Alma Mater

So, there we are on vacation in Charleston, the Holy City- a nickname we are challenging arduously at a popular watering hole, with delicious food to boot.

college t-shirt

When They arrive.  You know the type- the couple who met in college, an experience so transformative that they have looked the same for the past twenty years: college t-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps being de rigueur no matter the occasion.  And of course, here come the accessories: sad little kids wearing the same school colors, hoping in their heart of hearts to be accepted to mommy and daddy’s university- someday.  The Nerderati have landed!

I look over at our kids, sporting the quirky outfits they have chosen for themselves- no pressure to match from us!- and am encouraged.  I long ago gave up the absurd notion that these people are predictable combinations of us, their parents- where did they come from, for chrissakes?!?!  Anyway, I hear the SAT is out of vogue nowadays… or something… so, that’s a comfort.

This is where positive negativism kicks in: if you don’t push the whole nonsensical college thing, you can only be rewarded with a fortuitous university acceptance- one is plenty!  I love a windfall, which I would not get if I were banking on things, like educated offspring.  And no, I’m not saying discourage college- no, no.  I’m saying, like with all the most important things in life- emotions, relationships, your children’s future- just don’t bring it up!  It’ll sort itself out, and if not, there is no one to blame… and don’t buy that guilty for reasons of “omission” stuff- bovine scatology all the way!

So, as I watch the goofball family in the booth next to us, emblazoned in matching garish colors, I can only hope those two boys get into that damned university.



Positive Negativism

It has been a while, friends, and to my avid fans who have been too polite to overwhelm my inbox with pleas and complaints, I say “thank you!”   In fact, your respectful complete radio silence has been an inspiration.  Truly.


I have been on a bit of a hiatus developing my new philosophy that will have Sartre rolling in his grave- if it weren’t for that pipe he keeps getting stuck on… not to mention that helluva lazy eye.   How did that man have such mad game with the ladies- especially with lines like “hell is other people?”  I mean, “the booze tab is other people’s” would have swung my vote.  But I digress….

As a parent of two children and the owner of two unwieldy jack russells, I have found moments every day to contemplate my new method of reasoning (one that has, unbeknownst to me, fueled my responsible lying movement from the very beginning).  While showering, driving aimlessly around the block, and yes, hiding in the pantry, I have carved out the time to mull this over à la Kierkegaard- albeit with a lot less churchin’, and yet ironically, a bit more “spirits,” as it were.

What am I talking about?  Positive negativism!  Just drink it in, people.  Herein lies the answer to approaching life in this fast paced, morally relativist, victimhood-obsessed world we inhabit.  Positive negativism celebrates that nothing is fair, everything sucks, and that more importantly, your children are decidedly not college material.  But fear not, there is a silver lining: serendipity!  That nickle you found on the ground? After a good thousand of those, you’re on your way to the bar!  That “C-” your kid brought home in math?  A few more lucky hits like that and he’ll be outta that “D” slump in no time!  And no, I’m not advocating that crazy “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” nonsense.  And certainly not that banal “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  That would be plagiarism!  If life gives you lemons, you’ll have to suck hard- but reach for the tequila bottle and pray you didn’t polish it off the last time your college roommate was in town.

The heart of positive negativism is pretty simple- whatever comes your way, just deal with it!  It can’t get any worse, can it?  Of course it can, fool!  But at some point you have to hit rock bottom, right?  So chill out, everyone.  2018 is going to be a great year once you strap on your big girl adult diapers and stop watching the news.

Seriously, stop.tequila