In most things that I get wrong, I damn myself saying that I am now old enough to know better.
The thing is–I was probably old enough to know better as a 5-year-old. Something happened. There was a great forgetting. Now, I wallow and flail in darkness–but I’m not alone.
I think as children we know we need security, attachment, affection, fun. Those are the most important things for humans. It takes years of adult life to forget those things. We try to get the same feelings from work or our self-created identities and wonder why it’s not working. We have forgotten how to be happy. We have forgotten what works.
I think most of us have innate senses regarding what works and what doesn’t, what’s fair and what isn’t, what’s basically important and what isn’t.
Then, somehow that gets covered up, set aside or forgotten as we age. Hemingway invoked us to develop a bullshit dectector. I think it’s there from the start. We adults need to be brave enough to uncover it and dust it off.
Some of the most incisive ridicule I’ve felt has come from those who say I’m simplisitic. But really, what does technical analysis add to a statement like “If you screw a guy on the first date, he probably isn”t going to call you for a second”? Or “No matter what the new ‘hypereconomy’ is, it depends on profit and loss?”
And yet in certain quarters these statements get me marginalized as a sort of quaint Mayberry character with dated views of sexuality and business.
Then the girl’s “newfound love” doesn’t call and the internet-based subscription-model self-guided pet grooming and transmission-rebuilding service fails, taking millions in startup funds with it.
And what do I do? Kick back with my feet on the old potbelly stove and whittle, that’s what I do. Hey-yup.
But I’m not immune to bullshitting myself. I’m in San Diego now. I thought I’d save a good deal of money by renting out an RV from a new-age therapist–one she keeps in her front yard as a sort of b-and-b. It’s a Toyota: Yeah, one of those Toyota pickup-based things from the 1980s.
I don’t fit in it well. It lists to one side. My kid thinks it’s great because he’s never seen a thing that looks like a car that has electrical outlets to use for charging his iPad. I like it only because it’s the cheapest place to stay that still keeps us within 15 minutes of downtown and the shore. I kind wonder if I shouldn’t have just paid for a Hilton. Or a Motel 6.
But I find I just can’t do things the normal way. In the back of my mind I still believe in Santa. I still believe in some real bargains out there. I still believe in getting stuff for free.
I never learn.
I still believe in fun, I guess.