen.
Me: He must take after his mom.
Her: Your son should be in the gifted and talented program. We may have to send him to another grade for reading.
Me: (shaking head) I don’t want that. I don’t want that for him.
Her: Why?
Me: Because…because it’s lonely. (long pause) It’s terribly lonely to be so different. I know it too well. (agitated) I don’t want that for him. To be so different from everyone else.
Her: (gently) You might not have a choice, Mr. Lo.

Solitary trees grow strong. But only if they grow.

Location: the pit of my brain
Mood: worried
Music: 11 minutes away and I have missed you all day

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