For I Am Costanza…Lord of the Idiots

My best friend Terry and I shared a love for the television show Seinfeld. We spent many years quoting lines from this hilarious sitcom and even would call or text each other on every occasion we were able to live out a moment from the show. (Finding a Kenny Roger’s Roasters in Manila was a highlight for both of us.)

One of the more memorable and funny episodes is called The Apartment, and in it George Constanza is wearing a wedding ring in a social experiment to try and get dates with more women. Towards the end after having his plan backfire, he makes the statement, “For I am Constanza, lord of the idiots.” It makes me laugh even as I’m writing it now. I have picked up this line and use it whenever I’ve had an idiotic moment in my own life; something which happens more often than I actually care to admit.

In my fifty-three years of life on this planet, I have had plenty of opportunities to play the idiot, as I’m sure we all have. There are times however when I feel I’m actually setting the bar for idiots everywhere to be judged by. But during the times of my lunacy I don’t think this way, it’s usually after the fact. And once this realization hits me, I really feel dumb. Those are the times where I want to crawl under a rock and hide, it can be so embarrassing.

This past week at work I had a couple of extremely difficult days and a Constanza moment raised its ugly head. It was so bad one day I actually thought about fleeing; just going to my truck and leaving without saying a word to anyone. In my entire adult life I’ve never wanted to run away from anything and this shocked me. Thank God it did, because it was this shock which woke me up from my lunacy and got me to asking what was really going on my life.

These Constanza moments come to me whenever I perceive things are not going my way. It’s like my default button is to act like a fool whenever things are not going the way I want them to. Yes I realize this sounds horrible, but truth is truth, and as they say, the first step in fixing a problem is realizing you actually have one. The man who is not self-aware is the man who really has a problem. I realized the issues I’ve been having and have begun to rectify them, making the necessary changes towards becoming a better man, which will be another blog altogether.

What I want you to realize today is you’re not alone, there are millions of us out there. And just like in the Seinfeld episode as George is confessing his idiocy to Jerry, a lady in the background starts yelling out the window to the runners, “You’re all winners!” to which George says, “But suddenly a new contender has emerged.”

 

 

 

 

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Dave’s Gay Adventures (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That)

Standing in line to get coffee and a snack at the Barnes & Noble bookstore with my friend Terry one day, the server asked, “Do you boys want two forks with that?”  Terry had ordered a carrot cake with his coffee, but the funny thing was we weren’t even standing next to each other in line; I was behind him waiting my turn.

I’m not always the brightest guy and in fact it took me a couple of moments to realize the implication of what she was asking us.  Just like George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode “The Outing”, I was ready to prove my heterosexualness to her right then and there.  I blamed Terry at the time because he was wearing a purple shirt and I was convinced this is what made her think we were a gay couple.

A few years later, I was in Las Vegas for a shoe convention where I had the opportunity to go to dinner with my friend and Oakley sales rep, Eric.  Entering one of the fancy restaurants in the hotel, these two Oklahoma rednecks sat down to enjoy an evening meal together. 

The waiter recited for us the appetizers; ending with lobster bisque.  We looked at each other and I said the bisque sounded pretty good.  Now in all honesty my only experience with lobster bisque came from another episode of Seinfeld.  Eric agreed and told the waiter we would split one.

Apparently neither one of us knew bisque was a type of soup and the server didn’t feel obliged to explain this to us; probably because we were in Vegas and whatever happens in Vegas supposedly stays there.  When he returned with the bisque and we realized what we had ordered, Eric embarrassedly asked, “Do you have a ladle?” The bisque was very tasty and I’m sure we looked a little silly dipping it from the bowl into our saucers, but we both learned a valuable lesson.

Telling my wife the story later it dawned on me I was the common denominator in both of these experiences.  In today’s society being homosexual or lesbian is more socially acceptable than at any other time in history, but I have to admit I may be a lot of things, but gay is not one of them.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  In fact I’ve often said the only way I could be gay is if I was a woman; because then I could like women.

You might be asking where is he going with all of this; what’s his take on sexual orientation?  Truthfully, I thought it was a funny story and just wanted to share…I’ll leave to you what you want to believe, after all, this is probably what you’re going to do anyway, right?  My primary goal today was to see if I could get anyone’s attention with my writing.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

Just the Facts, Mam

Before my wife and I were married, I lived with my parents in order to save a little money in preparation for my new life as a married man. I’m not a world traveler, the most interesting man in the world, or even a very knowledgeable man at times, so let me teach you a lesson I learned the hard way.

Getting ready for church one morning, I spied a bottle labeled “musk” on the bathroom counter. I very rarely wear cologne and thought it would be a treat for my soon to be bride, Cheryl if I put on some smell good. It’s at this point in my story I should make you aware of my lack of any real knowledge of perfumery; which is the science of making perfumes and colognes. I finished dressing, sprayed a healthy dose of musk all around my body and headed off to meet my fiancé for the worship service.

As I entered the building, I looked for Cheryl.  Spotting her, I excitedly walked to where she was standing talking with some friends.  As the service started and we began singing, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Did you hug your mother before you came to church?”  To which I answered, “No.”  She replied, “Huh, you smell just like your mom.”

As the next song began, I started to wonder if musk was a type of women’s perfume also.  I had worn musk before and assumed it was cologne; it never occurred to me to think it could be perfume.

As the morning continued, Cheryl kept mentioning how  much I smelled like my mom. Even though it embarrassed me I finally fessed up and told her what I had done. This little event in my life caused me to pretty much stay away from anything except soap and water for many years.  I use a little bit of beard balm from time to time and I feel pretty safe about how I smell now.

It’s really good to know your facts before doing things; which is a lesson I learned the hard way.  I think Detective Joe Friday from the television show “Dragnet” said it best when he said, “Just the facts, mam.”

 

 

 

 

 

Embarrassment; the Bane of Every Man’s Existence

The day way extremely hot and muggy, and I couldn’t have been any wetter if I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  It was getting close to noon when word came down we were going to work through lunch.  I’m usually a pretty easy-going guy, but on this particular day it challenged me greatly to have to do this, and I didn’t handle things the way I should have.

Have you ever watched a fire grow in intensity, getting larger and hotter by the minute?  This is what I began to experience in my mind. Letting my irritation get the best of me, I let the expletives fly in front of some of the men I work with.

The day didn’t get any better, I missed out on lunch completely, stayed both hot and wet, finally ending up home and in bed by 8:30pm.  I just wanted the day to be over. Texting my bride goodnight, she came into the room to see what was wrong with me and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

You see, I was totally embarrassed by my outburst in front of those men, and the last thing I wanted to do was explain myself to her.  And not because I didn’t want to share my life with her; it was because I felt like a fool.

One thing I’ve learned in life is men do not like to be embarrassed or look foolish.  A guy will take a kick to the crotch over being the laughing-stock every time. It’s all about honor; without it, we’re nothing.

Men can take just about anything from another man, but to lose face in front of his wife is unbearable, at least it is for me.  There is nothing else which will make me feel more like a failure. This is why I didn’t want to talk to my bride about what had happened at work, because I already felt like a fool, failure and complete waste of space.  And having to explain what I’d done wasn’t going to help.  For me, bringing the day to a close was the thing I needed.

You might be saying, “But Dave, it’s not a big deal to lose your temper and cuss in front of the guys, everybody does that from time to time.” And while I would agree it isn’t a big deal for a lot of men, it is for me. The reason is because I’ve made a decision to live my life as a follower of Christ, and this is not the way Jesus would want me to act. I’m not a super Christian or anything; I’m flawed and realize it daily, but I do try to live my life pleasing to God. This day I didn’t do that, and it really bothered me.

I think I know how Peter felt after he denied knowing Jesus the night they arrested him. Scripture says Peter was pointed out by several people as being one of Jesus’s followers (twice by girls) and this big fisherman cussed a blue streak, saying he didn’t know the man.

Earlier that night, Jesus had told Peter he would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed, but Peter had declared, “Never! I will go with you all the way, even to the death!” As he heard the rooster crow and realized Jesus had been correct, Scripture says he ran into the night and wept bitterly.

Like Peter, I too felt remorse for what I had done.  The feeling of failure hung over me like a dark cloud for the entire day.  But I’m happy to announce the next day was much better.  I apologized to the men I flipped out in front of, and moved on with my life, working more diligently for this to never happen again. Will it?  Who knows?  Probably.  I am a man after all, and men make mistakes.

I do know this however, the next time someone flips out in front of me for whatever reason, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt before making any hasty judgements about them that’s for sure.

Well, now you know what I think.  What do you think?