Thursday, February 17, 2011



Yes. Yes it does. I am here, aren’t I?


 My larval nerdling years in junior high school were spent observing how networking worked between the cool ‘it’ folks and everyone else. Then in high school, instead of being fueled with frustration over Saturday nights spent playing games like Paydirt, Risk, and Title Bout by myself, I enjoyed what I had going on. I could see the cracks that were developing between me and my family (which I would frame by the context of a ‘Calvin ‘n Hobbes’ strip) and was certain that I would find myself ‘anywhere’ and that it would be better than where I was at that time and place.

This is something that I also held for my finding a girlfriend. Having played hockey and traveling to different towns allowed me to be regarded totally different than I had been by the girls in school or on the ‘Jenny’s on the block’. I began not to think of my dream partner as being someone that would be found where I was but that it well could be something that would require a national, even a global, search to find. Along with accepting this as ideal, came the foundation for my approach to women.

No matter how bad a hitter you are, the only guarantee to not getting a hit is not to take a swing at the ball. When you look for good a baseball player, a good hitter, only gets a hit ever three at-bats. And in basketball, if you make half of the shots you take you get to be called a good shooter. Seeing as to how to find a life partner you only had to find one out of BILLIONS… well, I like to think you know where I am going here and why I did not concern myself with not being liked in Detroit because between hockey and amateur boxing tournaments, I saw that I ‘traveled well’.

Additionally, before I could develop any biases towards anything at all regarding Detroit and my family, I would read Encyclopedia’s at an Aunt’s house and pretend to be a Captain sailing the high seas. Whatever else that has happened in my life built upon that and not that I felt the need to escape anywhere. After I do my Catholic schoolgirl whining here, this is what I find remaining – that I have always wanted to go somewhere. I am good with that, which prolly why I have thoughts of a few other places that I have wanted to go swirling in my mind as motivation to keep moving forward.


I fancied myself as a pirate dandy in jr. high school!


I have a healthy sense of self-esteem.  Sometimes I do get hard on myself and I am not immune to bouts of feeling poorly and that is something that I am managing as well as I know how.  But I think that one of the reasons that my darling brother did not have to suffer what a lot of young people, then and even today, to go through is that he had a self-styled dandy as an older brother.  Instead of letting my feminine qualities (and subsequent criticism that came with me being who I am) define me, I defined myself and have simply went with it.

Being ‘sensitive’ has many contexts. Sometimes being sensitive can be a reference to a potential source of physical pain. Sensitive could also mean that a person has a deeper understanding of other people’s feelings. It is also used as a pejorative in certain cultural contexts. For a woman to be called sensitive has been made into a cliché and when you call a man ‘sensitive’, it can also be used as foreshadow of other less flattering terms that are implied by how ‘sensitive’ is couched. I find the irony behind how it is used when addressing a man who displays this trait both fascinating and simultaneously tiring.


The double standard with how sensitivity in men could be perceived was the deciding factor in why I would get stuck on Tee Jay and thought it was a good idea to date someone with whom I had been in a relationship with. After excluding my ex-wife by being willing accept being alone even if she… well, anywho, because my approach with women was a manipulation of the law of averages in a very narrow spectrum like hitting a baseball or making a basket, I have had to endure a lot of sh*t being said about me. I had concerned myself more with ‘making contact and putting the ball in play’ or ‘grabbing offensive rebounds for put-backs’. In short, I would take a narrow focus and refine that approach to relationships into what became the ‘run-and-shoot’.

Brief aside: Sure I am mixing my sports metaphors but that is only on the surface. What ties them all together is that the specialization of each is a compensation to get a chance to play in the World Series and the NBA Finals… but a run and shoot team has never won a Super Bowl (and no, ‘the spread’ or ‘read option’ offense that brought Auburn and Oregon to the National Title game in college football doesn’t count!). While having a contact hitter or rebounder willing to do the dirty work is essential to a team’s success, there aren’t teams built around either. And what you really have with the ‘run and shoot’ is a philosophy that allows a team who may not be physically able to line up in traditional formations and play man-on-man. That is ultimately how I saw myself, someone who utilized finesse and cleverness to put up big numbers that looked good on paper but had nothing substantial to show for it. And all of this clouded my personal mission statement.


Toon said...

Yes, we exist here in the Midwest. Unfortunately nobody ever hears about us except in terms of tornado events (coming soon!) and crappy baseball (go Royals!)

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Just wishing you a good weekend, Mark. I, too, have always been a bit sensitive--whatever that means.



Anonymous said...

Being sensitive necessarily doesn't have to be a bad thing. As long you can look beyond the 'friends' laughing at you at the cinema there's definitely a deeper meaning to this.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think you have depth now, and that is what matters.