rules of life i have yet to learn #1

as a young, loud, clueless boy i learned many things from my parents, teachers, friends, and anyone else i came in contact with. many of these lessons stick with me to this day. some i follow, some i have yet to grasp. I am going to, for my sake more than yours, talk about some of these pieces of advice and reflect on how they effect my life.

Now, when i started this blog my intent was not to harp on parents, growing up, or even try and teach from personal experience. The whole purpose was to have an outlet for some of the random thoughts that i haven’t yet fit into my stories. I spend an awful amount of time talking to myself while driving, walking the dog, or whenever i am presented time spent with myself. This talking can be productive, it can be annoying, or it could just scare me into actually doing some writing. thus, here i am…

there are no particular order for the rules or any one that i consider more or less important. I am merely going to reflect as they come into focus, and attempt not to bore us in the process.  the first rule is from my father first and then many others:


man have i missed the boat on this little nugget completely. over the course of my life i have found myself most comfortable in the role of the class clown. it seems whether i am happy, sad, angry, or nervous my instinct is to go for a laugh rather than expose my true feelings. this was evident to the witnesses of an interview i did for a reality tv show called, THE PERFECT PROPOSAL.”

Sitting down at the Phantasy Nite Club in Lakewood, Ohio in front of a camera, lighting, and about five other people I found myself in an awkward position. The crew was there to get footage for a show in which the end result was I was to propose to my gal in front of friends and family. The problem was they wanted to have a sincere emotional exchange as i professed my love for my future wife, and I was not cooperating. It had nothing to do with a lack of love for my wife or a lack of understanding of where the director was taking the interview. no, the problem was with each question he asked i came up with a stupid joke, goofy story, or just stopped and got red cheeked before i could speak.

yes, it is true, i was crazy nervous and a little stressed with the whole process of setting up the show, keeping the secret, and thinking about asking my wife’s parents for their permission, but the person that took the brunt of my nerves was the bassist of the band i was in at the time. he had let me borrow his bass to spice up the “set” a bit, but my crazy, stressed brain couldn’t figure out how to open the case and get the bass out…(sorry mike)

to compensate my mind was on overdrive with jokes to calm me down thus the director certainly did not get the reactions and tears he was counting on to make the segment a slam dunk.

that is just one example, but there are many times that i forgot my fathers advice on paying attention to when it is appropriate to joke and when it is good to shut up.  at no time might this have been more obvious to me as the day of my son’s birth.

330pm Jan 17th and i am telling my boss i need to leave to take my wife to the hospital so she can give birth. his first words to me were to take it seriously, and that my wife would not appreciate jokes at this time…yikes…

415pm i am driving my wife to the hospital and i have let 2 good jokes fly with no response. finally on the third attempt my wife flatly informed me that she was ignoring me and that further joke attempts were not wise.

on some level i understand that sometimes my jokes are unwanted, unappreciated, and inappropriate, but to be honest it is not a thing i can turn on and off with ease. it is an ingrained part of my personality, and for every labor pain zinger that falls flat there is a tension cutting knock knock joke that brings a smile and relieves stress from someones life.

so keep telling me to mind my mouth and curb my laughter, but the bottom line is one day i will be dead, burned to ashes, buried with my wife, and unable to continue my jolly ways. then and only then do i plan on giving it a break.

About douglasesper

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