Thursday, June 11, 2009

The cat ate my journal!!

While I was relaxing in the motel in Chicago the other night before I went to bed, I was watching a self-help program on PBS. The guy was telling us how we can become the perfect person. How we could go through life, accomplishing everything, forgetting or postponing nothing and being hyper-successful. He listed the sixteen excuses people make and gave counter arguments to each excuse. He was trying to create a world with... (gasp)... no excuses!

Sounds Communistic to me! No excuses? That's anti-American. Our whole culture is based on excuses! "Don't blame Joey. His great-aunt was a bed-wetter!" or "Little Amanda isn't at fault. She lived next door to a hillbilly as a child!" Our Constitution promises me "Life, liberty and the pursuit of excuses!"

If I didn't have excuses, my quality of life would be seriously impaired. Clean out the garage, sorting out and pricing all the garage sale stuff? Yes, dear. Repaint the whole upstairs pink and orange? Right away, sweetheart! Get gas for the grill, check the attic for birds, redo the Star Wars room... and no excuses? Oh, my aching back. Wait, was that an excuse? If you could see the journal I'm writing in, you would see tear marks.

I realize that I'm in my pre-retirement self-improvement phase and boy-o-boy was there room for improvement. I can honestly say that I've made some serious strides towards improving myself in many ways. I am extremely happy with my life and envision that by the time I retire, all my health issues will be "healthy lifestyled" into oblivion. I am more active and less sedentary. The last time I checked my e-mail, I had messages backed up for over a week. I haven't written in my blog for almost a month and last week I didn't even have time to weigh in at Weight Watchers. Every time I went to the Y to work out, I got called by the railroad before I got home. The railroad seems to have laid off all but a couple of guys and are working us to death. I've been getting all the important things done like mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, giving Jenny a pedicure and polishing her wine glasses with $100 bills. I know that there's obvious room for improvement but all at once? If I transform myself into the perfect man this year, what's there to accomplish next year?

Also, women like flawed men. I'm sure that Jenny would hate a world without an occasional belch or fart. I'm not talking about cranking out colon bombs that would make a buzzard barf but an occasional puffer or two. And I didn't mean I would burp the Star Spangled Banner in pig-latin but just a slip now and then. You see, having a couple character flaws can prove beneficial to one's spouse. Jenny doesn't have to ask me what I had for lunch. She just has to look on my shirt. Now I admit to being flawed. I'm not perfect. Yeah, I may be far from ideal, but I'm far from the other end of the spectrum also.

I know people who consider washing their work jacket or brushing their teeth to be spring cleaning chores. Or those who think parking an old car or dead lawn mower in the yard qualifies as landscaping. They're the ones with pet hair in their potluck dishes. They wear tight wife-beater shirts to formal parties and put out cigarettes in the ice bucket. They have an "If the truck's a rockin', don't come a knockin'" sticker on the pick-up with a window sticker of a brat kid peeing on something.

Yeah, I'm not perfect, yet. There's some room for improvement. I'm working on it. I won't have to get the "Get 'er Done" tattoo or the 4X t-shirts. I look forward to a nice long walk or a workout at the Y. My house won't make "Architectural Digest", but it won't make "New Jersey Living" either.

So, as for Dr. Wayne Dwyer, the flack on PBS the other night, who thought I should be perfect and shouldn't have any excuses, if he doesn't like what he sees, he can call my emergency complaint line and complain. The number is 1-800-EAT CRAP.