I love being shown the follies of my ways. It’s like looking into a mirror and realizing that shave and trim I just applied to my facial hair, that Fu Manchu or goatee or whatever, just looks absolutely ridiculous. Or when I’m shopping for new sneakers, and I go and pick out a pair that I like, show them to my wife, and she tells me they are “old people, orthopedic shoes.” Or when I go outside to look at the blue moon because, after all, my wife said we had to go see it, then I come inside and say, "It's not really blue," at which point my wife makes fun of me for even checking the color of it in the first place. I told her I thought it was a "bleu moon", because after all, the moon is made of bleu cheese. Right? And for the record, I knew a blue moon wasn't actually blue--until my wife had me questioning myself.
But in regards to being shown how foolish I am, I absolutely love it. Seriously. I mean, how else would I become better at life if I wasn’t shown my mistakes? How could I ever improve myself if I just went along doing things without ever knowing how much of an idiot I am. How could I keep myself from looking like an 80s cover band member living in a retirement home?
Yesterday my son and I were at the supermarket, and as I was filling up my truck with all of our bags of groceries, I heard this boom boom boom come storming in behind us. I looked up, and the first thing I noticed was that the vehicle was the exact same make and model of my truck—only blue instead of silver. Then I realized that the noise was actually a song off of a new album I just purchased that I absolutely love. The band, In This Moment, is lesser known and of the metal/hard rock/industrial genre, and the song itself is one of the best on the album. However, it’s not exactly appropriate for general listening audiences: lots of explicit words and stuff, if you get what I’m saying.
Now I don’t go driving around blasting my music with my windows down, driving in front of a grocery store where everyone walks and would be involuntarily subjected to hear this obnoxious and publically inappropriate music. I had a friend once that did that constantly. He’d roll his windows down and blast his music as soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the mall. I was always so embarrassed to ride with him. And I asked him why he did it, and his answer was something to the effect of “getting chicks to notice us.” The problem is, he got married shortly thereafter, yet he continued to do it up until I last saw him driving around—with his two kids in the car. And now he's not married. Sad, really.
But I thought this guy in my truck yesterday had to be a young driver--like in his teens. I mean, what adult does that, aside from my friend? I like to listen to my music at a higher volume, but I certainly don’t drive with the windows down. Maybe just a crack if it’s hot and the AC hasn't cooled the interior down enough yet, but never with all four windows all the way down. Never with the intention of drawing attention to myself. What an idiot...
The guy drove over to the gas pumps, and it would have been much faster and shorter for him to approach from a different direction, but apparently he NEEDED to let all of the supermarket clientele and staff know that he REALLY liked this song. As I drove out, I looked at the guy and had to do a double-take. It was like I was looking in a mirror. Big guy, shaved head, beard, sunglasses, t-shirt, plaid shorts, sneakers. Very VERY scary. Not the guy himself, or ME (although sometimes I wonder if I'm perceived as "scary" with the way people act around me, but that’s a story for another post). This was scary in that there I was, pumping gas, listening to loud and obnoxious music, making a nuisance out of myself. It was like me if I didn’t have any common sense, I guess. THAT'S scary.
There’s a guy I know—not really friends but we know each other well enough—and I’m always telling my wife how I’d love to be like him, but I have the sense not to be. Tattoos all over, piercings, listens and plays loud rock music, has a fascination with monsters and scary things. In looking at him, you’d know he was into that stuff immediately. In looking at me, you wouldn’t. He’s the me without the smarts to not do those things. It’s a running joke my wife and I share, because every so often there’s something new and idiotic or dangerous that he finds himself involved with that’s ironically something I’ve mentioned “doing in another life.” You know, a life where I have no family to support and bones that break and all that stuff that keeps me from doing those types of things?
But back to the guy in the truck yesterday. I don’t know what his deal was. Maybe he was insecure about something, so much so that he had to “get chicks to notice” him. Because all the chicks I know LOVE a guy with a big truck and a big sound system. That has to be on the list right above abundant amounts of chest hair and neck hair. Am I right, ladies? Anyway, this guy yesterday must have had some mental/psychological issue or another. The song itself makes a blatant reference to a specific type of woman, and so perhaps he had an issue in his love life or with women in general and was trying to send a message. Maybe he was actually trying to get chicks AWAY from him. If that's the case, good job, buddy. But I’ll never know.
I will know one thing though. I’m so happy I saw that dude yesterday. It made me realize how closely I've come to crossing the line of minding your own business and enjoying yourself to being a disruptive and obnoxious jerk. The next time I’m driving by myself, I don’t think I’ll roll down the windows at all. And I certainly won’t listen to my music at an inappropriate and deafening level. Of course, if anyone ever sees me doing that, I guess I could always blame it on that guy. But nah, I think I’ll just keep my entertainment to myself.