Dec 21

Do you have an arch-nemesis?  Do certain people upset you just by the fact that they are alive?  Do you find yourself in a social situation and come to the distinct conclusion that a certain person is ruining your social experience just by the mere fact that he or she is breathing the same air as you?  No?  Well, maybe it’s just me.  I tend to be a little odd in that way.  “That way”… hahaha… like that’s the only one!  No — I’m odd in a multitude of ways.  The topic of this post is, however, going to be my arch-nemesis.

I do not have a single arch-nemesis.  No, I have the privilege of having several arch-nemeses.  Yes — I had to look up the plural for nemesis, and yes — it is nemeses.  Just because I didn’t know this does not make me less of a blogger.  The fact that I’m admitting it may in fact mean that my grammar is derelict amongst the uppity-ups in the blogosphere, but that brings the point full circle to the purpose of this post.  The uppity-ups are my arch-nemeses.

What do I mean by “uppity-ups”?  One may think that an uppity-up is someone who looks down on others through some misconception that said someone has about being better than those he or she looks down on.

No.

My definition is based more on my feelings and how I think that person feels about their relative importance to society.  I am most likely completely incorrect in my feelings and thinking, but this is how I judge someone’s arch-nemesis-worthiness.

Confused?  Yeah, I may be too.  Let me give an example.

Let’s pretend that last night I went to a choir concert.  Let’s pretend that I was at said concert with the wife for the purpose of viewing my oldest son sing with the choir.  Yes, he’s in the choir and no, he did not crash the concert in an attempt show off his singing ability.  He is his mother’s son as much as he is mine.  At this pretend concert, the wife and I enjoyed the experience and it was a fulfilling hour of musical entertainment.

Now, the pretend concert is over and my family and I are making our way from the auditorium to the parking lot.  This is when I start to spot them: my arch-nemeses.  First the shoe-store man and his wife.  I know that this man is a zillionaire because, if you are buying shoes in the panhandle of Nebraska, most likely, you are buying them from him.  Money is practically oozing out of this guy.  He doesn’t have a clue as to who I am, because… why would he?  Suddenly, it’s on!  And up-up-and-awaaaayyyy goes my paranoid mind:

This guy probably thinks he is better than me.  His wife think she is better than my wife.  Their kid thinks he is better than my kid.  Other people like Shoe-store Man’s family better than they like my family because the guy is a bazillionaire.

Other kids in school treat Shoe-store Man’s kid better than they treat my kid because Shoe-store Man is a quadrabazillionaire.  Shoe-store Man’s kid is going to have a better, more successful life than my kid because my kid has me for a father instead of my arch-nemesis.

My kid hates me and secretly wants Shoe-Store Man to adopt him!  My wife secretly desires an affair with Shoe-store Man because it is blatantly obvious that Shoe-store Man is a better provider for his family than I am.  Shoe-store Man is like seven-foot tall and attractive… and I am at 5’7″, fat and ugly… and I really can’t blame my wife for wanting to leave me for Shoe-store Man.  Shoe-store Man is destroying my family and robbing me of my life!

Shoe-store Man must DIE!!!

The wife asks if everything is okay.

“Are you kidding?!?” I seethe.  “Do you see that SOB and his wife, acting all like their better than us and crap?”

“What are you talking about?”  The concern in the wife’s voice is filtered out by the pure hatred in my soul.

“There,” I point, my entire body shaking as I try to aim my finger in the general direction of the shoe-store guy and his family.

“What about them?” asks the wife.

“They are ruining this for me!” I say through clenched teeth.

“What are they doing?” asks the wife.

“Can’t… can’t… can’t you see it?” I stammer.  “They’re… he is… tall… their net worth… and the smug… she looks so…designer clothes… AAUGH (because I may actually turn into Charlie Brown when I’m upset)THEY ARE RUINING THIS FOR ME!”

“I think you need to go to the car,” says the wife calmly.  She has seen me like this before.

I WILL!” I yell and then stomp off toward the parking lot once again.  I glare at shoe-store guy until he is out of my sight.

‘Don’t think I don’t know who you are, Shoe-store Man,’ I whisper to myself.  A small girl in pigtails with a lollipop in her mouth hears my whisper of rage and stares at me wide-eyed like I’m crazy.  I growl at her and she looks away.

And as I am about to exit the building, I see him.  A chiropractor, smiling as he mingles with the throbbing mass of after-concert crowd.  A chiropractor whom I suspect to be a multi-quadrabazillionaire.  The one who may very well be my arch-nemesis… The Chiropractor!

Hahaha… of course this is all an exaggeration (… or is it?).  None of this really happened (… or did it?).

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, so I tend to use mine whenever possible… not always in the most productive ways, but I’m using it.  I use it daily.  I’m using my mind to sniff out my arch-nemeses…

Dec 19

I recently had a guy from the church I go to invite me to participate in a mens support-group-type-thingie.  Having never been invited by much of anyone to participate in much of anything since moving to the wonderful panhandle of Nebraska, I was at first quite excited.  He explained to me that this would be a group of guys getting together once a week for a couple of hour shooting some hoops and, you know, just being there for each other if anyone needed some other guys to talk to about, you know, guy stuff.

What a spectacular idea!  I thought this sounded pretty cool, and I was stoked that this guy had thought of inviting me to participate!  I was stoked until he asked me the following:

“You are 40 or over, right?”

Oh crap.

“Yes, I’m 42,” I said, suddenly feeling a little nauseous.

“Great,” he said.  ”We’re doing this for guys 40 and over.  You know, the younger guys have other stuff they are involved in and support groups in place.  When you get to be our age, it’s harder to keep up with the young ones but all guys need a little male bonding.  We thought it would be pretty neato if a group of us older guys could hang out.”

Suddenly, my mind is racing.  ”Our age”… I believe this dude just turned 50.  All of a sudden “our age” is 50?  Crap.  ”Harder to keep up”… “older guys”… “neato”… I don’t remember anyone from my generation ever using stinking “neato” in daily conversation… am I starting to lose my memory?  All of a sudden I’m being asked to join a senior citizens’ group!  It’s almost like he just handed me the stinking senior discount card for Perkins and is asking me to join him and the other codgers for some pie and coffee at 4:30 in the stinking morning.  This is what I’m reduced to?!?

I’ve never really had a “group” that I fit in with here in the wonderland of Nebraska.  At 42, I feel like I may well be stuck in some sort of groupless vortex.  Those younger than me are either hanging out at the bars or doing the sports thing.  I’m not too keen on any kind of bar scene, and the thought of taking off my shirt for a pick-up game of shirts and skins makes me (and anyone who has seen me) have a little bit of throw-up-in-the-mouth action going on.  I don’t really hunt, and fishing is fun for about 15 minutes.  Driving for 8 hours to Lincoln for a Husker game — along with the 4 hours of the game itself and the 8-hour drive back… plus the cost of the ticket and travel — is time and money from a short, poor life that I would never be able to get back.   Willingly going to a Husker game would be kind of like paying the police $300 to spend the day in jail; it’s just not something I personally could do and still claim sanity.  I’m at an age and level in the local society where I really just don’t fit in with any group.

Many of the guys my age or older seem to be either:

A — of a higher social standing than me and/or making more money than me.

B — on foodstamps and welfare and happy as hell that they are living off of the taxes of others.

C — of a similar social standing and income to me, but they like spending their evenings and weekends at the bars or rooting for the Huskers.

C- — This is a subsection of C.  These are guys who are in pretty much the same crappy, sinking boat as me, but they have something aside  from work to latch onto.  They have their music, or they have their art or their hobbies.  They get together with a bunch of other geeks  once a month and play Dungeons and Dragons.  They have something in common with others that draws them into groups.

So, even though I may be resigning myself to the fact that I am approaching ancientness, I decide to be thankful that at least the old guys at my church are willing to invite me into their group.

“So, who all will be there?” I ask the inviter (who happens to own his own successful insurance agency).

He proceeds to tell me that there will probably be a couple of other successful business owners, a couple of dentists, a pastor, and other various successful guys.  Once again, I’m starting to doubt that I stand much of a chance of fitting in.

“And when do you meet?” I asked.

“Mondays, from 7 to 9 at night at the church,” he said.

“Oh… that’s too bad,” I said.  ”I’m a boy scout leader and we have troop meetings every Monday at 7.”

“Well, if you ever get a chance, try to make it,” he said.

“I will, ” I probably lied.

So on Monday nights, instead of hanging out with a bunch of good guys who will unwittingly make me feel even more down about my social lot in life, I’ll still be hanging out with the boy scouts.  Boy scouts are young and eager and full of optimism… and I have the responsibility of awakening them to the realities of life as I see them.  How’s that for hope for our future :D

preload preload preload