founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women
Content to be Nobody
Last Fall, even before the arrival of Omicron, the wife realized my social distancing funk was not dissipating like it did for most people we knew. She worried because when I returned home from work, I’d stopped scratching our new rescue dog, who faithfully waits for me on the front porch every night, and once inside, I didn’t want to come to the dinner table to eat … on Thursday nights, I stopped playing masked poker with the boys, but I explained to her the masks hid who was bluffing.
The wife sat me down and suggested that every night I simply disappear into the backyard and look up at the sky, or I quickly retreat into the bedroom to watch ESPN propping myself up in our bed eating cheese doodles … all of which is wife-speak for sucking your thumb. She also told me something I’ll never forget – that I was becoming content to be nobody.
I have to admit, when I first heard her say that, it felt like a low blow. It’s common knowledge that guys don’t deal well with low blows. Only recently, at one of our M.I.L.D.E.W. meetings, did I learn that women don’t deal well with low blows either.
The wife went further and said I was becoming idle and uninvolved. She called my condition EDF – the ‘eat, drink, and fart’ syndrome that many men experience in their mid-50’s … look, the wife and I met just after she graduated from Sarah Lawrence where she apparently majored in being right, so thirty-one years ago, I knew what I was getting into when I met her. Yes, I do fart a lot. I’m not sure any more than when we met … so that’s on her in my book.
There’s this guy in group who I listen to a lot. This week, Jeremiah asked the therapist – “Does marriage always have to be a journey?” He added, “I don’t know about the rest of you guys, I know they’re supposed to be good for you, but I’m tired of journeys. I mean, my wife and I are good – last time I looked we’re still married. It’s just that everything in life these days has to be a goddamned journey … and that’s beginning to piss me off.”
Jeremiah might be unemployed, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t intend to ever over-exert himself, but the man has a point. Take the journey we all have at M.I.L.D.E.W. dealing with women. We’ve tried our best to understand what women want and when they want it, and for most of us, in spite of our efforts, we find ourselves continually coming up short. I asked the therapist “Is it us, or is it them?” She replied something like marriage is complicated and it takes two to tango. For that she went to graduate school?
So being a nobody – the more I thought about it, the more I realized as long as I bring home the bacon, like my father did, and his father before him, I’m trying to be honest here, but being a nobody – the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t seem like such a bad thing … as men get older, the less chores, the less pressure to be a man/ the better chance of not having a heart attack … so I’m thinking to myself, why bother overachieving when you can live longer by being a nobody. Besides, the wife has a PhD. Nobody here I come.
On the other hand, there is another possible reason for my funk – the wife’s sister, Joy. This despondency of mine might be more related to the fact that Joy has lived with us for months now, and this is not just me talking … the woman is completely nuts. Ask the kids. Ask our neighbors. Ask the guy at the liquor store.
You know how some people refuse to take the vaccine because it causes (pick one) sterility, male breast enlargement, the compulsion to vote Democratic, or blindness? Well, Joy – and believe me she’s anything but … how can I say this? Joy believes her body is a shrine and she’s currently trying her best to create a second identity so she can have both vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.
Yup, all four shots and after that, both boosters … I kid you not. The woman aspires to be a pin cushion, which seems to me more like what Andy in our group calls a V.I.P., a victim in pursuit. So the wife thought it would be a good idea to rent an RV and tour America to cheer me up, you know, to get me away from my nine to five, get me away from my gloom, and most of all, for me to have time away from Joy and tour a country full of so much joy.
With optimism in our back pocket, we eventually decided to spend ten days of our only vacation time in Utah. I don’t get it – why do so many people feel they’ve found Heaven in Utah? Look, I gotta tell ya straight out, I’m afraid of Mormons. I had an accident on a ski slope once and I’m deathly afraid of any form of white-out.
These Mormons – do they all have square chins and prominent cheekbones? Even the women look like Mitch Romney. You have to give them credit, though – Mormon businesses are everywhere you look. And boy do they plan ahead. They pop out children like they pop out businesses, employing their progeny to work for them as soon as they know how to manage the cash register. I was lucky if my kids agreed to take out the garbage.
Unfortunately, the uneventful end of my story is that we wound up traveling in a rented RV through a number of Utah National Parks where I swear I will never go again – not because of the preponderance of Mormons, but because I’m done with traveling at 16 mph, forced to stare at tailpipes and absorb gasoline fumes, made to endure bumper stickers from Texas and Oklahoma asking me to Honk For Freedom. If only freedom were that simple.
Me? I need things that are far less convoluted … maybe watching ESPN and being content to be nobody is simply who I am these days. Maybe being a nobody is only a brief glimpse, a chapter, a chapter to stand between what comes next and what’s come before. Do a few hundred empty bags of cheese doodles have to define an entire book?
The wife is cool. She’ll forgive me for most anything I do as long as I shower. Besides, we’re still in Christmas mode and I told her my New Year’s resolution is to give Joy to the world … I think she misinterpreted what I meant.
Reporter Agnes Killjoy
Interview with Ted Cruz
Killjoy: Senator Cruz – Tucker Carlson recently made you take back your statements about the Jan 6 Insurrection on his Pox News broadcast. What some pundits called ‘bootlicking’ is reminiscent of your relationship with Donald Trump who in 2016 declared that your father was part of the JFK assassination, that you cheated by rigging the election in the Iowa Republican primary, and that your wife is ugly. Yet, Senator Cruz, you unequivocally groveled in the presence of Carlson, and you continue to support the former president. Can you tell us why?
Senator Cruz: First of all, I’m from Harvard … and as far as my friend Tucker Carlson is concerned, we can talk about him later. I’m glad you asked about my father. I think of him when I pray at night – he was a good man, a very good man. He married my mother who struggled and couldn’t help that she was born with a debilitating condition. Sadly, she was a Democrat … in fact, her entire family was diagnosed as being Democratic. Consequently, my father had his hands full dealing with her, and sometimes, people under this kind of pressure do stupid things.
To your question, maybe my father was involved in the assassination, maybe he wasn’t. Exactly what does that have to do with me? Are any of us supposed to be responsible for our parents’ actions? That’s precisely what’s wrong with America, blaming those good people who are blameless. Do I own slaves? Did I invent the AR-15? Did I make people poor? I’m here to change the blame game.
Killjoy: And rigging the vote count in the 2016 primary in Iowa?
Senator Cruz: If only I were that powerful. President Trump was misinformed.
Killjoy: And calling your wife ugly, Senator? Can you elaborate?
Senator Cruz: As for my wife, even though we look like each other including the beards, we are a country of free speech, which is why Donald Trump is so refreshing. He tells it like it is, and sure, sometimes he tells it like it isn’t. Who am I, a humble servant from both Princeton and Harvard and you’re not, who am I to judge what he says?
My wife and I are both Christians – call my wife names, call me names, we still love you. We may want to lock you up, but we still love you. The Bible teaches that we’re all sinners, so doesn’t that make us all ugly in one way or another? President Trump was just quoting the Bible. In his own way, he is an extension of the Bible, so let’s live within the word of both the President and God.
Killjoy: So, Senator, you see no problem with the perception that you are cowering to people like Tucker Carlson and the former president? Are you saying that you have no true response to the former president’s assertion that your father was part of an assassination plot, and are you saying that your wife is ugly?
Senator Cruz: I’ve always been taught in the spirit of truly electable humility that beauty is in the eye of the beholder … I think Tucker Carlson is a beautiful man in a Christian non-homosexual, non-perverted kind of way. My wife is also very beautiful to me, very beautiful. Yes, it may be true that I turn the lights out when we become intimate, but for your information, I have excellent night vision.
As far as any assassination is concerned, I can’t help what other people think, and I can’t help who dies by whatever means – by a bullet, from cancer, or from reading your newspaper. The good people know God’s word when it comes to death – life is precious … but so is Heaven.
Regarding our duly elected President, President Trump, I applaud him and his votes. We had a schoolyard tiff, nothing more. I have no animosity towards him or towards Melania. My wife even released a letter to the Wall Street Journal admitting she was ugly, so Donald and I are good.
Killjoy: Do you see any of this at all, as pandering?
Senator Cruz: What is pandering anyway? Isn’t it giving people what they want?
Killjoy: Actually, I have my dictionary with me, … let’s see, it says here that “Political pandering involves expressing views that are merely for the purpose of drawing support and do not necessarily reflect one’s personal values.”
There’s also a second definition, Senator – “The act or practice of furnishing clients for a prostitute.” Some pundits suggest this second definition is the more accurate political metaphor where clients are voters and the prostitutes are our political leaders … but let’s stick to the former definition and the subject of personal values.
Senator Cruz: First of all, personal values are overrated. It’s the people who count, not one individual. I’m just a well-educated/ people come first/ just keep me in the loop/ humble kind of guy.
And you liberals always have to make things dirty, don’t you, bringing up prostitutes and all that? That’s why we have all these children calling themselves “they”. Isn’t life challenging enough? Do we have to have an identity crisis every time we turn a corner?
America is the land of the free – free to close down abortion clinics, free to protest at our nation’s capital, free to point out that homosexuality and I suspect ‘theyness’ is a sin in the eyes of God. God has made all of this clear, He says this directly to us, and now I am saying this as well.
Miss Killjoy, I believe I have answered your questions, so you’ll have to excuse me – it’s time for me to serve food at our local soup kitchen. It’s just what I do and who I am, in between giving blood to orphans.
Buddha ben Buddha
It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit
Let’s face it, this quote didn’t come from The Art of the Deal. For four long years, an entire country was forced to babysit the ego of the most powerful person in the world, concerned that he was prone to wetting his diaper as soon as he was ignored.
Most politicians seem to have one thing in mind – to get re-elected which intrinsically becomes attached at the hip to getting credit … all while they pretend to eat humble pie. There has to be a better way.
Which two deeds make you proud even though no one knows you did them?
apply the first word separately to each of the three other words
fame … success / chains / influence
team … chemistry / pecking order / win
leader … visionary / listener/ self-serving
invisible … freedom / burden / myth