Thursday, July 21, 2016

I got troubled thoughts and the self-esteem to match

I have this theory, (okay it may have been Jerry Seinfeld's) but I've recently put it to the test. 

So if Jerry's right, we will see about 5 attractive people out of every 100 we encounter. 

My six year old has summer camp at the rec center, so we bring her there every morning at 9am on our way to work. Wifey walks her down the block while I sit in the car rocking out to Fall Out Boy. At least 20 adults pass by every morning. I'm usually singing this song while they pass so I'm not really counting or noticing anyone specific.

Except...there's this one mom who lives on that street, and she walks her two little girls down to the rec center like everyone else. But she stands out cause she's tan and jacked. Like, I'm parked across the street from this woman and I can see the definition in her arms as she holds hands with her little ones. I've nicknamed her "Muscle Mom". 

Well, yesterday we got there a little later than usual. And as my girls are getting out of the car a van parks across the street from us and a tan, buff looking lady gets out. She gets her kids out of the backseat, bulging out her calves and shoulders, and I stop rocking out for a second. Muscle Mom doesn't drive her kids to camp. And she's not blonde. And one of her daughters is older looking. 

Wait a second...could there be two Muscle Moms? I sure hope not. I can't handle one.

Let me sidebar for a second. 

My wife and I are overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy. We have crappy clothes, we barely scrape by on part-time salaries, and we don't even have smartphones. Everything we own - from our TV to our car to our computer - was bought by our parents. Our house is a mess. We don't eat dinner at the dinner table. We don't sleep in the same room. We don't have a bed for our four year old. Our kids are not learning any healthy habits. They get way too much screen time and not enough outside playtime. Our backyard is a disaster. 

Meanwhile, this woman clearly has her shit together. Her husband isn't sitting in the car singing emo songs. He's probably working full time and making enough money so Muscle Mom can stay at home, take care of their kids, and sculpt that killer physique. I'd bet anything she's got a hot wardrobe, a smart phone, and a thousand followers on Instagram. She and her husband are most definitely winning at life, and I still haven't learned how to play the game.

So that slaps me in the face every morning. And then my wife comes back and I try to hide my disappointment (not in her specifically but in my entire life to this point) as she gets in the car. And then I have to turn down the music, which is just as deflating.

Anyway, that's one.

So then I go to work. Not many people there, and no one particularly attractive (though I must say our receptionist looks damn good for a 60 year-old grandma). So we're 1 for 30 at this point, until I ride the bus home. Another dozen or so on the bus with me, never anyone decent looking. By then I've seen about 45 people and only one of them is indisputably hot.  

But then we drive through downtown Westfield. There are always at least two to three attractive women round the main streets, and sometimes as many as five. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous blonde walking her dog. She was younger, probably college age, tan (but not too tan) and fit (but not too fit). In other words: exactly my type. 

That's two.

When I got home I took my girls to Friendly's for a late lunch and ice cream. The takeout window was closed and so we went inside. Stood there for a while and waited. My four year old decided she wanted to sit down and eat, and since we couldn't get ice cream to go I thought that was the best option.

It was after 4pm, so the place was practically empty. Except...

There was a family sitting in the back corner of the restaurant. Mom, dad, two little boys younger than my kids. And I'm there by myself with my girls, trying to cheer up my six year old who was pouting because she only wanted to eat ice cream in the nearby park. But I can't stop glancing over at this woman in the back corner. 

She looked a bit younger than me, maybe 28 or 30, and frickin' flawless - not in an impossibly beautiful way but stunning all the same. Her hair and makeup and clothes were on point. And her man was sorta okay looking, bit of a beer gut, three day stubble. He definitely married up. 

He was on the phone the whole time, and he had this scruffy trucker voice. Naturally the wife was taking care of the kids, and she had a soothing, feminine voice. And In my head I'm thinking, if that was my wife I wouldn't spend the whole meal on the damn phone. I'd put a little effort into my appearance and I'd pay attention to her. But then I thought, he's probably doing work things and providing for his beautiful family, and what are you doing? Not enough to wife up a hottie like that, that's for damn sure.

Anyway, that was three. And I'm going to assume there were an equal amount of attractive men I didn't notice (and I don't count trucker dude) so maybe Jerry Seinfeld was right. Five percent of the population is unquestionably attractive -- though, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Which leads me to Leslie Jones. Y'all know about Leslie Jones? She's one of the few funny cast members of Saturday Night Live, and she does this recurring bit where she flirts with Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost:

I happen to think she's funny. Her shtick is that she's a big black lady and she uses that in her comedy cause that's what comedy is all about. Self-deprecation. There are very few top comedians that most of us would consider physically attractive, maybe 5 out of every 100 (off the top of my head I can think of Nikki Glaser...and that's it.)

A lot of comedians get heckled. It comes with the territory. But Leslie Jones has been straight up bullied over...something. It could be because she's starring in the Ghostbusters reboot, but I don't see Melissa McCarthy or Kristen Wiig getting shit for it.

No, her crime appears to be that she's big and black and not physically attractive to whatever trolls inhabit the Twitterverse. And so some asshats with no life and no conscience whatsoever decided to terrorize her for it, calling her an "ape", a "gorilla", and much worse.

It turns out famous people have feelings, too. Leslie Jones fought the good fight as long as she could, but decided it wasn't worth it in the end.

I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart.All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong

The main doucheball behind all this bullying was banned for life from Twitter. Naturally, he blamed the liberal media for being too PC and infringing on his First Amendment right to spew hateful, racially-charged venom free speech. 

Yep, that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind - dehumanizing black people (Okay, bad example.) 

And this is unquestionably how we end up with Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate. 

Look, I don't want to get too political on here, but the main reason I'm a progressive liberal is because I have empathy for other people. And I have empathy because I was bullied. 

I can relate to Leslie Jones. She's a middle-aged African-American woman on television. But I can relate to her.

I cannot relate to Muscle Mom. I just can't. She might as well be an alien from another planet. Maybe she's a very nice person and an awesome mom who can manage mom things and wife things and maybe a job around her fitness lifestyle. I don't know how that's possible. I wish I did. 

hahahaha not in my house, honey

I can't relate to most Republicans. The party of Jesus and personal responsibility and constitutionalism and small government sounds nice in theory. But this regime seems to be about two things: (white) nationalism and violent, unapologetic hatred.

And that was before The Donald ran for president. 

You can say what you want about Hillary Clinton - she's corrupt, greedy, untrustworthy... whatever. I get it. Democrats are no angels. But Hillary has empathy. And I don't want my kids to grow up in a fascist Trumpian dictatorship.

Sometimes I feel like I'm just not meant for this world. I get emotional over everything. Too easily defeated by adversity and opposition. I can't parent now, and I'm powerless to stop my girls from being bullied on social media in about five to seven years. I want them to be kind and caring, but I worry that they will inherit my extreme sensitivity. 

I clearly underachieved in life. I never learned how to drive a car, or the importance of hard work and saving money and planning for the future. I never learned the value of self-care, working out and eating healthy. I just thought that lifting weights was something bullies did to beat the crap out of people who didn't lift, and I vowed to never become one of them. 

or one of them

And if I could talk to My Favorite Girl I'd ask her how she can love Jesus and have empathy and be a Republican. I'd ask her how she managed to go to school and go to work and have a social life and find time to work out. I'd ask her how in the world she could be active on social media without losing faith in humanity. I'd ask her how she can be so beautiful and so modest.

I can't quite relate to My Favorite Girl. But she fills my heart with hope.



  1. Okay, it's interesting how you went from attractive people and your lifestyle to Trump. Here's what I have to tell you as the mom of two adults: Clean up your house, cook a decent dinner, and sit at the table with your kids while you eat.

    I'm not the most attractive person around, and I no longer have muscles. But my kids grew up with an ordinary meal and pleasant conversation. Supper can be as simple as a piece of baked chicken, a steamed vegetable, and a potato or a roll. Instead of looking at the guy on his phone and thinking if you had his wife you'd pay attention to her all the time, pay attention to your wife. Ask her if she'd like to go for a walk with you or sit outside and talk after the kids go to bed. My intention is not to beat up on you. My intention is to say that you can make a couple of small changes in your life. You don't have to relate to everything about successful people.

    I'm very sensitive, so I pretty much stay away from social media. Life is tough, and I think you're making it tougher by refusing to be successful in a couple of small ways. My daughter was bullied horribly when she was young. I stood up for her by insisting that teachers and the principal of the school do right by her. When she was in the fifth grade, she was treated so badly that I kept a journal about everything to which she was subjected. When her teacher and the principal didn't protect her from the bullies, I went to the head of elementary education at the school board with my journal and told her about every incident. The teachers and the principal got their asses kicked, and my daughter's life got a little better. You can write. If you feel bad, then write about it. Writing is great therapy. It got me through my divorce, which occurred after 30+ years of marriage. Write about your kids. Write about how you think they feel and what you can do for them. Maybe you need to find a free clinic and see a therapist. Maybe an antidepressant would help you.

    I detest Donald Trump, but I can relate to him because he's so much like my ex-husband. He should not be our president. If you don't want him to be president, then writing this post is a great first step. Make sure you set a good example for your children by voting and talk to them at dinner about why you choose to vote the way you do.

    I don't want you to think that I believe in simple solutions and inspirational sayings. Simple solutions don't exist and inspirational sayings are crap. But you can do a couple of things to improve your life, your wife's life, and that of your children. And be sure to vote.

    I hope you don't think I'm a know-it-all bitch. I truly want to help.


    1. Thank you for this Janie. You did help a lot. I am trying to stay positive and fight the stream of negativity and despair. I cant just lay down and give up while my kids are still learning and growing. Trying to make little changes every day with the little influence and control that I have. Therapy is definitely on my mind. Soon I hope.

      Thanks again! :-)

  2. You covered quite the gamut with your post today, but I'm glad I stopped by to read it. Great stuff, my blogging friend. Keep fighting the good fight, and you will get there. At least you recognize and are doing something about it. Most people just blame it on bad luck or some other factors instead of trying to make their situation better. And Nikki Glaser is hot. Take care.

    1. I do tend to write very long posts at times, with multiple tangents that I try to connect... its a style I enjoy but it takes forever for others to read and doesn't get nearly as many comments as a 2-paragraph post.

      I am trying not to let myself be defeated by the world, or depression, or the influence of others. It's hard but there is a way through and hopefully I'll find it.

      Thanks for reading!