Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spiritual Amway

  Part of being a parent is meeting other parents and having to spend time with them whether you like them or not. Your kids go to school together, or they're on the same sports team, or whatever.   They become friends.  At this point you begin spending serious time together, all the while trying to find common ground and make conversation. And sometimes, it's not going to happen smoothly.
  Case in point: the spiritual amway salesman.  My kid makes friends with a kid he goes to school with.  The kid's father phones to see if they can hang out.  No problem.  We go out, they hang out, awkward conversation ensues between us, we go home.  He calls again.  Same result.  Fine.  He calls again.  And again.  And again.  In one day.  Shit's getting weird, but it's for the kids, right?  Buddy phones for the most trivial reasons, annoying the crap out of my wife and I, but what are you gonna do?  Tell your kid's friend's parent to fuck off?  Hmm . . . maybe . . . but not yet.  It's too soon.  I'd feel bad if I did it this soon.  
  Eventually buddy starts inviting himself over and you want to kill him but you can't. Not yet . . . society would not vindicate you.  Anyway, somehow this guy insinuates himself and his kid into a snow day at our home.  Then, inexplicably, they end up inside, where I am obliged to be host-like and offer coffee and attempt to communicate.  But here's the thing about buddy: he is an idiot who is convinced that he is a genius.  And, like any idiotic genius, he'll refer (endlessly) to his genius and incredible IQ.  
  Strangely, although he is a fucking 'genius', he has terrific difficulty interpreting my body language which spells out, in capital letters, my terrible discomfort with his existence.  He blathers on.  Chiefly about the breathing system he 'invented' and how I should pay him to teach it to me.  I explain that I don't want to.  He insists that it is imperative that everybody do it because it's just like some other weird shit that some expert weirdos do in their weird regimens of whatever he saw on youtube.  He refers to meditation. I explain I don't want to do  that either.  Like everyone who enjoys meditation, it is unbelievable to him that you wouldn't want to partake in what is obviously the most worthwhile pastime in the history of doing stuff.  
  clearly, most people faced with this argument typically respond with some variant of "I've always meant to start meditating, but."  Faced with the unthinkable, his intellectual enormousness wrestles with itself and strains for examples of where I may already be meditating.  Like when I play music, for example.  I respond, yes, I sometimes reach a somewhat meditative state when I play music, but it is a banjo, not a wind instrument, and breathing has never really impeded me on that front.  He reaches for the "know yourself" gambit.  But I know myself just fine, and well enough to know that I don't want to meditate or pay for breathing lessons. Undeterred, he wisely continues.  And continues.  And continues.  
  I eventually reach a point where I am staring blankly into space, responding only with variants of "pardon me?" and "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening."  It dawns on me that maybe the closest I've ever come to meditating is ignoring this ponce.  
  His vast intelligence sagely sees past my disinterest into the possibilities of the future.  "Give your wife this card, I'm ninety percent certain she'll be interested in what guru blabbity blah has to say about so and so . . ."  In the end I let him show himself out while I make my kids lunch, discomforted by the prospect of future prison terms with this nincompoop.  I love my children, but a man can only be pushed so far . . .


  1. Yikes! Triple Yikes! I propose a play date where we let the kids play while you and I down a six pack of Pil! Also, I though we had kind of a meditative breathing moment that time we played the Ladies of Rock show and smoked a joint together on stage....

  2. good god! did we do that? awesome. and yes! it's a playdate!

  3. You should have started breathing like a rhinoceros and glaring at him like an offensive lineman.

    Either that, or you are going to have to have that talk with your kids about "jerks".


Drop me a line. Let me know how awesome or shitty you think I am. I can take it.