About Giving Up

Giv­ing up is some­thing I’ve been try­ing to learn the last cou­ple of years. It doesn’t come nat­u­ral­ly to me (or any Amer­i­can, prob­a­bly), but it does take away some chron­ic stres­sors. From a busi­ness stand­point, the things I’ve giv­en up on are all things that have had no return on the invest­ment I’ve made try­ing to achieve them. I’m not say­ing that the good things in life must be defined in terms of cap­i­tal, but I have lim­it­ed means to invest, and so I’ve opt­ed out of mar­kets where I’ve been wast­ing my time.


I’ve giv­en up on dat­ing. My last rela­tion­ship end­ed in Feb­ru­ary, and in that time I’ve gone on 3 dates, and have been can­celed on or stood up prob­a­bly 9 times. I haven’t even tried since June. I’m a 34 year-old sin­gle dad, which severe­ly lim­its both the avail­able time, and the num­ber of women who might be inter­est­ed in me that I am also inter­est­ed in. For awhile I was going out by myself, but I became envi­ous of all the cou­ples I saw. For all the time, mon­ey, and effort I was expend­ing, I was in the same spot. I keep review­ing past rela­tion­ships in hind­sight and sec­ond-guess­ing my deci­sion-mak­ing. In my expe­ri­ence, there’s nev­er a clear answer when it comes to love.


I threw a par­ty a few weeks ago and invit­ed about a dozen peo­ple that I con­sid­er friends or see on a reg­u­lar basis. Most said they’d come, but only three showed up. A year ago I would have invit­ed dozens of peo­ple, but in that time I’ve reduced my “friend list” from a cou­ple hun­dred to about four dozen. I removed every­one who I hadn’t seen or heard from in nine months or more. I’ve also pret­ty much stopped using Face­book. I unfol­lowed every­one left on my friends list, and only use it for mes­sen­ger or events. Dras­tic, yeah, but if peo­ple want my com­pa­ny, they know how to get in touch. The peo­ple I’m still in touch with, I was in touch with on the reg­u­lar before. I have three folks I’d con­sid­er good friends. We talk week­ly, and did so even before I start­ed radio silence.

Life Goals

By now I was hop­ing to be mar­ried, with a fleet of kids, and liv­ing in a nice home that I own. To be set­tled down. Maybe have air con­di­tion­ing. I’ve giv­en up on those goals. I made a cou­ple of poor deci­sions in 2007 that irrev­o­ca­bly changed my life. I’ve resigned myself to being a sin­gle dad; to not hav­ing any more kids; to rent­ing for the rest of my life. The kids piece is the hard­est one for me to rec­on­cile myself with. As an only child, I always swore that I would have more than one child myself. Being a dad is the great­est thing that has ever hap­pened to me, but it’s only going to hap­pen once.

So, what?

Hav­ing giv­en up on the above, I am bet­ter able to focus and invest my ener­gies on being a dad to Abra­ham, and work­ing hard at my job. After those items are squared away, I’m fair­ly monas­tic. Bike rides, walk­ing my dog, main­tain­ing the house I rent. Try­ing to sim­pli­fy. If not hap­py, at least con­tent; mind­ful. It is very hard.

6 Ways to Skin a Cat

The Direct Approach

  1. Kill Cat.
  2. Make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  3. Peel.

Corol­lary: That shirt looks very becom­ing on you, and if I were on you I’d be com­ing too.*

The Indirect Approach

  1. Obtain kit­ten.
  2. Raise kit­ten into cat.
  3. Pro­vide food, toys, vet­eri­nary assis­tance, atten­tion, love.
  4. Wait until cat dies.
  5. Make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  6. Peel.

Corol­lary: Let her make the first move. Implode.*

The Athletic Approach

  1. Kill cat with golf club.
  2. Make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  3. Peel.
  4. Gut cat.
  5. Take catgut and make ten­nis rack­et.
  6. Remove head of cat.
  7. Use as ten­nis ball.

Corol­lary: (flex­ing) Have you seen the weight­room? Nev­er­mind, I’ll find it.*

The Gourmet Approach

  1. Pur­chase healthy pure­bred Per­sian.
  2. Smoth­er with 10M (molar) Trichloromethane (chlo­ro­form).
  3. Boil 10 gal­lons water.
  4. Boil Per­sian in water for 8 hours.
  5. Make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  6. Peel.
  7. Have skin made into table runner/trivet.
  8. Boil cat into stew with lentils and long-grain rice.
  9. Serve with but­ter-glazed sweet­rolls on table trimmed with cat skin.

An option­al New Year’s Day meal. Cat is the new pork.

Corol­lary: You are my sun, moon, and stars. You are my breath, sight, and life. Each taste, each touch, is noth­ing com­pared to the gift that is you. I would glad­ly sac­ri­fice my goals, aspi­ra­tions and soul just to get into your pants… shit!*

The Humane Approach

  1. Find fer­al cat with feline HIV or feline leukemia.
  2. Have cat put down.
  3. Send cat to taxi­der­mist.
  4. Taxi­der­mist will make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  5. Peel.

Corol­lary: Set promis­cu­ous girl up with horny friend. She’ll get stuffed.*

The Anarchist Approach

  1. Bury cat up to neck in back­yard.
  2. Fire up rid­ing lawn­mow­er.
  3. Mow back­yard.
  4. Get post­hole dig­ger.
  5. Remove cat.
  6. Make inci­sion from throat to rump.
  7. Gut cat.
  8. Fill cav­i­ty with black pow­der.
  9. Light cat’s tail.
  10. Throw at near­est gov­ern­men­tal build­ing.

Corol­lary: Club her on the head and drag her by her hair into your apartment/cave.*

*does not work well.

Dating Race

i often think that i am too far behind in the dat­ing game to ever make a good play of it. res­ig­na­tion fills the air like stale gym socks fill the lock­er room with that stale gym sock smell. (hor­rid sim­i­le inten­tion­al). i’ve still no idea what i’m doing. pret­ty much ever. every­thing gets recy­cled, mas­ti­cat­ed over and over until this gru­el that is bewil­der­ment serves up anoth­er help­ing of ‘what­ev­er­ness.’ i’m at least com­pe­tent with every oth­er aspect of my life, and since my life is already one-third fin­ished and set­tling down for the long haul, why rock the dream-boat by attempt­ing to force my nerdi­li­cious pre-ado­les­cent knowl­edge of rela­tion­ships into a sem­blance of matu­ri­ty? i’m already too far behind the pack to catch up to the strag­glers. how many peo­ple do i know who are get­ting mar­ried? a lot. how much con­fi­dence do i have? { }. The Null Set. what would con­fi­dence get me? per­haps a date in which i would have the chance to parade my igno­rance in front of some­one rel­a­tive­ly close to my age with a quite healthy sex life and a work­ing knowl­edge of ‘how this thing is done.’ its like that dream when you are naked at school and its real­ly cold out so ‘your boys’ are all shriv­eled and every­one laughs at you because you are naked at school and have a minis­cule penis. except its not real­ly like that. because that is a dream. and this is real.