Dressing the part

For some reason I have been thinking about clothes.  Yes, I know… This may sound strange but I was sharing a picture of my closet the other day.  I realize I have a bunch of shirts.  How many shirts does the average man have?

Please share your closet with me.  If your a working guy I would like to know how many shirts you have…

A buddy of mine, Jeff, just accepted a new job a few weeks ago.  Jeff is the guy I talk to every morning on the way to work that I talked about here.  Well one morning Jeff was telling me about his work clothing debacle.  See Jeff is a simple guy who used to work for a company in a cubical.  His cubical was in the “back” of an office and he spent most of his work-day online or on the phone dealing with clients.  Nobody really ever saw him or noticed his clothing.

His office was business casual (like most office buildings now-a-days).  Jeff explained to me that he only has a couple pairs of slacks and a few short-sleeve collared shirts… I call them golf shirts.  Well, Jeff would wear one pair of khaki-pants all week.  He would get them from the cleaners and just put them on Monday – Friday.  Of course he would take them off as soon as he got home from work each day.  They really weren’t dirty unless he sharted or some other miss-hap.  According to Jeff that only happened twice in the last couple years. (I asked).

Jeff asked if this was strange or weird.  (These are the kinds of conversations we have on the way to work).  I, of course, told him that was strange and he probably didn’t have many people talk to him at work due to him being known around the office as “smelly guy”.

Lets go back to the reason I am writing this.

Jeff has a new job that apparently is more “normal”.  There is a large office area that many people work in.  People are always trying to dress to impress.  Jeff tells me that he needs to go clothes shopping and asked me where to go.  I told him I have no clue on where to shop.  I do all my shopping online.  I point and click on what I like and it shows up in my mailbox.

The next day Jeff and I are talking and he says one of the ladies in the office shouts toward Jeff from across the break room.

“Yo, Jeff… Didn’t you wear those pants yesterday?”

Jeff stumbles and says, “Of course not…  Why would I wear pants two days in a row?”

“Those sure look like the pants you had on yesterday… And come to think of it, They look like the same ones you had on Monday.”  She continues

Jeff relays this information to me and says.  I can’t shop online I have nothing to wear tomorrow!!  I immediately ask him what he is wearing today.  haha.  He admits the same pants he has been wearing all week.

Good luck buddy. By this time my sides are hurting from laughing so hard at Jeff.  He is trying to be so serious and all I can think about is how bad he smells.

I think I’ll ask Jeff when he calls this morning how his wardrobe is shaping up.

Learning from those around me

Learning from those around me

Yesterday an old high school buddy of mine (divorced too) and I went out on what would best be described as a “Pup Crawl”.  This adventure started at 10:30 AM and continued until about 8 PM.  This was to be an all-day jaunt around the area.  My buddy invited some others to join us along the way. But each of those individuals were like characters in my new chapter of life.

In the past I would go out in order to laugh, to act foolish, to have a good time.  Lately I am not as interested at this.  It is not that I didn’t have fun… Everyone knows I laughed and even acted foolish at times.  My focus has just shifted.

I was watching people and observing how they interact with those around us.  I want to learn why people do what they do.  I tried to learn why things happen the way they do.  The people I interacted with I truly wanted to know their story.  I asked questions that would make people pause.  The frankness the openness and honesty that I approached them was unique.  I think I am living life differently because I want to learn what is next for me in the second half of my life?

It might just be as simple as I care more about the people around me.

I say this but then I remember what my buddy at work always says.  “Name someone other than a family member that you actually like.”  He probably knows me more than anyone at work.  We talk about everything together.  He is completely different than me in his race, religion, politics, economic level, etc… But he knows me well.  He is correct in the fact that for the first 3 years we knew each other I was married.  I did not allow people to get close to me.  I have always been friendly but aloof.  Why bother?  I had everything I needed.  Everyone thinks I like them because I act like I do.  I just was not really interested in their true being.

I can’t hold this against my buddy.  He sees me only at work.  I am the “boss” so I have a belief system that you do not mix play with work.  So, I purposely put a wall up between myself and everyone.

But lately I have been wondering if my buddy is correct.  Maybe I do this outside of work too?

That leads us back to the ‘Pup Crawl’

Late in the afternoon the owner of the last pub we visit brings an older gentleman into the sitting area we had taken over.  I instantly become interested in learning everything I can about this gentleman.  I will call him Bob for simplicity sake.

Bob and I hit it off splendidly.  I start to learn about Bob’s life, job, belief systems, etc…  Bob is a “seaman”.  He has a home base in Houston and one in Prog, Czechoslovakia.   He has been divorced for over 30 years.  He was married for almost as many.  His kids are grown and older than me.  Bob is 72 years old.

I do digress in the story a moment and start to think about that country song, People are Crazy by Billy Currington.

It fit exactly what was happening with Bob and I.  I was waiting for Bob to give me a great nugget of wisdom like Currington sang, “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”

What I did learn is that Bob highly recommended a few books.  One is Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up, by James Hollis.  Bob said this book will put everything I am seeking into perspective.

So maybe my “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy” has yet to be found?  Maybe I will find it in the words of Hollis?

I have a feeling that Hollis will not have as large of an impact on me as Bob the seaman did.

A few other nuggets Bob passed on to me:

  • Create a budget and look at it daily. Keep every receipt and know exactly to the penny what you have at all times. (I have this one covered)
  • Be selfish. Don’t be so American. Take care of you first. Imagine your drowning in the water along with another. If you don’t save yourself first you can’t save the others. (I think I’m good here)
  • Embrace being alone. Solitude is good (Im learning)
  • Write (I have been doing this)
  • Create two homes in different parts of the world. This will allow you to flip your perspective (need to think about this. Maybe North Dakota? Lol)
  • Don’t get remarried (disagree)
  • Buy a sports car for fun and a regular car for daily activity. (ok, I’ll start working on this)
  • Think before you talk. Pause and slow down. (Need to work on this)

What was interesting to learn, is that talking to an older guy drew the interests of a few ladies.  The table next to us was a lady in her 40s and another in her early 30s/late 20s.  The younger one kept smiling at me the entire time.  I can see the desperation in those eyes.  The loneliness, self doubt, and hurt… a longing for happiness.   She was a very pretty girl that finds herself eating cake on her birthday at a bar.   I had to walk past her table once to go to the restroom.  Really, cake??  Like the nice guy I am I paused and asked, “Is it your birthday?”  She laughed and offered me a bite.  I declined (cake and beer have never been a good mix for me…. Just saying).  But here I am more interested in talking to my new friend Bob than any one night stand.  I have changed…  As I leave the bar with Bob, I see the sadness in her dark circled eyes as I walk past telling her to order ice cream too.  I’m not here to fix the sadness in those around me.  Poor girl.  I’m sure she is waking up in some strangers bed right now (as I type this blog entry) hoping that he will call her in the next day or two knowing he will not.  Amazing how much hurt is in the world.

Bob also gave me his email and asked me to keep in contact with him once I read the book by Hollis.  I will and then I will give Bob the link to this post.

Bob….If you are reading this… I was honored to meet you.  Safe journeys my friend.

Perfection In Lyrics

It has been a busy day that ended with the Rockets losing a game they should of won to the Chicago Bulls.

I don’t really have any new inspirational thoughts today… Nothing earth-shattering has happened.   But I did make a new email friend from WAY up north… Enjoying that.

I was reading Facebook a few months back and an old high school friend that lives on the East Coast posted something that I think about every time I hear Brad Paisley’s song, Perfect Storm.

My ole buddy Chuck posted,

The single best line ever put down in song lyrics is the following….

If she were a drink she’d be single barrel Bourbon on ice.

Chuck is on to something…  I toast a high ball to you Chuck.  I miss you buddy.