Today driving to work I saw a middle school girl who was — without meaning to in the least — providing a perfect case study in how not to face your morning.
Here’s the deal:
It’s a beautiful June morning and she’s outside in a t-shirt & shorts. She’s 12 and it’s summertime. Life, I imagine, is her oyster. Skipping might be an appropriate physical expression of her comparative stress level at this moment, but she is not skipping. She’s not happy about where she’s going (or where she’s been), and as she schleps across the street with a sagging backpack following behind her, she practically leaves cartoon-squiggly anger lines in her dust. Her untamed tween-fro bounces all around her face, which she points downward with all her might. Her mouth has called in backup and her entire head is now a scowl.
I felt a little sorry for her — who knows what kind of hardships this kid might face at home or school. But I also had to giggle at her chubby, frizzy, grumpy slump.
I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT WHERE I AM GOING, her whole being says to the world.
And yet you’ll get there anyway, the world replies.
What my laptop sees every day.
This afternoon at work I rearranged my desk. I was the only one in the office after lunch, and I took the opportunity to put a little grunt work toward eliminating some grumpiness of my own.
I’ve heard that AA says you have to change your playground in order to change your habits. Today I moved around my monkey bars. Rearranging furniture, de-cluttering piles. These can be detoxing activities, no matter what your addiction.
Thanks, midtown middle school girl. You helped me clean up my playground today. I hope you find yours again soon. It’s summer after all, and you’re too young to be so good at schlepping.
Hey, you guys! It’s officially summer. Pineapple Whip is out and June is here. Please enjoy this super-long classic musical video to get you in the mood:
My brother’s birthday is June 1, the kick-off to the summer birthday season (which includes mine on July 5, whatever whatever). Daniel’s turning 33.
Very very grownup we are. (So much that he was excited to catch the new South Park after our family bday dinner at Maria’s. Love it.)
Haters gon' hate.
I was thinking about the many important lessons I have gleaned from Daniel over the years:
→Don’t wear red socks. Just, ever.
→Chew with your mouth closed. Just, always.
→Learn all you can.
→The bitches who are mean to you in middle school won’t matter in 10 years.
→But being a smart kid will pay off eventually.
→50% of what I know about music: Nirvana to Miles Davis.
→I had my first white russian ever, while watching The Big Lebowski, one time when my parents were out of town. This was my big-brother college preview, to teach me to be smart with alcohol. (Enough years have passed that I’m happy to make this public. Also, I was always smart with alcohol in college. Too smart. So. Statute of limitations.) This is the best story.
→He also warned me to stay away from the KA house, which I did. Until I dated the house director at age 25. Some lessons you have to learn for yourself…
→Try something new in your 30s. My brother discovered he’s a rock star by starting a band with his friends, though he never really thought it would go anywhere. Now The Jakebrakers have a live CD and play all over town. And they’re awesome. They have groupies.