I was going to blame my old friend Dudley for this, but the fact is that blame rests squarely on my own shoulders and I might as well own it from the start: I have a bad attitude about nearly everything lately, and it’s getting worse.
For example, I have a very busy schedule this summer, and I’m not happy about it. Sure, some of it I will enjoy immensely. There’s the family golf outing that I look forward to more each year. It gets me out on the course with the people closest to me and gives me 5 or 6 hours of golf and joking and chatter with my kids and grandkids whom I seldom see and almost never spend enough time with otherwise.
But the outing this year comes the day after my wife’s family reunion. These are very nice, warm people that I enjoy seeing, but however you cut it it’s still an entire day spent with every in-law I have, and there’s always that sense of being “on”, of having to crank up the internal filter to maximum so I don’t blurt out some remark that might tickle the kids, but insult anyone who doesn’t know me well enough.
Then, a few days later (I’m rotten with dates and my wife will be GLAD to confirm that) we have guests coming to the house. Not kids or grandkids, but my wife’s old high school classmates from more than fifty years ago! Seems there’s to be yet another class reunion of people whom I’ve met 3 or 4 times at reunions 5 or 10 years apart. Most of these folks never bothered to speak to me, except the guy who delights in cornering me at every reunion to tell me how HOT my wife was in the 11th grade and how much he drooled after her from afar … that’s always fun! There’s also a woman who’s my age and thinks SHE’S really hot, and a guy who dotes on his wife who acts like the world’s perfect airhead! But I digress: The visitors are friends of my wife from Nebraska or Iowa or some such tornado-ridden state who are coming to visit and go with us to the reunion in Ohio.
Marge, my wife, is absolutely right in asserting that my attitude is bad, I know. Yet the thought that I’m also on tap for a wedding involving one of HER co-workers; a visit to someone we used to spend time with (Marge’s friend) until they moved to Michigan, (she has a mother who will be 100 years old this summer); and I know there’s something else planned (for some time in August) but I can’t remember what … those thoughts just depress the heck out of me (see, Dudley would have said the word but I’m not allowed).
Please don’t get me wrong: I love my wife and would never refuse her these things. And not all were her idea, she got cornered into some of them, too. I guess my real problem is that I honestly feel better if I cuss and complain about things like this than if I just suck it up and go along. I’ll bet my friend John would say I should consider the feelings of those who have to listen to me. And Dudley , of course, would tell me to let go and turn the air blue and tell them all to … uh … well, you know.
My secret wish is that I could see a full, interesting and invigorating summer ahead filled with adventure and new experiences. (Not much chance of that, even though I admit it would be nice.) What I actually see is constantly checking clocks and calendars and still getting yelled for forgetting this and missing that, all while trying to pretend I’m enjoying the rollercoaster ride as much as everyone else. And the worst thing is it’s ME. My bad attitude. My dread of what’s coming, even though I know there’ll be the golf outing in Toledo, with great grandkids to kiss and tickle, family to visit, world-class food and company galore, seems to be ever present. Sigh.
I just have a bad attitude.