So grow up already!

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.

10 Responses to “So grow up already!”

  1. 1 MikeQ February 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Damn, Scrib . . . that is aboslutely perfect. This is great writing, a great post (again!). I have to go back and re-read this, it’s that good. It’s so good I’m babbling. My favorite line at first reading, “the cab outside your bar is looking like a pumkin.” A few carefully crafted words that speak volumes . . . this has immediately become one of my favorite lines about the bar life. My hat’s off to you, amigo.

  2. 2 Marty Wombacher February 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I agree with MikeQ, that pumpkin line is a classic! Nice post today, a little introspective and a lot funny! Loved #5! Tell Joy I said, “Hi!”

  3. 3 Autistic Lurker February 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    “You know what I’m gonna’ do when I grow up?”

    my answer: I’ll do the best I can with what I have and this is fine by me 🙂


  4. 4 scribbler50 February 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Mike Q: You’re too kind, my friend, though I do appreciate the compliment. I’m sure, given what you do, that you can relate. (Now don’t keep looking out the window tonight at those taxi cabs! :
    Cheers, friend.

    Marty: What, you’re moving in on Joy now? Don’t be trying my “patience”, man! 🙂
    Thanks, Marty.

    A. Lurker: That’s all any of us can do so I’m sure you’ll do fine!

  5. 5 brenda cullerton February 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Scrib: You are one of the three original Wise Men, minus maybe the myrrh and frankincense. What the f is myrrh, anyway? LOVE this post.

  6. 6 scribbler50 February 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

    brenda: First off, you having been a copywriter (among, of course, many other things) I thought you’d relate to the triteness of that add campaign… the “When I grow up” bullshit. And secondly, if I’m one of the Wise Men, Pee Wee Herman is the babe under which the star shone!!
    PS: Don’t know what myrrh is either but it is fun to say, no?
    Thanks, Bren!

  7. 7 Anonymoustache February 22, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Loved it, bro…..great stuff. I, too, loved the ‘pumpkin’ line, the ‘patience’ part and the ‘joy’ line….and about that last one all I gotta say is… you’re best off not embracing Joy ‘cos, well, Regis may be 80 and all but he was a fringe ratpacker and so could probably still kick your ass….:-)
    And as far as those ads you talk about, total pretentious bogosity man. As many, including the great philosopher John Lennon, have said, and I paraphrase, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”….Live in the moment and you’re simultaneously in the wonderful state where you’re always grown up but you never really have to….

  8. 8 scribbler50 February 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Anonymoustache: Different Joy but good advice anyway, not because I’m afraid of The Reege (unless he hits me with his wallet) but I don’t want to be the subject of another Page Six Scandal. (For those of you not living in New York, that’s the gossip page in the New York Post.)

    But seriously, my friend, your last sentence says it all and you said it beautifully.

    Great comment, Stache, as always.

  9. 9 physiobabe February 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Ah, the fun of getting older. As the saying goes, “There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.”

  10. 10 scribbler50 February 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    physiobabe: Welcome back, old friend, you’ve been missed. And thanks for commenting both here and on the previous. By the way, if I catch the drift of your question in Italian, I’m doing fine. And in the “privacy of my own home” I might add!
    Later, Babe.

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