Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When you’re in a class and the instructor is dressed like a sock monkey

 FROM THE DESK OF DOCTOR B. D. SEPTIVE: The Self-Helpiest of all Self-Help Gurus
            Why are you here, in this class, with Mr. Tweed?  Why are you also wearing tweed?  And how much tweed does one really need?  I can understand a tweed jacket, it’s very professorial.  But tweed pants?  Tweed shoes?  Would it kill him to wear a solid colored suit once?
            It’s one thing to have a professor who is smoking a pipe, wearing a beard and a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows.  It’s another thing entirely to see him when he’s not wearing his beard and jacket.  Do you really think that beard’s a fake?  I’ll give you fifty bucks to yank on it like you’re six-years-old and he’s Santa.  You know you want to pull off that beard and, yet, you can’t.  So you have to ask yourself, “Why can’t I do it?  Why can’t I do what I want to do?”  Well, I’ll tell why.  Because, sometimes, what you want to do is highly inappropriate.  I’m not even going to bring up what happened with you and Lester in the catamaran. 
            So you have to ask yourself, “Why can’t I distinguish between what’s appropriate public behavior and what isn’t?  Was it my upbringing?  An influential teacher or coach?  Perhaps I should have turned down that invitation from the missionaries.” 
            Just the fact that you’re asking yourself these tough, thought provoking questions shows how much you’ve grown since page one.  Do I mean page one of this blog or page one of your life?  Only you can decide.  Because you already know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When you're eating Thanksgiving dinner with relatives you haven't seen in twenty years and after five minutes you realize why

Just who are you in this situation?  Are you 42-year-old Timmy sitting at the little table?  From the moment you walked in Aunt Priscilla and Uncle Puget treated you like the little boy who used to tie knots in his umbilical cord.  The fact that your mother (their sister) saved the cord gives you a taste of what you've been up against all these years.  It seems they have no clue as to what is normal but they're pretty sure you're not it.  That's rich coming from those two seeing as how your mother is sister to both of them.

Look at yourself, a divorced father of four and there you sit with all the other outcasts, watching the twins, Wanda and Sookie, stuff peas up their noses.  Never mind they learned the trick from you five minutes ago.  And never mind that they are also forty-two and have done a lot more unconventional things with legumes.  You have the pictures to prove it but that's not the point.

It's high time you stood up to Aunt Priscilla and told her you expect to be treated like an adult.  Tell her you're tired of always getting a plastic spork and nothing sharper than a banana.  Be assertive.  She will respect you for acting like a man.  And don't forget to ask nicely when you want her to cut up your meat.

As for Uncle Puget, you may never win him over.  How do you expect a 73-year-old with a plate in his head to understand what a kind and sensitive person you are?  He thinks being kind is when he finishes in the bathroom without using all the toilet paper.  Talking to him has always been a frustration for you, mostly because he keeps his hearing aid turned off.  Besides, all he ever wants to talk about is how French women have ruined the world with their hairy, smelly armpits. But that's who Uncle Puget is and he's proud of it.  So be proud of what you are and who you are.  Be yourself and stop worrying about it.  But keep asking yourself the tough questions.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  And why didn't I notice when somebody drank all the Grey Poupon?

Friday, November 4, 2011

When you’re watching wildlife at the wildlife sanctuary

 More from the desk of Doctor B. D. Septive -  the most self-helpiest of all self-help gurus
            So, who are you?  Are you that ape named Evelyn?  You’re a lot closer to being her than you are to being any other animal on the planet.  And I’m not so sure you can ride a bike any better than she can.  Are you the elephant with the big, floppy ears?  Or do people call you Dumbo for other, more obvious reasons?  Are you the male lion with the long, flowing mane?  If so, that means you are the King of Beasts and nobody wants to share a work cubby with a royal monster, especially one who will steal all the meat from the break room refrigerator. 
            But you are who you are and if you know who you are you will go a lot farther than if you don’t know.  So, embrace your beastliness.  If you like to burp loudly in public, go for it.  If you want to dance in the courtroom, be my guest.  If you want to drive a Hummer in the Earth Day parade that’s fine, just make sure your windshield washers are working because they’ll have to clean off all the yogurt people will throw at you.
            But why are you here at the wildlife sanctuary?  Were you forced to come by a friend or cellmate who takes delight in seeing wild animals up close?   Or are you here because this is the only place you can legally engage in your voyeuristic tendencies?  Oh, sure, you can people-watch at the park, the mall, or the school playground but, eventually, someone notices and you end up spending three hours explaining to the authorities why you keep pointing your long camera lens at anyone who is bending over.
            Is that who you want to be?   The joke of the neighborhood?  The suspicious character?  The pervert in the clown suit?  Don’t tell me.  Tell yourself.  If you have a good, solid relationship with yourself, a relationship with ample give and take, then you’re ready to engage in this conversation with yourself.  Remember, you can only find out who you are by asking the one person who knows and that’s you.