In which our hero contemplates his own bad self.

Flat Coated Retriever

Flat Coated Retriever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is something innately useful in acknowledging one’s own fundamental fecklessness.  However, in my case, it has merely made me suspicious that somewhere my good twin is living the life I should have had.  This is the version of me who managed to make it to school the day they taught home repair, money management, and any number of other life skills I’ve managed to avoid acquiring in 50 years of living.   This is the person who doesn’t suffer from crippling depression intermixed with momentary bouts of unreasonable hubris.  I’ve never been diagnosed as bi-polar, but I sometimes wonder if that isn’t the problem.

My wife, who is either blind or loves me very much, insists that I can be that person, provided I don’t spend all my time dwelling on how I’m not.  This blog is part of that quest.  Frankly, I don’t care if anyone reads this.  It’s mostly for my own entertainment, and to develop a writing habit.  The goal right now is 20 entries of 500 words or more by April 30th, 2013.  My stretch goal is one every day.

So what am I going to write 500 words about every day?  I may as well start with myself and my family.

I’m 50,  6’2″ 393 pounds, how I got to that deplorable state later on, when I get the courage to face it myself.  I’m married to the most patient, lovely, and generally forgiving person I could have ever hoped to find.  She’s my second (or as she prefers to be called, my FINAL wife). She has a remarkable ability to look at me and see my other self when all I can see when I look in the mirror is the picture of Dorian Gray, only with less unspeakable evil and more gray hair and belly fat. I’m very happy with her, and in all honesty I am sure she’s the reason I’m able to get out of bed most mornings.

I got married the first time to someone who pretty much lacked most of those qualities.  Unfortunately, I didn’t discover that until after we’d been married for a couple of years.  She on the other hand, didn’t discover that I had a remarkable streak of sadism (nothing severe, just prone to unfunny pranks) and severe anger management issues.  Three more years and two kids later, she had enough, and left.  I have to admit I was pretty angry for a good long while, but it certainly taught me a lot of things about myself, mostly that I had the capability to be a tremendous asshole.  It’s hard coming to that conclusion and finally accept that your still not insignificant other had perfectly good reasons not to want to spend her life being miserable and you were the primary cause of her misery.

I have two sons with my first wife.  One is 24 and one is 22.  I won’t talk about them other than my issues with my not insubstantial difficulties in being a long distance father for most of their lives.  My second wife and I have one child together, who is 11.   He is the beneficiary, like most third or fourth children, of the lessons I learned from the first two.  He is very much my son,  which has its good and bad points.  Mostly good.  He’s very bright, and very funny, an A student and I am very proud of him.

I also have two furkids, Toby and Buster.  Both were adopted from pet shelters.  Buster is a Lhasa Apso cross who if he could talk, would generally say one word: “What?” as he is under the mistaken assumption that he is second in command to the alpha, my wife.  He is prone to barking orders, “Food! Water! Walk!”  Of course being a small dog, he has developed the capability of doing this in a high pitched piercing voice that drives itself directly to the center of your brain like an ice pick.  Toby is a bit more laid back, being a flat coated retriever, a breed which seems to have a single primary characteristic shared with most other retrievers, a heavy tail that is a metronome of happiness and destruction, depending on where it is applied.  He also has managed to acquire in his 9 or 10 years what we call furnace breath.  He is prone to waiting until I am sitting bare-legged in my favorite chair, putting his head in my lap and breathing heavily with anticipation that I might let him out.  Other than that, he is a major doofus, who is frequently, as my mom says “All one wiggle.”  His wiggletude has become markedly reduced as he gets older, since napping has become a primary form of recreation.

Speaking of naps, now’s time for mine. More later.

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