Recently, well, shit, my marriage was in some trouble. Like serious trouble. Like, are we splitting up trouble? Whose hasn’t, right? (hug me)
Well, an acquaintance offered some advice to both of us. Unsolicited, of course. I thought about some of it, dismissed a lot of it — because it made no sense — because this person doesn’t really know us as individuals or as a couple. I would never ask someone who didn’t know all of the facts what to do in a certain situation. And maybe that’s why introverts don’t ask for — or often appreciate — advice: we are the only ones who have all of the relevant information in a situation and still don’t always know what to do.
In this case, someone who barely knew us seemed to think he could fix it all. Do you know our history? Our hangups? Who’s damaged our relationship from the outside? Do you know the fears in our souls that maybe we don’t even share with each other but which make as much of a difference to our bond as living in the same city and physical compatibility? No.
But this person is older. He got to talk. We pretended to listen.
And I realized that I’m not 22 anymore. I am the adult now. Approaching middle age, I don’t look at older people as necessarily wiser. By this age, we all know that older people fuck things up and have done so their whole lives — and that they still fuck things up. Just like us. Just like dumb kids.
We are all stupid a lot of the time. Has anyone really figured out marriage or anything else enough to really be able to fix someone’s problems?* This is bleak, yes, maybe. But that doesn’t mean that problems can’t be fixed. You just have to do that yourself. And, maybe not with this guy (who I think did actually mean well, in his own way), but how many times is advice just a nice distraction from repairing your own fucked up life?
*(Ignoring problems of human agency of course — no one could actually fix you because you have your own will, etc.)
(Blackwing 1138 in a Field Notes Snowblind edition.)
I love my kids. I really do. I love how they like to read and color and sing and yell and laugh and generally raise hell and kick ass. I especially love when they wake up at the same time on weekends as we do during the week. Who needs the sun? Not me! Can they make Daddy some fucking coffee? Shit no!
I think it’s part of a larger conspiracy to make sure the family doesn’t grow. After all, badly rested parents can’t do that thing that makes more babies, right? Or, it’s
harder more difficult, at least.
(Mitsubishi Penmanship pencil, 4B, in some kind of Field Notes.)
My son, a toddler, called me an asshole when I was making coffee one morning a few weeks ago.
(Probably Pentel Sign Pen on some kind of Field Notes. I forget. Do you care?)
It’s always funny when people who pretend to be so even-tempered lose their shit. Have you ever been in the middle of a Bit of Temper or even a Someone Shit in My Cereal Tantrum when some Zen Motherfucker steps in and tells you to calm down…to get some perspective…take a walk…have a drink…? Like they have such a handle on calming down like the dimmer on the lights in your dining room. Like emotional and/or mental states just get fixed. Like they never get mad and yell.
“I never yell.”
Bullshit. Everyone yells. Everyone loses their shit.
And, sometimes, there is actual fist-shaking. Just like in the movies!
(Pentel Sign Pen [the pigmented version] in a Field Notes Snowblind edition.)
My wife proposed a trip to Chocolate World one recent weekend. The thought of hours in the car to go see chocolate seemed odd to me. I pictured this (above) and stayed home drawing instead.
Before you think of going, bear in mind that this place is free because there’s little to do there but buy chocolate. Not good chocolate, either. Save your gas. Buy some chocolate at Target and have money left for pens and notebooks. Then you can draw badly and have a website. Just. Like. Me.
(Pentel Sign Pen in Field Notes Snowblind edition.)
My son goes fucking bonkers for trains. I have seriously never seen a human being in my life who is more fixated on anything. And that includes teenaged/young/all men who are fixated on getting laid most of their lives.
(Pentel Sign Pen in Field Notes Cherry Wood edition.)
This guy, a suburban fireman, barked at my toddler for touching the curtain that covers the guts of a large train garden at the local firehouse. Mind you, he didn’t pull it, wrench it, take a piss on it – no. He touched it. So this bald fucker yells, literally yells, at my kid. Like a wimp, I didn’t kick him in the stomach while he sat there frowning at happy children. Instead, I drew a mean picture of him and let him watch. I didn’t say shit to him, and he didn’t stand up to a grownup with hair. We each went home intact.
(I’m not saying where it was. If you think it was you and your house and Big Fucking Toy Train Table, you were probably mean to someone. Go put your head in the toilet, and count to ten.)
Here come bad drawings from a bad man. Neither are very good, try as I might.