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Archive for April, 2015

Thank Heaven for Little Girls 2015

Preface:

This is an old Large Man Chronicle, written 6 years ago. A writer needs inspiration, few things in my life have inspired me the way my children have. I remember the look on my little girl’s face the first time she looked up at me through her new glasses, and I can’t specifically tell you why it was such a special…and inspirational, moment, but it was. Thankfully, I can close my eyes and see that pretty little face, in that perfect father daughter moment, just about any time I want; on a plane to Dallas, on a shuttle to the rental car counter in Kansas City, or in this hotel room in Boston. That image is burned into my memory forever, and as long as I have it, and a few others like that,  I’m never too far from home.

In some ways, I think it’s a little presumptuous to tell tales about my kids, it feels like I’m showing you my home movies. A good writer would never assume that such personal things are interesting to the masses. But I re-publish this rather poorly written & structured tale, and I ask you Large Man readers to just “indulge me” on this one. Because, I didn’t know it at the time, but I became a writer on the day this story took place. I remember that pretty face, and I remember the ride home in the car, and I remember not being able to stay away from my computer. I didn’t “want” to tell this story, I HAD to tell this story. The Large Man was born sometime around my little girl’s 10th birthday. I will never be able to properly express the gratitude I have for that sweet and simple, little moment. Game changer.

Today, that “little girl” turns 16. She still inspires me, she is still my light. She is a perfect mix: she’s 24% the best things about my Mom, she’s 25% the best things about my wife, and she’s 51% her own unique, twisted, special blend.

Happy Birthday, Alex Rae, I love you to the moon and back. Thank you for making me proud, every single day! And thank you for making me a writer – your gift to me is endless.

Here’s ‘Thank Heaven for Little Girls’ , my personal favorite of ‘The Large Man Chronicles’. Most of you have already read it, if you haven’t, give it a look and tell me what you think.

*   *   *   *

March 2009

I just went to the optometrist and picked up glasses for my 9 year old daughter. $250.00 f-ing dollars on glasses for a 9 year old child. I remember wanting glasses when I was her age; I even purposely failed my vision test at school. Now that I have to wear them, it’s a little less thrilling. So, yes she was excited, something new. Yes, she was very appreciative. I’m thankful that she understands and recognizes, and appreciates, that she could pick out whatever she wanted. And yes, she asked me if I wanted to go to the electronics store and look at big screens to take away some of the sting of the $250… “Since we’re already out”, she offered as a consoling gesture. I guess it warms my heart a little to see that happiness, but DAMN!!!…$250.00!!! Plus, I know that braces are just around the corner. What’s the point in even looking at big screens?

BUT, this is my world, my station in life. My little girl is spoiled, maybe not rotten, but spoiled. And that’s okay. I thank heaven for this spoiled little girl every day.

My daughter is going to be 10 years old in a few weeks. That is, if she agrees to it. She usually has her own set of plans, her own rules. Those rules and plans are generally different from society’s accepted standards of practice. She wears what she wants to wear; she eats what she wants to eat. She cares very little about anyone’s opinion of her choices. She has very little need for approval. Report cards and teacher conferences confirm that she is a pretty smart chick, and never a behavior problem. She has a quirkiness that an artist has, that skewed view of the world that will forever make her special, and can sometimes make her an outcast. She is the light of my life, and has been since the day I met her.

Alexandra Rae was supposed to be a boy, she was supposed to be a Jack. When my wife was carrying her, we didn’t find out who was coming because we wanted a surprise. The genealogy didn’t really line things up for there to be much of a surprise. I say that she was supposed to be a boy because it seems like I have about 1,000 cousins on my father’s side of the family, and like 5 are girls. Those facts may be exaggerated, but for whatever reason; everyone just expected a boy.

But secretly, in those private, reflective, father-to-be moments, for 38 weeks I wished for a little girl. I know you’re not supposed to think like that when you’re an expectant father. You are supposed to want “10 fingers and 10 toes”, and a healthy heart. Of course that was all I ever prayed for, but very quietly…very privately…I hoped for a little girl. I was always a little nervous about that. Was I tempting fate by wishing and hoping?

The nurse who greeted us in the maternity ward on the day my little girl was born was absolutely gorgeous. She was only about five feet tall, raven black hair, eyes as green as emeralds, and a tight little package that was built for speed. These facts have nothing to do with this story, they’re just another part of this great memory.

She asked us beforehand if we knew who was coming, and we told her we were pretty sure it was “Jack”. During the very short labor (about 90 minutes) in the middle of all the drama and chaos that went on in that room, our nurse chanted a few times, “Jack be nimble…Jack be quick”. My wife and I thought it was cute and fun. It was also quite prophetic.

Our first child was very nimble and very, VERY quick, she just didn’t turn out to be a Jack. My wife did not plan on a natural child-birth, but our daughter had a different set of plans. Alex Rae didn’t have time for anyone to hook up an epidural, she was ready, and we were on her clock now.

When our hot little nurse uttered those magic words, “Well Mom and Dad, you have a perfectly healthy baby…. girl!” My wife and I were shocked. I was happiest about the “perfectly healthy” part of her statement for sure, but I have to admit that I always felt like maybe I cheated a little bit. On April 27th 1999 I got what I prayed for, and what I hoped for. That’s a pretty good day.

On that Tuesday in April almost 10 years ago, my little girl grabbed my index finger, squeezed harder, and cried louder than any living thing that size should be able to do. She looked right at me, and in her own language she seemed to be saying:

“Look, I know you’re scared, and you probably should be – you are not remotely qualified to do this job, but God and Mommy will get you through. Just understand that things are gonna change around here, dude, and you’re gonna buy me shit…lots and lots of it. Clothes, toys, shoes (I will never understand the shoe thing)…and you’re gonna complain about it out loud, but deep down inside, buying me stuff is gonna make you happy. Because deep down inside the thing that makes you the happiest, is making the people you love happy. And right now, this very minute, you just realized that you’ll never love anybody the way you love me. Pretty cool huh? Now pick me up; I won’t break. Oh by the way, I came two weeks early, in April, because I like diamonds, and the birthstone for May is an emerald. Emeralds just don’t work for me, dude. That’s how I roll.”

At least that’s how I remember it all. She seemed very wise for somebody that was only a few minutes old.

So, the $250.00 that I spent on glasses today does NOT make me happy. The light in the eyes behind those glasses always makes me happy. Those eyes melt my heart every day. The light in my little girl’s eyes make those glasses worth every penny. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. For 10 years, I have thanked Heaven every day for this little girl.

Well now it’s 16, and I still do…and I always will.
Thanks for reading.

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Bad Manners

On a flight to Kansas City: April 6th 2015

“Honey, why do I have a middle seat, and you have an aisle?” asked the tall, athletically gorgeous, brunette woman with the perky (not pouting) breasts, as she moved past my seat to seat 6B. The tone of her question could best be described as indignant.

Honey replied, “I don’t know, Baby. I guess the computer just did it that way.” The tone of Honey’s reply could best be described as annoyed.

Honey was an almost equally attractive human specimen, packaged in the male version. He had dark, thick, curly hair…booth tanned skin, and well-muscled arms that were testing the limits of the banded short sleeves of his untucked royal blue polo shirt.

These two would be perfect for the cover of a magazine that might specialize in selling us shit we don’t need. Both pretty, but she was special.

Her non-pouting breasts were presented to her fellow passengers in a nicely fitting black tank top, and they would have been considered just short of perfection had they not been fake and outclassed by her amazing butt…this ass was spectacular. (I’m not talking about the dude she was with, I didn’t really know him yet) She encased these lovely glutes in a pair of heather grey yoga pants that coordinated well with the black tank. Because she finished the apparel package with a long graceful neck, a perfect nose, well set cheekbones, and vibrant light brown eyes, her scantily clad ensemble advertised pretty, not slutty. She had an aura of confidence that was most likely the result of a childhood full of participation trophies, a parent sponsored Psychology degree, good nutrition, and family and friends who always reminded her that she was awesome. I had deduced her entire psychological profile in the first 10 seconds of our soon to be dysfunctional relationship. That’s because I was a bit travel weary, and I’m a bit of a douche when I’m flying, even on good days. Baby’s and Honey’s visual charisma had the attention of everyone in the cabin, so naturally, I disliked them.

“Why would the computer separate us? You booked the tickets together didn’t you?” she pressed the issue.

“Yes, I did” he replied impatiently. The brevity of his replies led me to believe that he did not want to engage in conversation with this beautiful woman. He seemed uncomfortable and maybe a bit off balance for someone of his stature and importance, even that importance was self-perceived.

Then, as Honey was apprehensively waiting for Baby’s next question, his discomfort increased exponentially as a Large man – I’m gonna say 350 pounds, grabbed the middle seat next to him – seat 6E.

So right about now I’m thinking that Honey might be rethinking all those extra reps on the incline bench, those last two squeeeeeezzzzed out military presses, and the countless dumbbell flies that he has subjected his pecs, traps, and delts to, becaaaauuuuusssse… his broad, bronzed, and chiseled upper body was now competing for the limited airplane cabin space with the soft and fleshy, gelatinous, mass of the co-passenger in 6E. I bet he’s also thinking that he may not have chosen wisely when he made the choice to put an aisle and another passenger (me) in between him and the woman he calls ‘Baby’.

So I have an aisle seat next to a thin, beautiful, if not 100% natural, woman. Her significant other is sitting across the aisle from me in his own aisle seat that he appears to have chosen for himself instead of her – and this action has caused his lady some irritation. It also seems like he may have chosen this arrangement strategically to have a “buffer” between himself and her. But now, it’s looking like the strategy may be backfiring as we are about to embark on a two hour journey, and he’s sitting next to a rotund and overflowing (but I’m sure very nice) row mate…with a skin condition. Did I mention that? Yeah, the 6E dude is a little flakey…but not in an emotional way, if you catch my drift.

Their conversation continues, and I am literally in the middle of their first world crisis. These beautiful people have to sit next to some of us who are less visually stunning (I’m talking about the big dude in 6E, I’m a very attractive man; everyone says so). The two of them began discussing how to resolve the crisis as if the Large passenger, and The Large Man (that’s me) weren’t even there. Bad manners.

“Honey, this is a long flight. Is there any way we can sit together?” asked Baby.

“I don’t know, Baby, do you think one of these guys will change seats with one of us?” was the reply of the strong and handsome man. He seemed terribly troubled and put out by all of this.

As a frequent traveler, and one who is wise in the ways of aircraft cabin comfort and logistics, and even wiser in the ways of love and making a woman feel cherished, I felt it was my duty to…umm… interject.

“Maybe someone would help you if you didn’t talk about us as if we weren’t here” I interjected while making eye contact with Baby, then turning to Honey at the end of my unsolicited advice. My interjection made the Large and fleshy man in 6E smile as he was working the keypad of his phone.

So Baby looks at Honey, as she points her thumb at me kinda hitchhiker style and asks, “Why don’t you ask this guy if he’ll change seats with you – aisle seat, for an aisle seat?”

Before Honey can respond, I calmly interject again, looking right in Baby’s eyes (and not at her boobs, because I don’t objectify women) and I ask, “Why don’t you just ask me? I’m sitting right here. Do you understand how rude and really weird this is?”

As abrupt and to the point as my words were, Honey still addresses the lady he calls Baby, and says, “I’m not going to ask, you ask.”

I want to make sure you readers understand, they’re not speaking in whispers, not even in lowered voices. They are speaking in completely normal, conversational volume, voices…I’d never seen anything like it, and I’m 55 and ½ years old.

So I turn back to Baby, and I just look at her (that’s the first time I really noticed how unique and beautiful her eyes were; more like an amber than a brown. Stunning, but I digress) and I wait for her question. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking, C’mon, use your words, you can ask.

So she twisted up her courage, and looked just to the left, and above me so as not to make eye contact.

“Hey, would you mind changing seats with my husband, so we can sit together?”

Other than the lack of eye contact, and calling me “Hey”, instead of, “Sir”, or “Buddy” or even, “Dude” (Handsome would have worked too), her question was presented semi-respectfully. At the very least, it was a question and not a demand. I was kind of expecting a demand.

“Which one is your husband?” I replied. (If only for my own amusement, I found my reply equally funny and dick-ish…in retrospect, about 75% dick-ish)

She gave me an astonished stare. “Well him.” She pointed at the man in the aisle seat (of course). “The aisle seat. The one I’ve been talking to.”

“Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t know” I replied innocently (Dick-ishly)

I think she felt that now that she was communicating with me directly, I would fall under her spell.

She continued, “You both have aisle seats, and this way my husband I can sit together. It’s a long flight.”

“Why didn’t you guys book your seats together?” I asked. Her husband rolled his head back, and shook that curly topped noggin as he faced the heavens.

I was really enjoying this, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one.

“I think the computer just did it this way. So can you switch with us?” she asked again.

“No, I don’t think so” was my response.

She crossed her arms and faced forward. Honey quickly grabbed a magazine and just stared at it. I did nothing. Other passengers kept walking by, finding their way to their own seats, unaware of all the fun we were having in row 6.

About 30 seconds passed before she turned back to me and asked, “Can I ask why? Why won’t you switch with him? We’re going on vacation.”

I reply:
“Well, first of all; I travel all the time. I’m on a plane just about every week. I almost never get to sit next to someone as pretty and petite as you. I’m usually sitting next to someone just like me – Large and bulky, and barely contained by the seats we have here in coach. So simply looking at my options, I can sit next to someone young, small, and beautiful, like you, or I can change seats with your husband, and sit next to someone, well, more like me. I’m in control of this situation, and I pick you. No offense, sir.” I directed the last part of my reply to the Large(er) gentleman in 6E.

6E looks up from his phone and says, “None taken” with hint of a smile, then back to his phone. Baby smiled a little as well while I was acknowledging her beauty.

I continue, “Your husband, your Honey, can sit next to you anytime. The travel gods are smiling on me today, I can’t ignore them, it wouldn’t be right. Second of all, and I don’t want to start a whole thing here, but you guys were being kind of rude, and maybe even a little disrespectful as you were speaking about me and our other row mate as if we weren’t here. That’s just bad manners, I can’t nurture that with any kind of accommodation. Does that make sense?”

I look at her, and wait for a reply, she looks at me, blankly, and says nothing.

“And finally,” I say, “I have a hunch that you’re not used to people saying ‘No’ to you. I get the feeling you almost always get what you want, whenever you want it. You were exasperated at the thought of sitting in a middle seat…next to me. So in a way, I’m helping you. Life doesn’t always work out that way. Really, I’m surprised you’re not thanking me.”

Still no comment. The only response was that she turned away from me and shook her head. I think I may have made Baby angry. Honey never looked up from his magazine, but I couldn’t tell if I made him mad, or made his day. I guess I’ll never know, because despite my friendly attempts at conversation during the flight, neither spoke for the next 2 hours.

Just so ya know, I help less experienced travelers all the time. I’ll give up my aisle or window seat at the drop of a hat so kids can sit with sibs or parents. I give my preferred seats up for military peeps, older ladies or gentlemen, and strippers of any age. I’m a giver, and I give happily.

But this was a day to give a lesson and not a seat. I just don’t tolerate bad manners.

Thanks for reading.

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