Sorry I’m posting so late this week but here goes…
While watching an annoying commercial the other day in which person after person (each over fifty) announced with self-satisfaction in various settings, “You know what I’m gonna’ do when I grow up?” it actually made me wince at the staleness of the concept. Because then they rattled off all the cliches like, “open a restaurant, start a band, write a novel,” et cetera, and I couldn’t help thinking, you forgot to add, “open a country inn”, you schmuck! But cliches aside and real life in focus it also got your friendly bartender to thinking. About growing up. And whether or not he’s reached that lofty plateau. Or cliff if you’re so inclined to think as many in my profession are, where stepping off its edge means fogy-hood not adulthood. Where growing up means the clock is striking twelve, you’re pouring not for fun-and-profit anymore just profit, and the cab outside your bar is looking like a pumpkin.
That said, and me not being of that mindset, what does it really take to be called a “grown-up”? And do I qualify? Well here are some of the things that might make it so.
1. Marriage and Children: Though I’ve never been married I’ve done a few “live-withs” but even though they felt like marriage I really can’t count them. So a big “no” on that one.
2. Financial Security: I’m still tending bar so that should answer that one.
3. Emotional Security: That I still pay a visit to my shrink once a month says something.
4. Wisdom: If learning how to make a Singapore Sling or how to handle a customer who’s speaking in tongues qualifies (which it doesn’t in any of the deep thinkers’ books that I’ve read), then yeah I’ve picked up a thing or two in my lifetime.
5: Patience: Next!
6: Able to Embrace Joy: Unless you’re talking about a woman named Joy who looks like you want to hug her the minute she walks in, then no I find it hard to embrace joy. (See 3.)
7: Goals Accomplished: Short range goals, yes, long range goals, no. (See 2.)
8: Controlling Your Temper: If a customer doesn’t come in and order a water first then ask what I recommend, and then pay for that solo drink with a goddam credit card, then steam won’t leave my ears and my face won’t redden. And I’m a pretty cool cat.
9: Accepting Others for Who They Are: If accepting (this guy) for who he is which happens to be an asshole, then I’ve got this covered.
10: Knowing Yourself: From what I’ve just written I do know this, that before I open a country inn where I’ll work on my novel in the morning and play guitar for my guests at night in front of the fireplace, I’ve got to work much harder on 2 through 9!
Hey, I’d like to carry this further, dear reader, but Joy just walked in the bar and I want to go hug her! See you next week-end.