Today I was planning on doing a food post with Finn. However, when lunch time came I thought a tutorial on a Turkey and Cheddar sandwich was pretty mundane.
1. Toast some good bread.
2. Wash and slice some veggies.
3. Slice up some good cheese
4. Smear on your favorite condiment. (we prefer mustard)
5. Pile up all the ingredients, along with the meat if you swing that way. Which we do.
6. If it's for Finn cut it into small triangles. Otherwise the flavor of the whole sandwich is compromised.
7. Now you have a perfectly legit sandwich. Stuff it in your face.
Seriously, who can't do that?
Unfortunately, that is not the question. More accurately it's not, who can't, it's who won't.
Thank you for the (cough,cough) segue, noble sandwich........... And, begin rant.
I took the boys to a school sponsored Lazer Tag event last night. Since Lindsay was working I had to fly solo. You can always pick me out at these events. I am the lone Dad who is actually playing the games, while nervously looking over his shoulder for the inevitable. Constantly moving, hoping to avoid being cornered by "that" parent. More often than not, it's another Dad that tries to strike up the conversation. I can't really blame them, it is purely an obligation to curiosity. At least that's what I tell myself . Whatever the reason, the conversation is always the same, and it starts one of two ways exclusively:
1. Hey, Pal/Bro/Buddy/Chief/Sport/Boss, this your little guy?
Why yes, this is my child. I know it must be difficult to distinguish me as another parent since I have chosen blue jeans to pair with my leather jacket (which I might add, is appropriately snug) instead of the more widely accepted name brand workout pants you have chosen for yourself. I am all but certain that my youthful appearance (which they say I will appreciate it later in life) has led you to believe that there is a wide enough age gap between us that you've deemed it acceptable to address me in such a way. Unfortunately, you are mistaken. We are most likely close enough to the same age that were you to speak to me in this way while not in the presence of children I would give you that head-butt you are obviously overdue for. But I digress, I kind of like Lazer tag.
2. Nice tats! Who does your ink?
Oh, where to begin? Really, I could just say. "Actually, I don't have any Tats. I do however, have Tattoos. Here is the card of the Artist that does my work." I suppose the gritting of my teeth is often mistaken as a smile as they proceed to show me the remnants of an early 90's Spring Break. I will smile and nod, and discuss strategies on how to incorporate little Billie's birth-date into a faded tribal armband. "Why yes, I bet that would look really sweet"!
If I have not had the opportunity to escape by this point, like clockwork the next stage of the conversation begins.
"So what do you do, ya know, for work?"
Such a loaded question. I am certain that you have gathered from my appearance that I do not spend my days shuffling papers. "Well, I am a professional bike mechanic."
I've done it for almost 16 years now so I usually start answering the followup questions before they even ask them. "Bicycle, not Motorcycle" and "Yes, I do wear those tight shorts". Sometimes you are even lucky enough to be treated to some off color joke about Lance Armstrong's lone Testicle. Man, that never gets old! If I am feeling particularly punchy sometimes I will answer their inquiry with "Chef". Just like Bike Mechanic, there is a momentary glazed look where I wait until I'm certain they are ready. Like before, I counter before they even throw a punch. My favorite is "BAM". And then they say "Oh, I love Emeril" and then I say "Fuck You". No, not really. I usually reciprocate the gesture and ask about them (they love this part). Really, I am totally enthralled with Mortgage Brokering and Accounting or the occasional Lawn Care professional.
I suppose I'm coming off as a huge prick who is totally anti-social. I sincerely hope that isn't totally true. The problem I have with these interactions, especially now that Gavin is getting older and they are becoming more frequent.; is that being in this environment exposes the way I imagine their time outside of these innane social settings to be. You know, time spent at home. Don't get me wrong, I don't think these are bad people. Do they make bad fashion choices? Yes. Do they annoy me to the point that I wish that it was an amateur MMA event instead of Lazer tag. Also yes. But do I think for one second that these people go home and beat their children while tending bathtubs of homemade amphetamines? Probably not. What I do know is this; from listening to these people speak it's pretty clear that these little events are the only time they even kind of interact with their brood. It is sad and frustrating to see the situation for what it is. Real Midwest life. Choosing not spend this time with the kids that they've barely see all week, to instead puff out their chests and piss on every tree in sight. The small things are cursory to the big picture. And that's pretty damn sad. Sad, because I know that all those little things are the only things that kids will remember. Things like Turkey Sandwiches cut into the smallest triangles humanly possible. Yeah, things like that.