Saturday, August 8, 2009

the first five things...

i had a really tough week.

and, now that it's just about in the books, i think it's fair to look back and say... i did not handle it well. i was cynical and angry and bitter and pessimistic to the point of almost looking forward to whatever the next thing was that was going to make me roll my eyes.

it wasn't all bad. i wasn't all bad. i mean, i had my good moments sprinkled in there, too, but it was just one of those weeks where you know you could have done things differently. y'know what i mean?

i work at a day care center in westchester county, n.y. it's a great place to be-- i've been there for about fourteen years now, on and off. i'm an assistant teacher in a toddler room. when i tell people i work with a classroom of 11 eighteen-month to three-year-olds, they often ask me how i do it. and i think they're usually surprised when i tell them that it's easier to deal with the kids than some of the adults i come in contact with.

some days are better than others. and most days are great, but some days... y'scratch your head.

i'm on eharmony and am frequently asked one of these pre-packaged questions: what would you rather have more of-- respect, or money? i never hesitate to answer. and my paycheck reflects that.

but that was the main thing that was wrong with last week, the lack of respect. it doesn't happen all the time at work, but it's happened enough that i'm thinking about it a lot this weekend. and Lord knows i hate to do any thinking on a weekend, so... anyway, i think i finally have it narrowed down to three "why am i not getting the respect i deserve?" possibilities...

1) i'm a guy.

and this is true. i am a guy. been one my whole life. and, no, you don't see many men in this field, so... am i not being taken seriously, because i'm a man? maybe. honestly, i think most of the people i work with know me, and know the job i do with the kids, but, every now and then-- like when a volunteer hovered over my shoulder a few weeks ago, asking if they let me change diapers-- y'can't help but wonder a little bit.

2) i'm goofy.

also true. and i love being goofy. i love to make people laugh. so much so that i may try to do it too often, and am therefore not taken seriously. and, really, if that's the case, so be it. i've been down this road before: made a joke. stepped on a toe. felt terrible about it, and told myself, in something of a ten commandments/charlton heston-y kinda voice, "i shall never be funny again!!!"

and, while some of my friends would tell you that it seems, for years now, i've taken that declaration to heart... the truth is, i am who i am. life is short. let's be goofy. not everything's a joke, obviously, but, c'mon... have a little fun on a tuesday, right?

3) i'm an asshole.

yeah... this one might not be true. i hope it's not. and i don't think it is, really, but, hey, if you are how you act and react to things, then, sheesh... i hate to admit it, but there were times this week when i was a real asshole.

and it's clearly not the guy i want to be. y'know? i mean, no one wakes up in the morning and says, "sweet! i get to be an asshole today!!!" well... yeah, yankee fans do that, but, no, i mean normal people don't. i think you become an asshole little by little, y'know? it just kind of creeps up on you when you're not paying attention.

"life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," sang john lennon. it starts with one complaint-- and, justified or not-- it can lead to another and another until, finally, you wake up old and wrinkly, hunched over and alone.

and i'm a complainer. or i can be. and i'm reeeeally good at it, so i can't say, truthfully, that i'll give it up entirely, but... i just don't want to do it as often as i have lately.

and so... the blog.

i just saw a great movie-- 'julie & julia'. can't imagine that i'm the only person to be inspired to start a blog after seeing it this weekend, because... it was so simple, so perfect: "i'm down right now, but i'm setting a goal, and i'm going to stick with it. it's not going to be easy, but i know i'm going to be a much better person for it!"

but, i can't cook. holy cow, can i not cook! spaghetti, poptarts, toast, and microwaveable dinners, that's about it. so, here's what i want to do instead...

i want to take some time to really reflect on the good things around me. to not focus so much on the negative. to find five things a day that i love about life. could be something great, something small, something ridiculous or a combination, somehow, of all three. could be something i've loved my entire life, could be a new discovery... you see where i'm going...

some days are going to be better than others, but... there it is. that's my goal. could be fun, eh? anyhow, here goes list number one...

the 5 things i fell in love with today...

1) a great movie.
2) football. i can not wait for the new season to start!!! especially because my mets are a mess right now.
3) people who do NOT pee on public toilet seats.
4) the kid in the bathroom who was bragging to his dad about the time, "at grandma's? when i held it in for, like, FIVE HOURS!!!"
5) pop tarts. mmmmmmm, pop tarts!

and, as an added bonus for those of you who have read this far...

the song of the day...
"me n u" by ortolan

movie of the day...
it's a stanlet tucci double feature! for those of you who can cook, and the rest of us who love to eat... "julie & julia" and "big night".


  1. I'm a big believer in men when it comes to kids and teaching; you guys don't sweat the small stuff and that's a wonderful lesson to learn for a child to learn in this age.

    I cooked enough for both of us today: BBQ pulled pork and lasagne. That's what happens when a Jersey Girl lives in Atlanta for 14 years.

  2. thanks, brandi!

    believe it or not, the day care cooks served up a mean pulled pork sandwich yesterday! good times, good times...

  3. You know why I like your writing? Because you manage to meld lovely writing on purpose and life with "asshole" and jokes about yankee fans.

    Looking forward to seeing J&J, and to reading more from your fertile and funky mind.

  4. thanks, sean!

    but i wasn't joking about yankee fans. they're evil.