“You’re not as messed up as you think you are
Your self-absorption makes you messier.
Just settle down and you would feel a whole lot better.
Deep down you’re just like everybody else”
“Reasons not to be an Idiot” Frank Turner
It happened again! I woke up to my alarm. 8:45 but it was only supposed to be a reminder. I never sleep that late. I just wanted to catch that zoom meditation. I got a text from my daughter from 7am asking if I want to do something today. Yes, that would be great! Cool, I wasn’t too late. I don’t really have time to do the meditation session. No time? What else am I going to do? It starts out with gratitude then they hit me over the head with self acceptance! All I said to the guy was how excited I am about my daughter doing so well. When I read about self acceptance it sounded overwhelming. I can’t do that. Can’t? That sounds like negative self talk. Maybe I should hit that first. Broke it down into small steps and found out I already have the tools for that. The more people talked about it I realized I misunderstood self acceptance. I am already starting that, I just didn’t know it.
I don’t care, I’m so happy about my daughter. She could do anything she wants today and she picked me. I knew I had plenty of time but I didn’t really because I couldn’t get anything started. Back and forth, back and forth, I still haven’t done anything. I’m feeling like I’m getting ready for a first date. What should I wear? Um…. A tshirt? Slow down.
I keep thinking, I don’t see her very much anymore. I gotta say this, I gotta say that to be a good dad. Finally, I said, chill the fuck out. I already said something really great yesterday. I’m not worried about you, you make good decisions, keep doing what you are doing. It was better than that. I didn’t make it sound like I was saying it just because she’s my kid so of course she is the best.
I was right, she rolled up in her 2005 black on black, power everything, BMW, Cake was blasting out the window, I got in and she tilted the bag towards me and asked me if I wanted “the perfect bagel?” Sure. “This guy has the best words.” I pointed at the CD player. “Actually, this is the perfect bagel.”, “It’s asiago with garlic and herb cream cheese. Can we get to Salisbury if we go to the right?”
We shot the shit on the way to the thrift store in Salisbury. She knows them all. She asked to see the rings. She wears a lot of them. She picked up the best one but didn’t want it. I kept pointing it out while she looked through the rest. She found a two finger ring and I told her she has to get that one. She picked a couple more and the woman working there soft voiced me, “She has the rings?” I nodded, “Yeah”, like I brought my daughter in to klepto $11 worth of jewelry. The perfect heist!
She said she needed a new receiver. Hipster, looking for 40 year old electronics in a thrift shop. The place was pretty cool, though. “We’re lucky my mom isn’t here she would buy all 20 of these lamps.”, “I didn’t know she likes lamps.”,”Yeah, just because something is old and broken doesn’t make it an ‘antique'”.
Another little thing happened. The only new thing in the store. Sneakers. Never worn. The only thing I need right now. My style, plain, I don’t look like I think I’m a pro athlete or about to skateboard. I don’t even need to look to know they are my size. I hold them up to her, “Eleven”, 5 bucks, sold! I walk around the corner, someone had just laid a pair of pants on top of the rack. I like those, I wonder if… My size! Sold, 5 bucks.
I find my daughter, she doesn’t think it’s so exciting. This woman…. She’s just my type, I don’t have a type, but, yeah, she’s just my type. My daughter asks if I like something. Not really, you like this? The woman is standing right next to me. I don’t care. It’s a small store. I’m there with my daughter anyway. We walk away and my daughter is going through another rack. The woman is right on my elbow again, sifting through. I don’t know, I’m not out with my daughter Sunday afternoon trying to meet women in a thrift store. But the way things are happening. Whatever, stop being a stranger.
My daughter carefully checked out a bunch things but put them back and we were still talking about this and that. Then she grabbed a weird pair of pink pajama bottoms without looking really looking at them and said she was ready to go. Really? Okay. We went towards the register and my fantasy woman was walking out the door with her boyfriend. Okay, good.
We got out to the car and She puts Chris Cornell in the CD Player. I’m like, “Oh, come on!”, “What, I can’t like this?”, “No, I like him.” I know she is Retro but these two particular bands? She took a wrong turn and pulled into a trailer community to go back. I told her she was going to get a ticket because the people put up a sign saying it is electronically surveilled by police. Like people are dying to go into their dump. She said, like it’s illegal to get lost.
We drove past the place and I asked her if I should start playing bingo? “NO! You’re old but you’re not a hundred!” I know, I’m not going to start playing bingo, I just mean, I’m too old to hang out with the people I want and too young for bingo and I don’t want to hang out in a bar with people my age who also have a drinking problem. I had fun in the thrift store. Did you see anyone like me in there? So, lot’s of old people shop in thrift stores. I know, but you know?
Started talking about coffee and other until we got back to my place. I told her thanks so much for taking me out on the town. I am so happy now. Of course I told her I love her.
Later her mom texted, She is so happy right now. I told her what I texted her yesterday and why. She stresses herself out so much, I just want her to give herself some credit. She does all the right things. We don’t put any pressure on her to get the best grades or anything. I know, me too.
The reason I freaked out when she quit her job wasn’t because oh no she’ll be whatever? It’s no big deal, she’s just a kid. It’s because working in a thrift store was her first choice. That’s what she likes. Her favorite part was dressing the mannequins. She just didn’t like the people being assholes to each other. Every business is around here is begging to hire people for more money and set your own hours. She doesn’t want to work at McDonald’s or the grocery store. I don’t want to tell her that is what most jobs are like.
She has just always had a strong sense of self and what she likes or not and what she thinks is right and wrong. When she was in first grade they had a halloween parade at school. That morning her mom had 2 costumes for her to choose from and she would not do it. She pitched a fit! Her mom gave up and sent her to school. When she picked her up after the little parade, she asked, “Did you feel weird being the only kid without a costume?” She said, “But mama, I was wearing my hair clip, I never wear my hair clip. That was my costume.”