This process I speak of is really the living of life in its many forms. Initially we kick and scratch our way out of the womb and into the light of day only to be whacked on the butt and told to breathe. Think of it. Our first experience is being held upside down by our ankles, get a spanking and all we did was get born. Our mothers, who just went through the birthing process probably figured we deserved the whack.
“Give the dear little so and so another for good measure.” mom probably said with a grimace.
Then, with any luck at all, we grew to be infants and then toddlers and then we became real pains-in-the-asses. We learned to talk and walk at the same time. Mom and dad had to keep urging us by saying, “Say mama. Say dada.” Or, like my sister-in-law, “Say shit.” Honest, I heard her saying that over and over to my first daughter while she was changing her diaper.
Once the repeated urging finally produced the desired results. What you had then was a walking, grabbing, human destucto machine that wouldn’t shut-up. It’s too late to wonder what you have done because you’ve created a monster, that’s what. But, it’s your little monster and you love it and you love it, yes, you love it. Well, you do don’t you?
“Oh, what have we done to deserve this?” you think, and hopefully, not out loud. Well, that sex manual that you thought you knew all the answers to. You know the one someone gave you as a wedding present that you all laughed at. Yeah, that’s the one. Well, you should have read the whole thing not just looked at the pictures and chuckled. Too late now though, isn’t it?
So now were on to adolescence and the wonder of school. We have our little problems growing up. The nicks and scrapes and broken bones and sprained ankles but, we survived like our parents survived and their parents before them and theirs before them and so on and so forth. The only difference between now and then is we weren’t so sue happy back then.
Our parents never thought about suing our neighbors if we got hurt on their property. They just gathered us up and took us to the doctor or the hospital or whatever. No one was to blame. It was part of growing up. Regrettable, yes, always, but not something they litigated over. If it was serious, the neighbor would be there to comfort and lend a hand if they could but the thought of suing was never in question. How times and thinking have changed. Not always for the better, I might add.
Kindergarten and the early grades when learning was exciting. It was an adventure because everything was new. Everything including all the other kids. You may have had friends in your neighborhood that you played with but, that was what, four or five maybe six kids at most. Now you have dozens of them. All different ages and a play-ground that’s huge. There’s tether balls and kick balls and basketballs. There’s jump ropes and hop-scotch, swings and teeter-totters. It was marvelous. So many things to try. So many things to fall off of.
Then, for us guys, there were the girls. Cute little girls in pig tails with puffy dresses, shiny shoes and shy smiles. We, on-the-other-hand, ignored them. Or, pretended to ignore them. We were shy as well but we were cool, ya know? We would run by them and poke them and then laugh like we had really done something. Then we would run by them again and pull their pigtail or pony-tail, what have you. This was the mating ritual for the five to six-year-old group. Tormenting as a form of wooing. Sure, we liked them but we couldn’t let them know that or each other, for that matter. We had to act like they were from another planet, ya know? They were different from us guys. We just weren’t sure how they were different or why. We hadn’t progressed that far yet. Everything takes time.
There are some male adults who, to this day, think that the proper way to approach a woman is to be callous, crude and obnoxious. And, I must say, there are some woman who like that sort of man. They promote that kind of behavior by enabling these cretins. They must have a very low opinion of themselves is all I can say. Woman of all ages deserve better than that and the sooner they stop accepting that behavior from men, the sooner all women will be safer.
Oops! Got too serious there. Didn’t I?
Once we trip and stumble through the elementary levels of life and education we enter what is now called middle school or, the halfway house of life. We are just barely adolescence any more and not barely teenagers. Our hormones are going wacko and nothing seems to fit for very long. Not our clothes. Not our shoes. Not our ages. Not anything. It’s like our bodies have turned against us and the outside world is helping. We are what we are but we can’t figure out what exactly that is. Very awkward indeed.
But, thank goodness that only lasts for four very long years and then we enter our next awkward stage. We’re teenagers. We’re in high school. We know what girls are and we finally figured out why they’re different from us guys. And we like it. Now, we have to figure out what the heck to do about it.
We can’t go back to pulling their pigtail or pony tails. That wouldn’t be appropriate at our age. Standing and giggling like said girls isn’t behavior befitting guys like us so we had to figure out a different approach.
“Let’s ignore them. Yeah, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll ignore them. That will get their attention.”
Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking of back then.
Well, I guess that approach, or lack of approach, worked for some guys but, it never had the desired effects for yours truly. I finally had to go about it the old, old fashion way. Work up the courage and ask her out (whoever that her might have been). As a wise man once said (about sales) every ‘no’ you get brings you one step closer to a ‘yes’. I think the same holds true with dating.
I still have hopes.
We made a lot mistakes and by we, I’m including everyone and especially the ones who claim to have made none. Their mistakes cannot be looked back upon and reviewed for they have none to reflect on. I feel this is sad for we learn from our mistakes, hopefully, and to think yourself so perfect right out of the chute. Well, good for them, I guess.
I, for one, am thankful for my mistakes and treasure them like old friends. They’re something to look back on and laugh about today and for me, a source of inspiration for my never-ending stories. I wish my children to read these stories and see for themselves just how imperfect their dad really was, and is, but how much he enjoyed his growing up and especially, his sharing of those moment with them and with all of you.
“The Process of Living Life” is different for each person yet, remarkably the same. Our paths may take us in quite different directions on our journey’s through life but, eventually, we will all end up at the same place. How we get there, what we do along the way and how or if we are remembered will be the only difference. A big difference, granted but not a defining difference for, once again, we are all equal. Not one better than the other. Maybe more accomplished but not better. And there is a difference.
I have been blessed with the gift of gab although my daughters might consider it a curse because I almost always insist that they read my ‘stuff’. This one will be no different. I’ll ask them to read it as well. I hope they enjoy it. I hope you enjoyed it and will tell your friends about my site and that you will come back and visit again.
I look forward to hearing from you but, until then….
Have a great day and a Happy New Year!