There are no friendships after your 20’s, just a series of fundraisers.
Vince called. When I answered the phone, he was already laughing, as if I’d been avoiding him. He was right. I was avoiding him.
Mom invited me to dinner. After we ordered, she turned to me and asked what I thought about The Democratic National Convention. I shrugged and reached for my beer.
My brother walked into the deli in a particularly good mood. He’s been in a particularly good mood a lot lately, which is nice to see, particularly nice. He sat down to work on a few recipes. Then he turned to me and said he didn’t know why everyone was down on Barack’s speech. He liked it. He liked it a lot. I nodded. I listened to what he had to say. Then turned my attention back to the riddle of how to staff a Jewish Deli for Rosh Hashanah.
Woke up at 5:03AM. Checked my email. There was a message from Prop8 Andy, “Yo. So what’s up? I hope you found a man to share the summer. Any Podcasts?” I logged off, walked outside and watched the sunrise over Lake Michigan.
Got to work early. Turned on the lights. Ran the numbers. Turned on the computer to browse news websites, looking for something to pull me in: The Daily Beast, The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post.
Finally, an article written by Amy Sue pulled me in. She wrote a piece about her ex-husband blowing it in their marriage when he stopped finding her attractive, since she gained weight, a lot of weight. The more weight she gained, the less he seemed interested in touching her, if for no other reason than to poke at her ever expanding hips, taunting her instead of turning her on. Finally, Amy Sue took a good look at her reflection and decided she deserved a man who loved her, all of her.
I logged-in, to post a comment.
“When did it become okay to get married and let yourself go? When did it become okay to ignore the signals from your spouse? When did turning someone on with the genuine tingle of attraction get replaced by the phony wood of Viagra?
This blog was written from the Poor-Me Perspective, celebrated by a nation of obese pity party champions. Listen, it’s your job to take care of yourself. It’s your job to keep yourself in fighting shape.
It’s your job to be attractive: even if you’re married, especially if you’re married.
Your spouse doesn’t want you to give-up. And neither does your reflection. Stop whining on a blog. Stop trolling for comments which reinforce your bad behavior. Hit the gym. Hit the gym hard. Staying in shape takes effort. Staying in shape takes more than Lipitor and a bunch of enablers hiding behind positive comments on a blog.
Snap out of it, Amy Sue. When did it become okay to roll your eyes at effort?”
My comment is still pending approval. So far, it hasn’t been published. I’m glad. Who the hell am I to say what makes a marriage work? It strikes me everyone is bullshitting so they can eat cake. They take a vow they don’t mean. They take a vow, for better or worse. But what they really mean is this: for better or else.
There’s bitterness in my soul. It’s starting to come to the surface. I need to keep quiet, maybe it’ll pass, maybe no one will notice, maybe.
I worked in advertising for 11-years. I’d still be working in advertising, but the last boss I worked for stole my best client, a client I brought to the agency, personally. He fired me in the worst economy since 1938. I couldn’t find work. I couldn’t get back in the game. I couldn’t forgive myself for not being able to find work and get back in the game. Then, on September 11th, we got attacked. My life in New York City was over. I just didn’t know it was over. At least, I didn’t admit it to myself, not for 4-years. I was walking around New York City as a freelancer. Incidentally, freelancer is another word for zombie.
What I’m saying is this: I got lucky. If I’d stayed in the world of advertising, I’d be a know-it-all who thought he knew-it-all. Instead, I’m a know-it-all who knows he doesn’t know shit.
Minute to minute, I change my mind, depending on which customer is yelling at me, depending on what they need to hear to get them to stop bashing me for some benign infraction that was made by one of my servers at the deli, and they find it worthy of murdering my soul like I’m the doctor who misdiagnosed their son instead of the deli owner with a server who, for one second, let it show that she wasn’t “passionate about her career.”
Maybe it has something to do with it not being a career so much as a crummy job, which went on for too long, so long, in fact, she forgot to look up one day, and do something about it. Now she’s stuck. And so am I. We’re stuck. We’re in the deli, at 6:42AM, and there’s a customer who thinks “the customer’s always right” gives them the right to tell me I got it all wrong and “fuck this place.”
I think Barack Obama gave a focus group speech. I think it killed him to do it. But he had to do it. He knew he had to do it. Not only to win a 2nd term. But to prove to his vice president he could swallow the same medicine he’s been prescribing. I think Bill Clinton’s speech should be a taught in every high school north and south of the Mason Dixon Line. I loved Michelle Obama’s red dress. I loved Michelle Obama’s silver nail polish. I loved Michelle Obama’s speech. I’ve never before seen a “First Lady” who actually showed me what the title means. I thought the Democrats finally had a convention where they came out swinging: Gabby Giffords restored dignity to the Pledge Of Allegiance, Joe Biden testified convincingly, John Kerry didn’t botch his jokes, Sandra Fluke made all of us proud, Elizabeth Warren let out a mighty roar and took a decisive step toward winning the senate seat left vacant by the “Lion of the Senate,” Deval Patrick knocked the ball so far out of the park that The Ghost Of Babe Ruth asked him to autograph the ball.