Why do we haggle with the poor, but give the rich exactly what they ask for?

I came across this video this morning. It has a very powerful message.

I had never really though about this before and now that I have, I realized – wow… I do this. We all do.

I consider myself a person who tries to do good for those less fortunate. My wife & I have even made backpacks full of supplies for the homeless with our own money. I try to be a positive influence for the kids from my old neighborhood – all of which are well into their 20’s now. I try to teach my children that we aren’t rich, but we are comfortable in our means, so helping those less fortunate will help them more than it will hurt us and our lifestyle. But even despite all of this, I will haggle the price of something when there isn’t a price tag on it.

Lets think about this for a moment. When a product is for sale from a corporation, they have a ‘manufacturer’s suggested retail price’ (MSRP). Generally, companies try to get at least 100% or more markup on their cost of an item, so if the product costs $10 on the shelf, it may have cost the store $3-$5 to buy it from the manufacturer. We don’t argue the sticker price, though. We just decide whether or not we would pay that amount for it and then buy it or pass on it. Nobody is going up to the counter at Best Buy and asking to buy a $10 DVD for $7 because they aren’t willing to pay $10 for it, but would be willing to pay $7. Either we buy it then or we wait til it goes on sale or ends up on clearance.

When we see a vendor on the street, we don’t ask if we can get our $3 Polish Sausage for $1.50. Why? Because the price is clearly marked on the sign.

The only times we seem to haggle the price of something when there is a displayed price  tag are yard sales and major purchases (like houses & cars). Yes, when we are making a major purchase, the reason for the haggling is obvious – it’s a shit-ton of money being exchanged. In America, the price we pay for our 5yr old used cars can potentially be enough to feed an entire village in another country for 3 months. We know this and so, since we are giving that money to a salesman instead, we want to negotiate how much of his commission he is willing to give up in order to make us feel better about the purchase. I’m sure most of these salesmen have families to support and mortgages to pay, but we ignore that for our own personal gains.

Not to ignore my mention of yard sales, I think we try to talk down the price of these things because we see the lifestyle that the person has right there in front of us. It is literally in the background (their house) and displayed all over the tables and blankets that they have their items sitting on. We already know if the person is selling a television, they have obviously upgraded or just don’t need it, so this is an item that will go in the trash if nobody buys it. It’s no big deal to negotiate this to us, but what if we thought the family had a tragedy. Would we pay full price for an item that they may not have a replacement for? If that family had a child with leukemia and they are trying to earn money to pay their medical bills, would we pretend to look at an item they are selling for $5 and give them $20 instead without even taking the item? I think most wouldn’t. I think most people would simply pay the asking price and go home feeling like the just got a good deal on an electric drill and did the right thing for the family by NOT trying to negotiate.

You might ask, “But OddPapa, I have my own problems and struggles and I really needed that drill, so why should I feel guilty for buying it? I even offered them $10 for the drill and they said they didn’t want handouts, so what do you expect me to do?” Yes, I understand this logic and it’s very reasonable, but would not having that drill force you into homelessness? Would just giving that person $10 or even $20 force you into homelessness? Yeah, probably not. However, that family will allow themselves to lose everything they own in order to save the life of that child. Those people would much rather end up in a place where they have to rebuild their entire life from financial ruin (repossessed house & cars, bankruptcy, etc), just so that child can live. So, what about the other 99% of yard sales? I say go ahead – negotiate. Why not? It’s not hurting them, so if it can benefit you, so be it.

Now to the real meat of this topic – the poor and homeless. How many of us pass by a homeless person with a cardboard sign on a highway exit? It happens pretty frequently here in Ohio. Do you really even give them a second thought? Do you make judgments based on whether it is a man, a woman, a woman and child, a white person, an old person, etc., etc., etc.? Most likely you do. I think most people do. We feel a certain way about what we see in that moment based on personal experiences and where our empathy is strongest. I admit that I have passed many white, homeless men without a second thought because I feel that as a white man in America, there is no excuse for you to beg. You have the most opportunity of anyone. But do we really? There are no government programs for white males. Ahh, but there is welfare – so in a system that actually provides white males the least opportunity for assistance, we still have a fail-safe. I have a personal notion that the person is either too prideful to apply for welfare, too lazy to do anything more than just ask for a handout, or that person is an addict that has put themselves in that position and needs to figure out how to pick themselves back up on their own. This is unreasonable thinking though because any adult could be in those situations as well, but I only make that snap judgement on white males.

Now, if that same person was out there doing something for their money, such as pulling tall grass from the roadside and shaping it into little roses and selling them for $2 a piece, I would gladly give that same man $10 for that little batch of grass. Why? It’s fucking grass. I literally have zero need for grass. I have a slight allergy to grass pollen and I have an acre of lad that I routinely cut the grass on so that it never reaches the length of the grass that he has shaped into a flower. Frankly, I won’t even spend $10 on a single, cut rose. So why should I give that amount of money to a man who has given me shit I would normally chop up and discard, while if that same person just asked me for the money, I would give an excuse and walk away?

Personal bias. The little grass rose represents ambition to me. That is something I highly respect. That is something that keeps many of us from paying what a person asks for something, whereas we might give more to someone else. Would you buy the same $10 DVD from a person who looks poor, that you would from Best Buy? No, you wouldn’t. You have a personal understanding and respect for businesses (even if you don’t like the evil corporate elitism that they represent) and you have a a personal disdain for those who can’t seem to figure out how to make ends meet. You subconsciously feel as though the company with the price tag has earned it’s right to set that price and stick to it, while you feel the person trying to sell you something on the street or just beg for the money your family has earned, is a bit of a burden.

This homeless man reviews books and sells them on the street

This homeless man reviews books and sells them on the street

…But would that person be a burden if we helped them out by giving them the asking price? If that person has something for sale and has shown ambition, can they be successful if we just give them what they need to become successful? Some of them might. And the ones that don’t have something for sale, but are simply begging and panhandling for money, maybe those people just haven’t found a product or service to provide. Maybe those people could use some help from those of us who feel like we can help them find their own ‘inner entrepreneur’. Or maybe we simply feel like this is a good idea, but who has the time for all of that? I just hope that after reading this, some people will maybe go ahead and give that homeless person a dollar, maybe pay $5 for a DVD from a poor person, that we might otherwise pay $5 for in the bargain bin at a store, or maybe even volunteer at mission to help beggars find ways to inspire themselves to provide a product or service. In the very least, I hope that we have learned a bit more about ourselves through this and will take some time to reflect on changes we can make that will help us act more reasonably toward those who need it more than corporations do.

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They Look Like Big, Strong Hands

I’m sure you, dear reader, have seen the movie The Never Ending Story.

*If you haven’t, stop reading this now and go watch the movie because you have done your inner child a great disservice.*

To this day, I still find the part of the movie where the giant stone man is contemplating his own shortcomings to be one of the saddest scenes in any movie. The one thing that he has always been good at -physical strength- is the one thing that failed him when he needed it most. He just couldn’t hang on to his friends and they got sucked into the Nothing.

They looked like big, strong hands.

big strong handsNot strong enough.

Lately, I feel like that stone man. You see, we have quite an unusual family situation. Our oldest (Dylan-17) is my wife’s son and his biological father has always been out of the picture and more of a nuisance than anything. He is a very negative, lazy person and always places the responsibility of he & Dylan being in contact with each other on Dylan. The last few times this has happened, he kept bothering Dylan about the fact that he hasn’t called and has given him a generally negative feeling about their time together. Due to this, Dylan continues to ignore his texts and calls and has pretty much written him out of his life. Frankly, Dylan doesn’t even really consider him his ‘real dad’ at this point. Unfortunately, he doesn’t consider me that, either. Dylan had another dad in his life – Mark. Mark was the man that my wife was with after Dylan’s father and her divorced. They were together for about 10 years and then he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly one night. Needless to say, Mark got the best years. He had the fun childhood years with Dylan. The years that a boy just gets to be a boy and play all day with little to zero responsibility. Now comes me. I am the evil stepfather that has to try and teach Dylan responsibility and how to become a man that can stand on his own two feet. I definitely pulled the short straw on this deal. Teenage boys have no interest in responsibility and Dylan is no different. But I am the evil demon stepdad and I will continue to show him the errors in his ways and try to teach him the things he needs to do to be a productive person because that is my responsibility – even if it leaves a generally negative impression of me on him. I am not a friend. I am a parent. And I am a problem solver.

They look like big, strong hands.

The other boy we have is my son Jayden (11) from a previous co-worker. His mother and I tried to make a relationship with each other for the first few years of his life, but it was never a good relationship and it has been pretty much the equivalent of being bound and dragged down a street full of broken glass and salt ever since. Yes, the last few months have been pretty civil, but previous to that, about 80% of our interactions have been through court proceedings. This has not created a great atmosphere for Jayden. She has spent much of his life trying to make her own perfect life and keep the image of what she has done as pristine as possible. She hates me because I actually want what is best for Jayden and that means we have to take responsibility – and responsibility is hard work. The blame is nobody else’s but ours for the problems he has and it is our responsibility to help him understand what is best for him, rather than what other people might think or say when he takes off his shirt to reveal a big belly when he goes swimming. Just last week, the school called us because Jayden told another child he wanted to kill himself.

They look like big, strong hands.

Our third child – Nyah (also 11). Nyah was the result of a relationship that I had with a friend. What I thought to be a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of situation, her mother thought was a ‘building a relationship’ situation. Miscommunication was the sneaky fucker that came in and manipulated that whole scene. Fast forward: Nyah’s mother is still struggling to get her life in order, so Nyah lives here, but all of the adults can play nice and work things out in a civil – even friendly- manner without having to examine the fine print of the custody papers every week. However, Nyah was not taught in her younger years to take care of things for herself (at 5yrs old, she still had never even fastened her own seat belt) and as I try to teach her responsibility, she has turned to lying and trying to hide things when she comes up short. I have even explained time and time again that it’s OK to be wrong and that she just needs to ask for help. She doesn’t like to admit that she didn’t know how to do something on her own and she forgot something. So, now I have found rotten fruit in her backpack that she apparently didn’t eat for lunch and forgot about it in her backpack and just two weeks ago, she made up a story of a friend that committed suicide. The suicide story was made to cover up the fact that she came home crying from school because of a detention that she was trying to hide from me.

They look like big, strong hands.

My wife and I are by no means perfect parents. We love our children. We love each other’s children. And we are trying to keep everything balanced and sane. Lately we have been a bit absent with the children due to a combination of a few things: the house fire last year, which has been an insurance documents and processes nightmare, Sara’s (my wife) newer job that can keep her on edge from the stress of helping a young company grow and finally, our backyard renovations that I have had my hands in as I prepare space for the family to enjoy while I try to get an organics business started. Even despite these things, we try to sit down for family games together and we have been making it a point to return to sitting at the dinner table together, rather than eating in front of the TV. We are making the kids join us in healthier eating and exercise habits and yes, of course they are resistant (what kid isn’t?), but when we go out for walks and bike rides, everyone still comes home happy and seemingly satisfied.

They seem like big, strong hands.

Despite our best efforts, the dynamics of our family situation is quite difficult, but my job in this world is to be a problem solver. Just like the stone man, I am not perfect at this and I will do everything within my power to keep the kids safe from those who would drag them down. It is the most difficult job I have ever had, but I will keep trying. I don’t know if my efforts are in vain, but I guess sometimes – just like the stone man needed Atreyu to set things right, maybe it’s time for us to get a family counselor to help us with the things we seem to be struggling to figure out. After all, our new, modern, displaced family isn’t exactly something most people have experienced. There just isn’t much advice out there from people with similar lifestyles. This isn’t a Leave It To Beaver world anymore and it hasn’t been for such a short period of time that we may have to be pioneers on this journey. Hopefully, we can be the ones that can give advice to others as we work through our family trials and tribulations.

And maybe in the meantime, these big, strong hands can keep us safe from the Nothing.

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Flaunt it if you got it! (but understand what you’re flaunting)

Lately, I’ve had a ton of stress over how my 11 year old daughter is trying to dress. The biggest issue is that she doesn’t realize what’s wrong because it seems like everyone else dresses that way. It seems normal to her. And it is normal, but that is what creates the issue. Why is it all of a sudden acceptable for her 11 & 12 year old peers to dress in clothes that are considered borderline (or even fully) inappropriate on the 18+ crowd? Why do parents continue to try to be friends to their kids, rather than being examples of respectability and responsibility?

This outfit should not exist for a child

This outfit should not exist for a child

I do understand the struggle of finding age appropriate clothing for children. After all, when we go clothes shopping, my wife and I find ourselves asking if we’re being unreasonable when rack after rack after rack is filled with very skimpy clothes. And I already know the answer – absolutely not. Fashion trends are set by those who want to be fashionable and everyone knows that sex sells. Unfortunately, people are complete fucking idiots when fashion designers are selling sex to our children. I see women chatting with each other, exclaiming how cute these little pieces of slutwear are and why? Because they want their daughters to look like little versions of themselves and they want to live vicariously through them as these mothers age and fight their own images of wrinkled skin, stretchmarks and baby-pudge bellies. We plaster images of so-called perfection on magazines and TV and women develop self esteem issues because they don’t want their husbands and boyfriends to stray. It’s a huge, fucked up social problem and I know that this post won’t fix that.

So, this is how little girls are supposed to dress?

So, this is how little girls are supposed to dress?

Instead, I propose (,beg and plead) that we allow women to use fashion, makeup and accessories to accentuate their own natural beauty, rather than trying to sexualize those features. Because guess what ladies – men will still find you sexy as hell. As a matter of fact, we will find you respectfully sexy and that’s way better than dirty sexy. Time after time, I see females complain about not being able to find a good man. These same females use sexual imagery (dark makeup, cleavage selfies and sexual enticement pictures) all over their social media pages to try and lure men in. It is desperate and unattractive. Well, let me correct myself, it is absolutely attractive, but only for one purpose. Men will chase those women based on a certain guise and when they get what they came for, they will get bored after awhile and try to find a new toy. Trust me – I used to do this. My friends used to do this. Every single guy in every single bar in America is currently doing this. The fact is, when you flaunt physicality, you should only expect a person to be attracted to your physicality.

That is the example that most of our children see. ‘That girl gets any guy she wants’. Yes, she does. And then he moves on to the next girl that gets any guy she wants. And then on to the next one. Think about it. How many cleavage pics do you have on your Facebook page? And how many failed relationships have you had. You can blame men all you want, but you are your own common denominator to all of your problems. And what’s worse is that if you’re a mother, you’re repeating a cycle that your child sees.

From a male perspective (even if only subconsciously for many), if you flaunt your intelligence, you will attract those who are interested in your mind. If you flaunt your artistry, you attract those who are interested in your creativity. If you flaunt your athleticism, you will attract those who are interested in athletics. So of course, if you flaunt your sexual features, what do you think you will attract? See how that works? And guess what – your children will emulate your behavior.

But Odd Papa, I’m not smart. I’m not creative. I’m not physically fit. My only assets are wrapped up in sexuality. What am I to do?

Take some responsibility for yourself  and put in a little work to become that thing that you want someone to see in you. It really is that simple. Women are always quick to blame men for sexualization of women, but we don’t buy your clothes for you. We think you are beautiful in a vast array of styles, but you choose to sexualize yourselves and if a man says anything about it, we become the subject of a militant feminist attack. That is what our daughters see. They see you objectifying your own body, then blaming men for actually being attracted to what is on display. What a mind-fuck these fragile little girls must be going through. Especially when compounded by the idea that when they finally try to figure out the physical part that males are being attracted to, a simple Google search will bring up millions of videos of guys ‘finishing’ on their faces.

I really don’t know what to do when faced with this kind of opposition, but I do know one thing: I love my daughter and will continue to fight your ridiculous fashion trends. I’ll let her know that whorish behavior will only make people see her as a whore and that respectful behavior will make people see her as a respectful person.

sluts

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The Tale Of The Flaming Hiatus

Let me spin you a tale:

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there was a Mama’s A Mess and an Odd Papa that had great aspirations of selling their wares online and writing daily blogs about wonderful things and tying both of these things together while also sharing the spotlight with others. Then the dream turned into something less desirable than they had planned and they were derailed for quite some time bound in frustration and writer’s block. It was a sad, unfortunate turn of events and then as a cherry on top of that sundae, their house caught on fire.

…little did they know that was exactly what would help them shape their plans for the future into something more desirable, more manageable, more realistic and more grounded in their true selves.

THE END       (…well, only in a manner of speaking)

Hello again! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written to the great world of the interwebz. But I swear I have a good excuse. My computer melted.

Like, all the way.

Almost nothing left but ash.

It was unpleasant.

But here I am! Back and in great spirits! This past year has been a very unique experience for Sara and I and I want to fill you in on all of the uncomfortable details, so here we go:

Leading up to Christmas of 2013, some may have noticed that almost every post on this humble little site was a ‘This Week In Preposterously Ignorant’. There was a good reason for that: Sara and I had somewhat lost interest in writing. The problem was the negative tone of the site at that point. While Preposterously posts were interesting reads, they were rooted in a negative view of the world and that was never our (Sara’s & my) intention when we first started blogging together. Yes, we did ask the person to come aboard and write these posts, but we hadn’t really thought it through to the end result. Now we know better. We may have some posts here and there moving forward that may be a rant or something not necessarily with a completely positive focus, but we will no longer have a weekly post rooted in negativity. So, to all of the TWIPI fans, I apologize, but that ship has sailed.

[door opens, footsteps leave the room, door closes, leaving two people staring awkwardly at each other]

So, Christmas came and went, New Years came and went and then tragedy hit our house:

house fire

Yep – that’s our home on fire. The same room that we kept all of our media (books, computer, external hard drive with our photos, etc.). It was a chimney fire. We had gone out for a library and store run and had the door closed on our fireplace, but there were burning embers inside and there must’ve been some creosote buildup which led to disaster. Our ball python died, but I was able to get our dog out without too much trouble. Pretty much everything throughout the rest of the house was lost due to smoke damage. This also led us into a pretty hard, but enlightening year.

We were lucky enough to find a rental house around the corner from our house and the back yards of both houses butt up against the same woods, so it was an easy 5 minute walk through the woods to get to back and forth. Unfortunately, the rental house didn’t have a garage and I had my garage filled with salvage items that I had planned on repurposing into sellable items to start an upcycling business that Spring. Needless to say, that derailed my biz plans.

We really did make the best that we could of the year, though. We decided that we would not replace many things in the house. So much of the stuff we lost were items that were just taking up space. It was a cleansing experience in many ways. We spent a lot of time together having family fun nights, enjoying dinners out, spending time with friends and family and we were even fortunate enough to work out a vacation schedule that allowed us 10 days in Florida at Disney and Universal Studios. Overall, it was a great year despite the tragic start.

I feel like one of the best aspects of being displaced was how it forced Sara and I to stop doing stuff. We had been trying to keep our hands in so many things at once, I feel like we were about to burn out. Well, I guess we did. Literally. We seem to have come to terms with the mistakes we were leading ourselves into and have newer, more pure ways to focus our future endeavors. We realize that we were drowning ourselves in trying to do something that, although it was definitely our style, it just wasn’t the right outlet for our creative needs. We have also realized our own internal desire to be more philanthropic and helpful to others that have had tragedy strike their lives. We are actually pretty fortunate to have been in a position where we didn’t completely lose everything and we realize many people aren’t as fortunate as us.

So, as we continue to dig ourselves out of the ashes, we have new goals and new changes to the way we choose to live.

Starting with the fact that Blakow! will be mine alone from now on (cue the upset groans and slamming of laptops), but don’t worry – everyone who was a fan of Sara’s writings from her Kiss The Librarian days, she’s coming back! Please be patient as we both have some restructuring to do on these blog sites, but you will be able to find her stuff >>>here<<< (and the Buffy fans rejoice!). I’m sure there will be plenty of re-blogging between us, so you will still be exposed to some of her antics on this site as well, but both blogs will be built in our own styles from here on out.

She has a new career that she has settled into well and now that we are back home, I have been able to start shifting focus toward my business goals again as well. Along with helpful tips on how to survive the insurance company disaster after surviving your house fire disaster, we will have plenty to talk about in the realms of home brewing, aquaponics, personal creativity, how to survive the new modern mixed family, how to remain positive in a world full of negativity and of course, we’re still going to share our near-middle age life in the punk rock mosh pits with you as well. Basically, all of the stuff we were writing about prior to the days of us trying too damn hard. We realize now that’s what all of us really want and we apologize for falling off track. This will be a much better experience overall. So, for everyone who enjoys my sociopolitical rants and don’t want to be bothered with the ‘girly’ stuff – this is where you’ll find it. For those of you who could give a shit about what I think about Ted Cruz or the Pope and really just want to talk about crafting and what new shows are good to watch since Buffy and Angel are gone, Sara will have you well covered in those areas, I’m sure.

We are both looking forward to expelling our brain goo for our 2 or 3 fans to read and hope to be back on track with this soon enough.

Please forgive our mess in the interim.

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Casablanca

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Cleveland cops caught having a snowball fight while on duty

Anyone that knows me or has any online interaction with me knows that I’m not fan of general police conduct. There are countless incidents where police have overstepped their bounds, killed family pets, beaten innocent people, killed suspects before they’ve had their day in court and have smashed cameras, confiscated cameras or arrested those filming these incidents. These are unforgivable acts and we need to publicly take control of our police and make them realize that they work for us.
With that being said, I want to introduce this video to those of you who have not seen it yet:
http://fox8.com/2013/12/12/officers-snowball-fight-caught-on-camera/
I’m sure that some of my readers will be outraged over this video. Officers throwing snow at each other while people could be getting robbed, stabbed, raped or shot? I mean, this is Cleveland, right? one of the more dangerous cities in America. Even if nothing is happening at that given moment, it’s unprofessional isn’t it? They shouldn’t be conducting themselves like this, should they?

I have to stop and ask – WHY THE FUCK NOT? Being a police officer in America is a hard job. They are constantly scrutinized by people like myself for their mistakes and misconduct and the truly righteous cops are unforgivably lumped into the same classification with all of the dirty cops. I don’t deny my part in this, nor do I apologise for it. When cops are out of line, they should be corrected by their peers and if that doesn’t happen, I call all of them guilty together.
In this instance, though – I simply won’t. As I already stated, being a cop in America is a hard job, but I’m sure being a cop in Cleveland can be quite a bit more taxing on the person in the uniform than being a cop in, let’s say, my current location – the Cleveland suburb of North Royalton.
So, they were out there blowing off a little steam. So what? Why is that so bad, really? Do none of us like to goof off for a few minutes here and there with co-workers? Do we not occasionally lose composure and act a little unprofessionally? Yes, we do. We all do and anyone that denies this is either lying or a rigid bastard that maybe needs to lighten up and have a snowball fight with their co-workers.
Point blank: leave these cops alone over this. They are constantly in hot water over so many other things and trust that I will be right here tomorrow calling them out on misconduct once again, but for once we get to see a video of them just being normal people. Frankly, I find it kind of refreshing. I have had personal dealings with several Cleveland police officers. Some weren’t quite so pleasant and a few were actual, fun conversations with the person – not the badge.
Honestly, I would LOVE IT if a cop would start a snowball fight with me. That kind of activity might make me think more of the person in the uniform than what the uniform has come to represent in today’s society. I say a little bit of child-like fun is a much better way to present themselves to the public than a constant image of rigid fear-mongering. I would have loved to see the days when people were on first-name terms with their local officers. There’s just not enough of that anymore and I think it fuels the fire.
So, leave them alone. Let them have their fun. Maybe one day they won’t arrest you over something that just got blown out of proportion when you were simply trying to blow off a little steam with your personal acquaintances and why? Because they won’t have to scrutinize your fun situation in the same way that we scrutinize theirs. And maybe one day we could actually get into a friendly snowball fight with a cop and not have to worry about being arrested for assault. What a beautiful world that could be. Snowballs

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Police brutality or bad parenting?

Just came across this video in my Facebook news feed and just wanted to share my thoughts on this. You can find the video and article I’m, referring to >>>here<<<
Now, I normally agree with the sentiment behind this kind of article, but on this one, not so much. All of the commentors claiming racism are simply mistaken. This cop was just trying to issue a speeding ticket and the mother was being irrational. With her kids in the car, she should’ve just taken the ticket and then argued it in court. That is how the system works. She was being argumentative and the 14yr old escalated the situation by getting out of the car. This wasn’t a case of out of control police, this was a case of an irrational person endangering her children. Maybe the cop who shot did so prematurely, without knowing the full scope of the situation, but it should have never even come to that and wouldn’t have if the woman had just taken care of the ticket by the proper mechanisms of our well-established court system.

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Forgotten Father

A few days ago, I picked up an old Sum 41 CD that I’d never heard from the library, ripped it and loaded it into the iPod. Since I was working late tonight, a few of those songs shuffled through and just as I expected, I really didn’t like alot of it, but there were a few decent ones that will stay in rotation the next time I delete stuff. There was one song in particular, though that grabbed my attention a bit more than the others. It was called Dear Father. It’s a song about an absentee father and it stopped me for a second. I kinda had a moment of “Oh yeah, I used to have one of those”, but not like the song explains. He wasn’t an absentee father, being that we lived with him, but I guess since he spent the majority of his time at the bar, he was a bit absentee. Anyway, that’s not really the point of this.

It was just sort of strange the way it hit me – as if it was some vague, surreal dream of something that almost applied to my life once upon a time. Even though the premise of the song didn’t really apply, just the fact that it reminded me of this long forgotten individual stopped my focus. It kind of made me happy the way this all played out in my head because it made me feel as if I’m in such a better place now and can be so happy with my life now, that the residue of this horrible man doesn’t even taint my daily thoughts anymore.

You see, I used to get so angry about so many things that I didn’t know about. I used to blame him for so many mistakes I would make because I never learned from him not to do them. A father is supposed to guide his children and teach them about life and how manage your way through it., but he didn’t. He abused us and got drunk and I held him accountable for it for many years.

But my life is so different and wonderful now that the darkness of him seems unreal. I wonder what he would think to know that I had a moment like this. A moment when his very own son stopped and realized how long I had forgotten that I even had a father. That he even exists. Who knows, maybe it would make him feel better to think that he is so distant from my mind that I barely remember what his face looked like when he would beat my mother and my sister. That I can’t even recall the lowest feelings I had when I would wonder why he wouldn’t leave them alone and just take it out on me instead. I wonder if he might come across this blog post and cry in solitude as he reads about how he will never meet my children or my wife and that my kids will never even hear his name enough to remember it.

Again, he might feel sanctified in a way, knowing that his atrocities have actually made me a better man. I have not and will not ever call my wife a bitch. I have not and will never beat her or my kids. I have learned how to be a man through trial and error and come out on top with good morals and anger control. So, if you are reading this, sleep well knowing that you actually did teach me things and you taught them well.

You taught me exactly what kind of man not to become. you taught me that focusing on negative memories is a waste of my time, so you have, in turn, taught me how to erase you from existence.

Maybe one day, I’ll happen past a grave stone and recognize a long forgotten name on it. If that happens, I will place my hands on the shoulders of my sons knowing that they are learning to be a man in a better way. I will know that I won’t be just a memory to them until I’m dead and that they will never forget me while I’m still alive.

 

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