In the movie The Way We Were, Robert Redford’s character, Hubbell Gardner, asks his buddies to describe their “best day” as they’re sailing off the coast of Southern California. Even though I hate that movie, I really like that moment in the movie, and the way he raises the question. I think he asks the question about other great days to honor the current great day.
On a side note: I hate the movie because Barbara Streisand’s character, Katie, is so annoying I can’t even bring myself to listen to Evergreen (a great unrelated tune). I hear any Streisand song, and I hear that same voice saying:
“Oh Hubbell, if I push too hard it’s because I want things to be better, I want US to be better, I want YOU to be better. Sure I make waves, you have… I mean you have to. And I’ll keep making them till you’re everything you should be and will be. You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or to love you as much.”
I don’t want to be too douchey here, but please Katie! Believe in me? (Hubbell…or the Large Man) I realize that she wasn’t talking to me, but I’ve dated a few Katies…seriously; women who had ideas about my potential and all that I could be. Trust me; no man needs that shit – that’s why my wife and I get along so well. She knows exactly what I am, and that’s all that I am, and it ain’t that much. My wife and I have accepted, no actually, we have embraced the same disappointment that my parents had to come to terms with back in like `84 or `85. If not for MS Word, I couldn’t even spell potential. KATIE! Don’t paint my man cave with your ideas of ‘everything I should be’.
But I digress, and I could be wrong here; maybe other men like being pushed to their ‘potential’ by an annoying woman who can’t get along with people; let’s get back to Hubbell’s question:
“What’s your best day?”
I have asked that question of my friends for years, along with lots of others; favorite song, moment, female body part, (I’m an ass man), best kiss, favorite movie, best boob scene in a movie, favorite book, food, beer, ice cream, etc. I think these topics stimulate great conversation and lively debate.
Many people are uncomfortable with picking a favorite – usually for one of two reasons: Either they don’t like to expose their soul; as if sharing their favorite day might tell you more about them than they want you to know. Or, they believe that if they pick a favorite anything, it somehow diminishes the second or third on the list. To them, it’s a little bit like asking someone to pick their favorite kid. That’s why it’s usually better to pick a top 5. (For the record, picking a ‘Top 5’ female body parts is a bad idea)
I love discussing ‘life moments’ especially kid moments, probably because being a good Dad is one of the few things in life I really care about. But I have many readers who are not parents, so kid moments might not be universal in appeal. To go ‘universal’, I like a good romance discussion; I love the passion of the moment that comes with a good kiss. To me, a good kiss usually is more about the moment than the act; the memories are about emotion more than the physical technique. (#2 on my kiss list being the exception)
I’ll share my top 5 kid moments, and top 5 kisses:
5 Best Kid Moments:
- Daughter born…I cried like a little bitch when she was 9 of 10 on the Apgar chart. It also tops the Best Cry list, because I cried without restraint or shame, it felt euphoric.
- Son born…I cried like a little bitch – I don’t even remember the Apgar. I just remember that he was born like 35 minutes after we walked into the hospital and there were couples there who had been in labor all night. My wife kicked all their asses. I know how wrong it is, thinking like that, but I’m a competitive person…even with my wife’s birth canal.
- Orlando, FL…My 5 year old daughter asking if we could leave Disney World, and “just go to Hooters” because she was “tired and a little cranky”. Self-awareness in a person is a foundation building block to the Temple of Serenity. My little girl is building something special.
- My son scoring his first basket…his fist pump, his pride, and his smile made me mist up a little. That vision will never leave me, even though I see it through the blur of my happy tears.
- Seeing my daughter sing Grenade on video while I played guitar. I couldn’t feel it when we were performing the tune; I was focused on trying to play well. In the video, I see all her potential and all her faith in me. That’s very powerful stuff; I choke up a little whenever I see it.
I notice a crying pattern of which I’m not particularly proud to write about, but my naked soul has been exposed to all you readers since the first time I published, so pride is a relative term.
5 Best kisses:
- First time I kissed my wife. This is not solicitous or sucking up, or lying to protect myself. You readers have to be able to trust me, and trust that when I say it’s so – it actually is so. And this be ‘so’…
“So are we gonna kiss or what?” I asked. We did. She’ll never admit it, but I crushed her. I took her breath away, and I knew it. Huge confidence builder for me, but at the same time, I knew I was in trouble – I was a bit crushed myself. It’s worked out OK, for me anyway.
Best kiss ever, period, paragraph, done. I never under value how nice that is, because I’ve kissed a few babes in my day – more than my fair share. If that sounds like I’m bragging, it’s probably because I’m bragging. So based on that, I’m very lucky that the first kiss with my wife is the best kiss memory in my Kiss Memory inventory.
2 Page…Prom kiss, my junior year. I thought I was kissing a little girl, a freshman. She didn’t kiss like a little girl…at all. She buckled my knees with that kiss. Thanks Page!
3 Terri…almost every guy in my school wanted to kiss this girl, but at that moment, it was me.
4 Lori…most anticipated kiss of all time, it took months for me to gather up the courage. It shouldn’t have lived up to the expectation, but it did. That was true love’s first kiss…magic.
5 Debbie…bless her heart. She was my first kiss. I will never get to tell her what that ‘first kiss’ meant to me in that moment, and what it meant to who I would become. I’ve heard some disaster stories about first kisses, but my first kiss was about as sweet and magical as one could be.
First Kiss ever I took, stole a page from a romance book. The sky opened and the Earth shook, down on Copperline. Copperline ~ James Taylor.
James Taylor wrote that beautiful line for me and Debbie, he just didn’t know it at the time.
These lists are easy for me to share because the people I love know my heart, and they know their place within that heart. These moments, days, songs and kisses…these ‘best of’ lists can never be bigger than the people I care about. Make sense? I can share my favorites, and it diminishes nothing or no one.
My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird
My favorite song is Into the Mystic
My favorite movie is Joe Versus the Volcano
My favorite food is a taco
My favorite place on earth is the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on the Outer banks of NC
My favorite beer is the one I’m drinking now
My favorite guitar is my Taylor 410ce
My favorite part of the day is the moment I walk in my door, being attacked by a 100 lb. black lab, a 100 lb. 13-year-old girl, and a 150 lb. 11-year-old boy… and then being gently pecked on the lips by my wife. That moment of my day is the best thing about my life.
My favorite car is a 2003 ice blue Buick Le Sabre
The best job I’ve ever had is the one I have right now
The coolest place I’ve ever seen is The Badlands in South Dakota
My favorite Large Man Chronicle is the last one I wrote…A Dirty Job. Oddly, the least viewed in two years.
My favorite moment of the year is when my best friend, David Bartee, powers up his bullhorn and starts the pre tee-off announcements at our annual GF Grad Golf tournament. The pride and joy that he feels for this event spills out of him, and this has moved me to tears once or twice over the last 5 years, because I get it…I understand his elation – probably better than he does. Dave and the rest of the planning committee gang put their hearts and souls into this event, and it’s great. We have a blast, and when it’s all over we throw a few bucks at a couple of worthy causes…everybody wins. When I’m no longer moved by this moment, I’ll know it’s time to stop making the trip.
I could go on all day, but my favorites won’t mean very much to most of you, and my favorites are not the point. I want you to think about your favorites.
Back to the original question: What’s your best day? I know how I would like for us all to be able to answer that question, because I just recently came to realize my true answer.
A friend of mine shared a great cartoon with me a couple of days ago, and it was the inspiration for this Chronicle:
Pooh and Piglet are walking through the snow holding hands, and the caption reads:
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today!” squealed Piglet.
“That’s my favorite day!” said Pooh.
The friend who shared this with me has spent the last year beating breast cancer. She administered this ass-whooping by combining aggressive chemo and radiation treatment, with courage and a lot of faith. This was no picnic, and today she’s ahead of the game. Today is Cindy’s ‘favorite day’.
I have another friend who is taping up his knuckles, and wrapping his wrists; gloving up to enter his second bout with cancer. He has already gone through a 15 round, knock-down, drag-out, fight…and won. He fought more than anyone should have to, and he’s had 4 years of remission to enjoy the win. He knows what tomorrow has in store for him, and he’s ready, and I believe with all of my heart that he’s going to win again. And I know what Jerry’s favorite day is too.
My friends, Jerry, Cindy, and Pooh, all have the same ‘Best Day’, and now, I do too.
I hope today ends up being your best day.
Thanks for reading,
The Large Man
PS…I’m still a few weeks away from The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. If you would like to take part in an opportunity to give someone else a chance at another birthday, please go to my fundraising website at:
Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org