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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eric and The Career Choice

If I was truly committed to this writing thing I would stop watching television, stop playing stupid waste of time nonsense video games (anything that ends with the suffix –ville) and focus on reading and writing and exercising my brain (and it probably wouldn’t hurt me to exercise my body as well), but I can’t.  Television is so easy and awesome and I don’t want to miss anything (plus it is probably the only thing my wife and I have in common).  Reading is hard (everything distracts me).  Writing is hard (much harder than I thought it would be).  I’m never inspired at convenient times either.  I’ve discovered about myself that just getting the basic ideas down isn’t always enough for me later because I’m not in that same mood when I actually sit down to write.  How does anyone with a job, family, Xbox, and television addiction ever become a writer?  These are all things that I should have gotten around to after I became successful enough to have a quiet place to spend my day writing and not being pestered by employees (at home on my cell phone), coworkers (also, at home on my cell phone), wife, kids, other family members, TV, and pretty much life in general. It’s too late for all of that now, though.
Sometimes I look at my kids and they say (the big one) or do (the little one) amazing things and all I can think is that they are leaching my talent away from me.  That’s probably not how it works though, it is?  They’re just young and they have that thing that I used to have, what’s it called? Oh yeah, imagination.  I guess you just lose that over time as you “grow up” to become an “adult” or whatever.  I don’t want to be an adult; I don’t want to be mature and responsible.  I want to have those sparks of weird creativity that I used to have without overanalyzing everything.  I don’t want to think about whether it’s been done before, if it makes sense, or even if it’s entertaining to anyone besides me.  I feel like my psyche is slipping away from me.  I feel like every day I’m fighting my way back from the precipice of full on depression.
I need to make a change in my life, in my way of thinking, I need to either pursue this thing full on, whether it be good or bad, do it or just give it up and be happy with my lot in life.  I watch these people come to work and they are excited. They’re excited to have a job, excited to be a valued member of this place and society in general, excited to see their coworkers, and excited to just talk about their weekends and whatever’s going on with them outside of here.  I want that.  I want to just be happy and be the best whatever I do here possible, but there’s this idea that’s holding me back.  This tiny flicker in the back of my brain that says that I’m better than this, that I’m better than this place, that I absolutely should not settle on this, but that tiny flicker hasn’t gotten me anything but a deep depression so I need to shut it up.
This was not something I intended to write when I woke up this morning and I don’t have a conclusion at this point. Sorry

Eric Anderson

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eric and The ADD (or Eric and his Damaged Brain Part III or II)

                I found out that I had ADD when I was 17 (I know, we were a little behind on that); the reason that it took so long is because I lack the hyperactivity usually associated with the ADD.  My mom started reading a lot of books on the subject because she’s a school teacher (maybe that’s why she’s too busy to read my blog).  She started paying closer attention to me and my little brother’s behavior and decided that she should take us to a psychiatrist to get tested (I say tested, we only talked to a dude and he handed us some drugs).  For the past 14 years I’ve heard all the arguments about how ADD is bullshit and Dr.’s and pharmaceutical companies are just trying to make money and lazy parents are just trying to drug their children into being quiet.  Those people piss me off and I want to punch them in the throat (but I would never do that because I’m a nonviolent person).  I will concede that I do believe that it is an overly diagnosed disorder and maybe closer attention needs to be paid to those children to make sure they are getting what is best for them.  My argument for those people however is “do you have it?””do you know what it’s like to live in a brain where it is nearly impossible to focus on something that doesn’t interest you even if your livelihood and your family’s livelihood depend on it?” “No?” “Then shut up!” (sorry about that, I just got really angry for a moment there)  sure, doctors are liars and pharmaceutical companies are evil but when I took Ritalin all I could do was focus on the task at hand, but it affected my creativity so there was a trade off.  That didn’t really matter though because I wasn’t doing anything creative with my life and I needed to do my damn homework.
                Here are some symptoms of ADD that I displayed and continue to display; some of them are more obvious than others.  Unable to focus (let’s call that one obvious), and here’s a list I found online at (I added the notes)
1.    “zoning out” without realizing it, even in the middle of a conversation. (this happens to me a lot, but I usually realize it and just can’t help myself)
2.    extreme distractibility; wandering attention makes it hard to stay on track. (Duh!)
3.    difficulty paying attention or focusing; such as when reading or listening to others. (I’m sure everyone has this problem, right? Do you know how hard it is to read the same thing 37 times in a row and not retain any of it?  I’m sure you do. And do you know how hard it is to listen to the preacher on Sunday morning without losing track of whatever it is he’s talking about? You do, right?)
4.    struggling to complete tasks, even ones that seem simple. (If a task is boring then yes it’s really hard to complete, problem is that everything is boring to me, even things that interest me tend to lose my attention about half way through or sooner)
5.    tendency to overlook details, leading to errors or incomplete work. (Yes, it’s because I get tired of reading something about a quarter of the way through and generally just say “screw it, it’s good enough”)
6.    poor listening skills; hard time remembering conversations and following directions. (I actually have a pretty awesome long term memory, but following directions can be difficult for me)
7.    poor organizational skills (home, office, desk, or car is extremely messy and cluttered) (Holy Crap! Ask my boss, teachers, mother, wife etc… I can’t organize anything, over the past 2 years I have purchase no less than 16 organizational apps for my phone that I never use.  I buy folders, file cabinets, binders, whatever the stacking trays on my desk are called, calendars, and nothing works…at all…ever…seriously!!!!!)
8.    tendency to procrastinate (I just fell out of my chair laughing, I can’t even begin to explain how bad a problem procrastination is for me so I won’t try until later)
9.    trouble starting and finishing projects (are the people who wrote this list reading my journal)
10. chronic lateness (I am actually quite good at forcing myself to be on time for things by using external motivators [being fired is the main one], but I’m late for everything else.  I worked at Braum’s for 4 years and I was late every day for that whole time [I wonder why they fired me?] because they didn’t enforce the attendance like my current job does and I’ve never been on time to church)
11. frequently forgetting appointments, commitments, and deadlines (No, yes, and definitely)
12. constantly losing or misplacing things (keys, wallet, phone, documents, bills) (I have handled this problem by keeping all of my important items in the same place every day so that when I wake up in the morning I can just grab everything I need for work and go.  I used to just throw things places and would forget them every day)
13. underestimating the time it will take you to complete tasks (YES)
14. frequently interrupt others or talk over them (I don’t do this so much on account of the social anxiety and fear of humans)
15. have poor self-control (I’m 350 lbs. and in debt up to my eyeballs, what do you think?)
16. blurt out thoughts that are rude or inappropriate without thinking (this is the thing that gets me in more trouble than I care to admit)
17. have addictive tendencies (I’m going to have to point back at the 350lbs thing)
18. act recklessly or spontaneously without regard for consequences (That really just depends on my mood, but if I get overly excited of upset I have been known to make an ass of myself)
19. have trouble behaving in socially appropriate ways (such as sitting still during a long meeting) (I’m pretty okay with sitting still and pretending to pay attention, I’m just not paying attention at all, no matter how hard I try to focus my mind will always drift [and holy crap is it embarrassing when they ask me a question and I have no idea what they are talking about])
20. sense of underachievement (CHECK!)
21. doesn’t deal well with frustration (does anybody? Because I don’t…not at all)
22. easily flustered and stressed out (Of Course)
23. irritability or mood swings (Ask my wife, parents, coworkers, bosses, employees, teachers, and anyone else who has had the pleasure of meeting me)
24. trouble staying motivated (Are these symptoms getting repetitive?)(Motivation is the thing that I lack the most)
25. hypersensitivity to criticism (I don’t know if I can accurately explain how on the nose that is)
26. short, often explosive, temper (I think I’ve gotten better about this one, I feel like I’m more in control of my temper than I used to be, but I do relate to this one)
27. low self-esteem and sense of insecurity (my self-esteem is lower and I’m more insecure than a teenage girl)

                Okay, that exercise might have seemed kind of pointless and a little too repetitive but I needed to explain what it’s like in my brain (also, I should mention and I don’t know why but I added the numbers so if you going looking for the list on the hyperlink I provided it will look differently but the info is all there plus some that helps explain some myths about adult ADD…which is a real thing).  I understand that everyone reading this will probably relate to some of these symptoms some of the time, but I feel most of them the majority of the time and it sucks…or does it.  I mentioned that I’ve been on drugs for this and they helped me immensely to fit into society the way that I am supposed to fit, but they also killed my daydreaming and creativity.  My creativity seems to me to be a different than the useful kind that helps you to design building (my middle brother), or make art (also my middle brother), it just makes me see the world in a funnier way that is entertaining to me and a few other people I’ve been friends with over the years, but is almost impossible to do anything with that will help me contribute to society.  So I have to get a job and try to blend with the normies (is that how you would spell that?).  I want to do something with this writing thing but it’s hard with all of the distractions in my life (wife, kids, employees, etc…).  It is almost impossible for me to write at home without the radio blasting so that I can pretend that I’m the only one here.
                The point that I’m trying to get to, and failing miserably, is that I don’t necessarily think that this ADD is a bad thing.  I believe that maybe God made me this way on purpose and I need to find a way to make it work within this society that we live in or I don’t know screw those guys I guess, except those guys have the money that I need to survive so I take that back. I did a lot of research (by a lot I mean I half read a few articles on the internet and tried to remember what the doctors and my mom told me when I was younger) for this post, I’ve been planning it for months.  I’m not happy with how it turned out entirely but I can’t keep messing with it because I need to move on.
                One of the symptoms that I don’t think it mentioned is my inability to let anything go no matter how small or stupid it is or how little the rest of the planet cares about it.  That might be a symptom of my undiagnosed autism/ Asperger’s but I guess that’s a whole other post or not we’ll see.  During my research I read a study that said that sometimes people are diagnosed with ADD when they are actually mentally retarded so that’s something I might want to look into considering in my early years of elementary school I took an achievement test that actually said I was retarded (I’ve since taken many many more tests that disagree, but that thoughts always been in the back of my possibly retarded brain)

Eric Anderson

P.S. In case you don’t want to visit that website here’s something I found interesting for all of the haters out there
You don’t have to be hyperactive to have ADD / ADHD
Adults with ADD/ADHD are much less likely to be hyperactive than their younger counterparts. Only a small slice of adults with ADD/ADHD, in fact, suffer from prominent symptoms of hyperactivity. Remember that names can be deceiving and you may very well have ADD/ADHD if you have one or more of the symptoms above—even if you lack hyperactivity.
Myths and Facts about ADD / ADHD in Adults
MYTH: ADD/ADHD is just a lack of willpower. Persons with ADD/ADHD focus well on things that interest them; they could focus on any other tasks if they really wanted to.
FACT: ADD/ADHD looks very much like a willpower problem, but it isn’t. It’s essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain.
MYTH: Everybody has the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, and anyone with adequate intelligence can overcome these difficulties.
FACT: ADD/ADHD affects persons of all levels of intelligence. And although everyone sometimes has symptoms of ADD/ADHD, only those with chronic impairments from these symptoms warrant an ADD/ADHD diagnosis.
MYTH: Someone can’t have ADD/ADHD and also have depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric problems.
FACT: A person with ADD/ADHD is six times more likely to have another psychiatric or learning disorder than most other people. ADD/ADHD usually overlaps with other disorders.
MYTH: Unless you have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a child, you can’t have it as an adult.
FACT: Many adults struggle all their lives with unrecognized ADD/ADHD impairments. They haven’t received help because they assumed that their chronic difficulties, like depression or anxiety, were caused by other impairments that did not respond to usual treatment.
Source: Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

P.P.S. this is the end of my damaged brain trilogy or the beginning because I don’t know what order you read them in.  I hope you have been enlightened or at least entertained and if not then what am I supposed to do about it?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eric and The Company of Men

            People keep telling me that I need to spend more time with men and that I need positive male influences to teach me how to be better at being a Godly man who is the spiritual leader of his family and all that.  Here’s the thing, I don’t like men very much of all the people that piss me off in the world most of them are men.  And it’s probably because of where I live there aren’t the right kind of men around for me to hang out with but that’s just how I see things in this small horrible town that I live in.  I don’t have anything in common with men, I don’t like cars, Nascar, wrestling, sports, shooting harmless animals (not that I have a problem with that, because God know I’ll eat the hell out of a steak, it’s just not the environment I like to be in).  I don’t like racism (this is Texas so it’s everywhere), I mentioned that I don’t like sports before (shocker) but let’s talk about the biggest sport for a second.  I hate football; it is the stupidest thing that has ever been invented in the history of things.  Except for maybe war and Howard the Duck (don’t act like you don’t remember).
Do you know how dumb it is to intentionally run into another running person who is running towards you? That can’t be good for anything inside of you.  Children should not be allowed to play it, with all of the studies out there now (by now I mean that this is a fairly recent discovery, see the P.P.P.S.) that talk about the long term side effects to getting hit in the head when you’re a child playing football, the parents and school administrators and coaches should all be arrested for child abuse (okay, maybe not arrested, but at least sternly talked to).  I don’t mine full grown adults killing themselves for millions of dollars out on a nationally televised football field (they deserve what they get), but the fact that it is still legal to let our children do these things to themselves and the fact that we encourage it so much is truly horrible.  We lift these young impressionable minds up to be “heroes” and we treat them like they are “soldiers” out on a battlefield just because they can run around on a field and hurt one another while we pretty much ignore the kids who like to read, learn and be artistic in any way at all.  Not only do we ignore these children we let the football players beat them up and pick on them constantly (high school was hard for me).
Now I know that the argument will be that everything is bad for something and that is true.  There are tons and tons of extremely dangerous retarded things that we all do on a regular basis, but this one just doesn’t make any sense.  Breaking bones is one thing but our brains are crazy fragile and this is dumb.  I keep seeing things about how our body is a temple and that the good Christian thing to do is take care of it (I’m obviously the worst about this because I’ve absolutely destroyed my temple, but that doesn’t make giving yourself a concussion okay)  Why can’t they just play soccer?  You don’t even want to hear what I have to say about the funding issues.  So I’ll stay away from that as it’s not the point of this particular rant.
            Now that that’s been said, let’s talk about the things I do like: most nerdy stuff, video games, science (although I’m not that good at it), technology, music, photography, movies, TV, books, comics, comedy, etc… mostly things that most men, at least around here, don’t give a rat’s ass about.  I don’t know how to relate with other men.  Every time I see a guy I don’t really know that well they’ll ask “so where you workin’ now?” as if that’s the most important thing in my life.  I don’t want to talk about my job I want to talk about the new batman or star trek movie.  I want to talk about the newest death cab for cutie album or how the scientist over at CERN might finally find the Higgs-Boson this year (again, something that’s very hard for me to understand but fascinates me none the less).  I want to talk about the walking dead or how the series finale of lost disappointed me more than I let on but it didn’t sour me on the whole series (and after weeks of reviewing it over and over in my head I grew to appreciate it) because it was truly one of the greatest most think inducing television shows that I’ve ever seen in my entire life (nothing ever made my brain try so hard to figure out what the crap was going on like lost did). I want to talk about how portal 2 has changed the way that I look at the world of gaming and how it’s the awesomest and funniest thing that I have ever experienced in my life.   I want to talk about battlestar galactica or doctor who or the elder scrolls, but I think you’re getting the point.  There are too many references to cram into this thing.
            Basically, I don’t get men and men don’t get me and I’m totally okay with that it just makes it hard for me to have any positive role models in my life.

Eric Anderson

P.S. I’m sorry that I hate football (I’m not really sorry that I hate football)

P.P.S. I’m sorry that I lied in the P.S.

P.P.P.S. in case you think that I’m making this stuff up here’s one of a million things talking about it and you can google the rest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eric and The Social Anxiety (or Eric and his Damaged Brain Part II or I)

            You’re walking towards a door. You reach the door, extend your hand, grab the handle and open it.  You stop and look around to see if anyone else is coming.  You see someone walking in your direction.  It’s time for that split second calculation to determine whether or not they are close enough for you to have to hold open the door or if it would be socially acceptable for you to walk in and forget about it.  You decide they’re too close and hold the door for them.  They’re still coming, this is taking forever, and maybe you’ve miscalculated their distance, now you look like an idiot holding the door for someone who was probably a block away.  They reach you and walk right passed.  They weren’t even going in, now you feel completely retarded.  You look around again, “did anyone else see that?”  “Shake it off” you tell yourself, “just walk in and forget that ever happened, nobody cares but you”, but you never believe yourself.  If this has never happened to you and you can’t relate in any way then go back and replace all the “you” and “you’ve”s with “I” and “I’ve”s.  This is just an example from the craziness in my brain that happens more often than I care to admit.  I’ve got thousands more.
            I’ve touched on my social anxiety before but I figure it’s time to dive right into that scary place and maybe try to figure out what the hell is wrong with me or at least explain the weird hell that is my life.  I will often find myself standing and watching as other people are working.  “I should help these people, why am I just standing here being worthless?” I ask myself.  I’ll try to determine the best way to help and I’ll grab something or try to move out of the way, but it’s usually the wrong thing to grab or the wrong way to move.  These are basic things that most men are born with, but for some reason I can’t function as a team.  My solution is usually to withdraw and just try to be quiet and stand in the corner until it’s time for me to do something or I’ll just leave.
I’m extremely awkward around people I don’t know, people I haven’t seen in a while, people who check out at the grocery store (or any store for that matter), people I do know but I’m scared of because I can’t really tell where they are coming from, people I work with, people I go to church with, etc. (this would have been shorter if I had just said “people.”).  I use humor to highlight things that make me uncomfortable, if often comes off as insensitive and generally offends at least half of the people involved.  I don’t have any idea how to do small talk (I hate sports, wrestling, nascar [notice how I didn’t call nascar a sport?], the weather, etc…)
My coping method for awkwardness is self-deprecating humor.  I will usually say the funniest thing that pops into my head no matter how it will affect my social standing because if I can get someone to laugh it will hopefully diffuse the tension.  I usually just end up looking like an ass (note: it’s not a good idea to joke around with your bosses about how lazy you are, even if it is the most hilarious thing you’ve ever said).
This weirdness is something that I’ve lived with as long as I can remember and even though I am more able to push deep down inside than I used to be it’s still very much part of me and anyone who knows me will probably tell you that I’m not fooling anyone with this normal act (this sentence is far too long).

Eric Anderson

P.S. “He was such an understanding child, he always listened when you explained to him in a rational logical way what you were doing and why you were doing it even though he couldn’t possibly understand any of the words you were saying as he was only 4 months old” is not something that we will ever say about our son.  I love you, Charlotte, even if you do sound like a crazy person.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Eric and his Typical Sunday Morning (or Eric and his Damaged Brain Part I or III)

            I’m sitting in church looking around at all the people praising God.  I hear the music and the singing; I see the dancing and flags waving around.  I tell myself to focus.  I’m here to praise too.  I start singing “…I want to dance…” hmmm, wait a second that’s not true.  I don’t want to dance, I don’t want to shout, and I certainly don’t want to run…anywhere.  Is God going to be angry with me if I don’t really mean these lyrics?  I don’t want to be making any half-hearted promises through song.  I don’t want to lie about how I really feel through song either.  “Okay, stop being distracted…focus…I’m here for a reason”.  I clear my head and try to visualize God.  I see bright clouds.  I’m singing about how Holy He is and how He’s going to take care of me.  I get distracted by some random thought about a video game or a TV show or work or a video game based on a TV show about work (I don’t think such a thing exists…yet).  “Focus”!  I can’t, my brain is malfunctioning.
            I look around again. Some people are lying on their face, some are kneeling, some are shouting and some are wailing (who am I, Dr. Seuss?).  People are speaking in tongues, I realize that the music is still playing but no one has sung anything in what seems like 30 minutes.  Something is happening with these people and I don’t get it.  I don’t feel anything…at all.  Well, accept for the fear that there is something bad wrong with me.  I ask God for help, but do I really mean it?  I might be dead inside.  “Okay, focus, close your eyes, visualize the bright clouds, and maybe throw a throne up there for good measure”.  I don’t want to lose control and fall on my face, or shout, or wail, or dance, or laugh, or speak in tongues unless it’s real.  I don’t want to fake it.  If it happens to me then great, but I’m not going to pretend.  Is this really happening to all of these people?  Are they faking it?  Am I just broken?  (Yes, maybe, and probably)
            Okay, praise and worship is over, it’s time for announcements and to pray for tithes and offerings.  “Finally, something I don’t feel so guilty about” (I started tithing again about a month ago), “oh but wait, what about all that time I wasn’t tithing, and what about the part where I’m supposed to be a cheerful giver?”  I’m trying to give cheerfully, but that’s really hard.  I tell myself it’s not my money, it’s God’s money and I’m just giving it back to Him.  I don’t have a problem with doing this out of obedience, but I’m rarely cheerful about anything I do, and in fact I’m really not sure what that even means.  Okay, prayer time is over. It’s time for the sermon.
            The speaker gives us a verse and I pull out my iPhone.  At first I go to my Olive Tree NKJV app and read along, and then I get bored and play Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies.  I can multitask; I can hear what the speaker is saying…mostly.  “Focus!” I turn off the games and go back to the bible, and then I get bored and check Facebook. “Oh look, other people in church are posting right now” but they’re usually posting bible verses so they’re still better than me.  Check words w/ friends and play any pending turns I have.  The speaker says that God loves us and all that, but before He will bless us we have to stop doing bad things.  “Hmmm, what bad things do I have to stop doing?”  “I guess, all of them” since all sin is at the same level and all.  This is really hard.  Am I overthinking this, am I underthinking it? Is underthinking even a word?  Microsoft says no, whatever
            Basically, this is how my church life has gone for the last 20+ years, except replace iPhone with daydreaming.  I’ve never really been able to participate in what’s going on in my church and I’ve always felt like more of a spectator.  This is 100% my fault, over the years they have tried to include me in their jubilee and I just haven’t felt it.  I feel like they have mostly given up on me at this point (and by “they” I mean the leadership).  I’m open to something happening but I don’t want to force it or pretend that it’s there when it’s not.  Maybe I need to find a new church, I don’t know if that would help.  Well, now I’ve gone and depressed myself…again.  Oops

Eric Anderson

P.S.  I don’t want “saying nice things about my wife” to become gimmicky and therefore meaningless, so I’ll probably stop doing that so much.  I do love her though

P.P.S. This was supposed to be the third part of a trilogy, I guess now it’s the first, I don’t know how that happened

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eric and The Nonsense

            This week started out so well; I was in a great mood which was probably not readily apparent to anyone else around me, but I could feel it and that’s all that matters.  This great week turned to suck yesterday and I’m not entirely clear on why.  I’m an emotional wreck and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Maybe I’m pregnant, oh wait that’s not possible, I’m on the pill.  I feel like I need to curl up in a ball and cry.  That’s not very manly is it?  But I suppose neither is being pregnant.  I’m listening to Ben Folds on repeat because for some reason depressing music always makes me happy in a weird depressing sort of way (don’t worry, I didn’t understand what I just wrote either).
            On Sunday I was sitting in church thinking about how I’ve already written everything I know and that I probably won’t ever write any fiction because every idea I’ve ever had has already been done (and done better than I would do it at that).  Then I started thinking of some new ideas I could write about (nonfiction of course).  I came up with a bunch of topics like social anxiety, ADD, tithing, visions, prophecies, office supplies, OCDs and music.  I was very excited about writing.  I started taking short notes on the topics so that I wouldn’t forget them like usual.  I guess writing them down is like letting them go from my brain, because I lost the urge to flesh them out.  Then Monday that hilarious embarrassing thing happened to me and I was inspired to write.  That was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever written so I should probably quit now while I’m ahead (unless you count this, which in my opinion puts me back down a few points)
            It’s not cool to be concerned with how many people read your stuff or how many page views you get, but I never claimed to be cool.  I probably check this site at least 20 times a day.  I know it’s sad and I try not to think about who might read this when I’m writing it because again it is for me, but I still care and that’s not cool.
            Okay, the point is that I want to be a writer but I’m a neurotic mess and also for some reason my week turned to suck all because my computer and iTunes don’t seem to get along with each other and it lost all of my music and apps even though they are still there.  I need a Mac.  I’m going to try to start working on those other posts even if I don’t feel like it. Bye

Eric Anderson

P.S. If anyone wants to buy a kidney from me so that I can afford a Mac let me know.

P.P.S.  If it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile then why does smiling hurt my face so much?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eric and The Ripped Pants²

            It’s Monday, and I know it’s quite a cliché to hate on Mondays but there’s a reason for that hatred (not that I’m all that fond of Tuesday through Saturday either).  It never fails that I’ll stay up late on Sunday night watching television, something horrible that probably grates on my soul (last night was the season premiere of The Walking Dead [I guess it depends on where you fall on whether or not zombies are evil if you think that’s horrible] the week before it was Dexter and I don’t even think I should mention how many Sunday nights were taken up with True Blood).  Sunday, is the only day of the week that I get to sleep in, and by sleep in I mean 8:00am because I have church obviously, so I’m not that tired at my normal bedtime.  This always gets me on Monday morning but I never learn.  That alarm on my iPhone goes off at 5:25am and I groggily fall to my feet and stumble around the house trying to get ready in about 15 minutes (so yeah it’s a bit rushed, and it’s better than coffee to snap you out of that stupor).
            Today has been extra special though because I was in my office talking to the safety manager about something work related (I’m sure), and I sat down and felt something tear.  I panicked, “maybe, it was my shirt, I could have sat on it” I thought “could have been the chair?”  “Just sit here and pretend like everything’s okay”.  So I slowly reached down and felt the back of myself and there it was, a tear from the top of my pants down to my upper right thigh.  This is awesome; I looked at the clock, 10 minutes to go until the regular Monday production meeting.  “They won’t care if I’m not there this once, right?”  I called my wife and asked her to go to the store and buy me a pair of pants and bring them to me, why do I need her to buy me a pair of pants? You ask.  Well, I only buy one pair of pants at a time because I’m always planning on losing weight and then I won’t need those pants anymore.  It is a motivational tool that I have used for the last seven years and it has not worked even once.  It is the very definition of insanity.
            I called my boss to let him know that I wouldn’t be making the meeting and told him that I didn’t want to tell him why because he would make fun of me.  He assured me he was going to make fun of me anyway so I told him and he laughed and I laughed and it’s all great.  Charlotte showed up in less than 20 minutes with a brand new pair of pants (so at least I know I have an awesome wife who loves me even when my ass is so big it tears my clothing like a cartoon character).  The worst part of this whole thing is that it’s not the first time that I’ve ripped my pants; it’s not even the first time this year.
            Back in June I was an usher at my brother’s wedding.  We were leaving the YWCA after setting up for the reception and I sat down in the car and I felt the tear.  The wedding was going to start in an hour, we were ten minutes away and I didn’t have any other pants.  We drove to the nearest store, Charlotte ran into a Target, Ross, and Marshall’s, there was nothing suitable in any of the stores and time was running out.  I was live tweeting this entire event (it’s how I’ve learned to own embarrassing situations).  We drove from that shopping center to a Men’s Wearhouse two blocks from the chapel.  Charlotte ran in and gave the guy my size, he said it would be $135 (What!? For pants?!) and he would need me to come inside so he could measure me for hemming purposes.  There was no way I was getting out of the car and walking across the parking lot with a giant hole in my pants, especially since I was going commando (What? They don’t seem to make underwear in my size).  Besides, we only had 25 minutes until the wedding was going to start and I was supposed to be seating people already.  She told him to just hem them the most generic way possible and paid him the insane price (don’t feel too bad for us though, my parents paid us back for the pants plus some).  We got the pants and rushed to the wedding with about 5 minutes to spare.  There’s probably a lesson in these stories somewhere.
            This is either a sign that I should lose some weight or that the small slave children who make the pants should take some more sewing lessons (there, right there, that’s where I crossed the line).

Eric Anderson

P.S.  I would like to thank my wife for going out of her way on many many occasions for me and my neediness.  I love you Charlotte and thank you for everything