these things i hold to be self-evident


Since midsummer allows a body to achieve a certain kind of perspective, let’s dispense with the niceties and put it on the table. Here are Some of the Things I’ve Come to Grips With.

1. Omelets still suck. On the night I turned 30, at a bar on the Outer Banks with Dana, Lindsay and Chip, I made three declarations: I don’t like wine and I’m not going to try it anymore; I am going to leave social gatherings when it gets late instead of “waiting for that magical next thing to happen”; and I will no longer subject myself to omelets, even though I love eggs. These three revelations have borne out – they have withstood the test of a decade, and remain the wisest words I’ve ever said while drunk.

2. Pop music is for teenagers who haven’t heard the chord changes or beats before. Being older, we have heard them all. Occasionally, one or two songs slip through for us (the synth orchestral bits in the chorus of Call Me Maybe, etc.) but those should be regarded as gravy. Complaining about pop music in your 30s or 40s is like complaining about portions at a buffet.

3. Summer is too hot in North America no matter where you are. It’s shitty and humid and miserable everywhere. New Orleans, Chicago, Tucson, upstate New York. Maybe the immediate Pacific coast is okay, but they have earthquakes.

4. Tessa, Lucy and I are going to be a 3-part unit. For some reason, I always imagined myself as a patriarch Daddo of several, but now that the immediate horror of our years of fertility bullshit has abated, I find myself not really contemplating that scenario anymore and reveling in the more-than-enough wonder-galaxy of my daughter and wife. It’s like giving up the search for gold, and coming home to the diamond you already had.


5. My time-management skills are never going to get above a C-minus. Here’s what I’ve come to understand: either I will take two weeks (too long) to get something done and live under the constant penumbra of dread and self-hatred… or I will take two weeks (too long) to get it done and stay relatively sane.

Those with ADD (or whatever you want to call it) live their lives with this constant feeling of being behind the 8-ball, a hideous weight of “stuff I gotta get done” hanging over our heads, even if most of it is subconscious. Eventually we can’t relax or have fun, because of the churning guilt or basic sensation of being unsettled – we know we’ve forgotten something, we know we’ve disappointed somebody.

In essence, it’s all about time management. Good time managers (like my wife) can get things done in nice compartments, leaving them free to do whatever they want. I’ve made significant strides in that direction over the last 10 years (drugs, therapy, analingus, etc.) but I am not fundamentally built for it. I am a C-minus time manager.

This is not a way of letting myself off the hook, or an admission of defeat. I will still try harder, and I’ll use all the tricks there are. But I’m going to try to accept my C-minus and not live this constant life of clawing deficit. I will look at the C-minus, or D, scribbled in red on my paper and accept it with a certain detachment, knowing I’ve got other qualities.

0 thoughts on “these things i hold to be self-evident

  1. jp

    There’s all sorts of loveliness in this post, but I am compelled most to comment upon (brag about?) my Portland summer. It starts late, but it goes through September and into October, and it’s characterized by temperatures in the 70s, sunny, and low humidity. And since we’ve lived here, there have been two earthquakes in NC and none in Portland.

  2. Kmeelyon

    Like you, I also hate omelettes and am often found asking, “Can you make that a scramble?”
    Also like you, I have found that analingus can be substituted for many psychotropic medications with fewer side effects.

  3. kent

    The other day, I was in Downtown Iowa City and the Bank temp display read 111. This has to be close to as hot as I’ve ever been, though I think the time we drove through the Mojave on a sunny day it might have been around 115. But the idea that it was Mojave Desert hot and dry in Iowa is just wacko.
    This is when I really hope the climate change deniers are right. But I know they’re not, we may spend the next 20 years watching the world we know go completely to shit.
    Have a nice day!

  4. LFMD

    Lovely post.
    I am a big fan of the 3-part family unit, for a variety of reasons. The ONLY drawback (and it is NOT really a drawback) I have experienced so far is that time seems to accelerate much quicker with one child.
    My daughter just turned 13, and I cannot believe how quickly the years have flown. She is now at the age of all sorts of changes, one of which being that she prefers the company of her peers to her parents, and she is age-appropriately more independent. I, on the other hand, still prefer her company over all others, and I don’t really know what to do with myself and all the free time I have. The hugs and cuddles of childhood are a thing of the past. I often think that if I had another younger child who was still in that cuddly, huggy stage, it would soften the blows of my daughter disengaging herself from us. But then again, it would only be postponing the inevitable.
    My point in this ramble: Be as present and in-the-moment as you can with Lucy. The years go by so quickly . . . while you are caught up in other pursuits and distractions, your daughter is on her warp-speed journey to young adulthood and independence. I was crying to my husband the other night because Helen doesn’t want a good night kiss anymore. I know this sounds ridiculous, but she and I had a lovely book/chit chat/kiss good night nightly routine for years, and it is a thing of the past. My husband reminded me to try to continue to be “in the present” and be adaptable with Helen because in 5 more years, she will (most likely) be out of the house, at college, NOT LIVING WITH US. I can’t even imagine how I will react to an empty nest. Well, actually, I will probably start adopting and hoarding more dogs, but you know what I mean. I will miss her terribly. She is my one and only, my joy, my heart, and the most important (and hardest) thing I need to do now is to back off and let her grow into her own person.

  5. David

    You clearly never had the #10 at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe. The 3 egg sausage and sour cream omelet got me through many a hangover.

  6. Girlie

    Know thyself! Re: #1, I have a similar list: no beer, skiing, super high heels, or 69s – because it’s too much multitasking. Am I right?

  7. Dan James

    #3 – Not EVERYWHERE in North America is too hot. Here on PEI we are having the ideal summer. It’s always warm (23-26 Celsius), there is always a nice breeze, and it’s sunny. The only thing that could be better is if we had a bit more rain.
    It is so nice in fact that you three should get your asses over here for a visit.


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