Excuse me while I unleash the thought that has been scuttling inside my head all day.
FUCK! and . . . FUCK! and yeah . . . FUCK!
Okay, thank you so much . . that really helped. Explanation forthcoming. Like, right now.
My son called me with a ‘situation’ this morning. To his way of looking at things, it was something, which is understandable given that he’s younger than my Chicago Blackhawks All Star Game baseball cap. (Before you label me a thug of all things fashion and hygiene, I retired the cap to my dresser drawer ages ago).
Anyways, the kid’s ‘situation’ entailed something he had written and a quote he had used in the writing of it. The said quote was so obscure as to be angel hair pasta inside a pit of linguine. Translation: He couldn’t locate said quote when asked for verification.
I could tell the kid was sweating bullets over his predicament and I assured him that everything was going to be fine. He had committed no crimes in his piece. The quote was a real one, even if he couldn’t retrieve it. I was trembling as I put his mind at ease; not out of worry but rather, out of anger. I took a deep breath and then I laid it out for him.
“The quote is germane . . . there’s plenty of context to back you up. The reason this asshole called you on it is because he probably googled it and came back with nothing since it’s such an obscure quote. You gave him an opening and he pounced. Hey, it happens.”
“Yeah . . .” His voice was thick with worry, which only made me tremble that much more
“It’s a lesson, all it is. Everything you write is likely to piss somebody off. And that somebody is going to have shit loads of time to cull and modify the most mundane fucking aspects of it.” I said.
“I’m not worried.” He replied.
“Nah, you are. But trust me, this was nothing more than a kick in the ass lesson you walk away from. The lesson you learned is your souvenir, so tuck it into your back pocket and move on. Don’t apologize for sweating it. All it means is that this matters to you, as it should.”
I left him with some journalistic advice.
“Next time, grab that quote before you ride it. But don’t let this change what you do and how you do it. When you write something, own it. Own the good, own the bad and never be indifferent. Cover your ass, but never . . ever let someone push your words around. They’re your words. I know it’s easy for me to say, but it’s true. This guy’s pushing it simply because he doesn’t agree with your opinion. Fuck. Him.”
Okay, I’m not a coach and I ain’t Shakespeare. Especially when I’m pissed, and even more so when I’m pissed because some asshole picked a fight with my kid. I know my son can handle his own business, but still . . . he’s my boy. Yanno?
Pick on me all day long. I can take it. It’s easier to get inside the White House- and then host a John Boehner family reunion in the Rose Garden- than it is to get under my skin. Get all up in my kid’s business? I’m going Gotti, hopped on Red Bull espresso smoothies and amphetamine stuffed cannolis.
This isn’t to say that if you fuck with me I’m going to sit there and play Francois Mitterand to your Chuck Norris. But I consider myself a fair minded individual who can reason and broker and negotiate an agreeable outcome when confronted with an asshole. If need be, I institute my launch sequence- but only after careful consideration- like, figuring out whether I can afford bail this week.
I’ve lost battles in order to avoid a war I knew I could win, because the reality is that being an adult is about accepting the losses that will provide you with future gain. Perspective is how you deal with the lemons life hands you.
But in the event of a zombie apocalypse? His ass is mine.