Monday, March 28, 2005

No Pressure

Do you ever get to a point in your life where you're comfortable with who you are? 'Cause I think I have. And then this happens.

The other day, I'm standing in the kitchen talking with my dad and he tells me I need a girlfriend. I laughed and asked why. He then said 'cause I need a wife. All of this because I need to have kids. And now we're down to it. Grandkids.

My father is a man of declining health. He is the reason that I would vote for any candidate promising real health care reform. I mean real reform, not just a campaign speech that would get votes. I think I'd need a guarantee. About 7 years ago, dad had quad bypass surgery and was deemed disabled and unable to continue working for the railroad. However, he was never granted full disability. Flash forward a few years... my mother divorces him, leaving him without any health insurance whatsoever. Thus, despite the fact that he is a diabetic with an obvious heart problem, he refuses to visit a doctor under most circumstances. Wouldn't you if you had no way to pay for it?

Last summer, he finally reached a point where he needed to see a doctor and my sister and I forced him to go. After spending two weeks in the hospital (a bill which cannot be paid), he came home with a permanent oxygen apparatus tethering him to the house. Why do I go into this detail after the "I need a girlfriend" story? Because I think the reasoning behind this sudden interest in my love life is his fear of not being able to see his own grandchildren.

I don't like to think about my dad in terms of his health. But it's always there, looming in the back of my mind. I know that things are not great for him, but he has seemed to be okay recently. Why the sudden urge to have grandkids? Do I need to feel this pressure? And now I can't help but worry about my dad and his state of mind.

So maybe I should start dating. I figure the first step toward this process would be gaining the ability to meet women. For example, I usually make a Sheetz run on my way to work every night. I grab a newspaper and a Coke, pay and leave. So often I will see gorgeous women in there, probably from the local college that's just up the road. They're standing in there alone with no rings on that important left handed finger. And do I speak up? No.

I'm not sure what it is. I guess that being in the presence of a woman that I'm attracted to is like being exposed to kryptonite. And in this case, we'll just say that my power is the ability to string together thoughts and phrases into coherent sentences. Usually what does come out is some kind of gibberish that only small children and possibly raccoons can understand. Any suggestions? That's what the comments section is for. Please, share.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Waxing Nostalgic

Do you ever wish you could go back and do it all over again? It really doesn't matter when or what. Is there a point in your life that you would like to go back to, having the knowledge that you have today, and do something different?

I asked myself this question today as I drove by my high school. I graduated back in '98 and I haven't looked back. I hated high school. I was nobody in high school. I had no identity. I was an average student who didn't play sports and had very few friends. I suppose more people thought of me than I know, but for the most part, I was unpopular among the "in-crowd."

I take some of that back. I didn't hate high school. I just loved college so much more that looking back high school seemed miserable. But as I drove by Patrick Henry High and saw the construction of the new super high school building I was reminded of days gone by. Simpler times when my 11th grade decades project seemed like it would end me. I found myself being flooded by memories, good and bad.

So what would I do differently? For starters I'd have tried a lot harder in my classes. At some point in high school I realized that I could pass with C's without trying. Maybe if I'd have put forth some kind of effort I'd have gotten A's.

Next, I would definitely have a lot more confidence in a lot of areas of my life. College showed me who I am as a person. I found my identity. I didn't peak in high school like a lot of people tend to do. No, I never became an athlete or a super-genius. But I became comfortable with who I am. I'd like to be the person I am now, but back as a freshman in high school. That would invariably lead to differences in the way I handle myself and the people around me.

Third, would I ask out that girl? You know the one I'm talking about. The one that gets placed up on the pedestal. The one that movies immortalize as the girl that the geeky guy had a crush on for 4 years but never developed the nerve to do anything about it. I definitely had one of those. I haven't seen her since graduation, but every now and then I wonder where her life has led her today. Maybe I'll come back to her sometime. I think she may deserve her own entry.

I never answered my last question. Would I ask her out? Probably not. Look at the title of my blog. "The Single Guy." I mean, here I am 7 years after high school and still single. This means that even the person I am now would not have the guts to ask out the crush girl from the 9th through 12th grades.

The point of all of this is to say that yes, I would do things differently. For the most part. But honestly who wants to go through all of that again? Growing up was hard enough the first time. Who wants to learn those lessons all over again. I know I certainly don't want to take driver's ed. again. However, I could avoid that accident I had junior year. Yeah, stuff like that would be nice.