Dear Toby, (5/27/14)
First and always, I hope you are doing well. I hope that when you are reading this you are happy. However, if you’re not that’s ok too. As terrible as times can look it’s not the end of the world. You have an amazing spirit of determination.
I’m privy to that determination on regular basis. Tonight was an excellent example. I had softball practice and you came with me. You played with your best friend, Caden. Of course you got dirty and loved every minute of it. Then it was timed to go home. I politely informed you that when we get home you were getting a bath. For whatever reason, at this age you hate getting a bath. You cry, yell and argue just about every time it’s time for a bath.
We finally get home after you arguing with me the entire way home. I pull you into the bathroom. Still you cried and argued. I stripped off your clothes and still you argued. I plopped you into the tub and still you cried and argued. I pretty much held you up and bathed you while you cried and protested the whole time. You stopped crying and arguing when I pulled you out of the tub and dried you off.
In this little moment I think there are a couple of lessons. The first is that when you, my crazy little man, have your mind made up you don’t give in. I honestly blame myself because I’m the same way. Your stubbornness is both a blessing and a curse. There are times in which you have to be stubborn and not give in. There are other times in which if you don’t give in, well then you’ll end up being the stinky kid at school. The other lesson is pretty simple, I won’t let you be the stinky kid at school.
I was watching a movie the other night and honestly couldn’t tell you who was in it or what the title of the movie was. There was however a classic scene that played out, it’s a scene that has been in countless movies. It’s the Russian Roulette scene. In typical fashion one person wants information, believes the other person has the information and decides that sticking a single bullet into a revolver, spinning the chambers, pointing it at the individual and then pulling the trigger until the person gives them the information or they die. It’s a classic scene. It’s a scene that plays out in gangster movies, cop movies, dramas, comedies and western. It plays out in real life too, it’s called dating. In my short stint into dating I have learned two things. One, there are no rules in dating and two, it’s like a big game of Russian Roulette.
The fact is that there are no rules. Single people save your money and don’t buy these books that say things like “10 simples rules for dating” or “today’s dating guide”. Honestly, there are no rules. Each date, person, relationship is different. The first date with a person could be completely different from the second date. By the time you get to the 5th date, you aren’t even dating the same person you were on the 1st date! Each person is different too. Everyone has their own issues and baggage. Own wants and needs. You might think you are compatible because a website tells you you are, but when you meet face to face the person is nothing like what their profile says. The classic is meeting someone who has a profile picture of them all sleek and fit, then you meet them and they are over weight and smell weird. Oh, that pic was a few years ago when you were really into working out? What you just wanted to show me your potential? Give me something to look forward too? The fact is that there are no rules because you don’t know what you’ll get.
Which brings me to the point that dating is a big game of Russian Roulette. It’s like taking a huge gun chamber with say 100 chambers. You fill 10 of those chambers with legit crazy people. You fill 70 of those chambers with duds that are harmless but a waste of time. Then you fill 10 of the chambers with $100. Nice if you get that chamber but not life changing. The other 9 you fill with weirdos that flake out on you or never show up. Then in one chamber is the one person that could change your life. You take that chamber and have Drew Carey spin the wheel a dozen times. Now it’s game on. You risk getting shot with a crazy person, or a dud, time waster, no show or weirdos. You play because maybe, just maybe the next time you pull the trigger it will be the one! You don’t want to not pull the trigger because you might miss out on the one but you don’t want to pull the trigger because you the chances of one of the others is highly probably. You simply don’t know what you are going to get. You really don’t know. You can be cautious and try and be careful, but let’s face it, people lie and manipulate.
This whole dating thing has been interesting. I’ve met some really awesome people and some not so awesome people. I’ve been surprised and let down. I’ve laughed and been pissed. Sometimes it has been a great time and other times i swore the earth rotated backwards so that time stood still. In the end you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s part of the thrill and the excitement and it’s hugely frustrating. The thing is we all keep playing because the next one could be the one.