I am posting an article from my first guest blawger -my bro-lo el cunado, Matt Mainelli. He sent this to me the other day knowing I was having a down week with little output and asked if I wanted to use it. It sheds light on the tough and personal subject of divorce from the man’s perspective. But you may be surprised by what that take is. It takes some gritty Juevos to share this, but thanks for doing so Matthew.
So without further ado…
When it’s Over by Matt Mainelli
The wheels of the plane touched down and we were officially back in Omaha. Like the rest of the passengers, I scrambled for my cellphone to see what I had missed on the 3 hour flight. I scanned through the texts and emails- a few invites for meetings, 10 emails from my brother Dave (if you read this blog, you know he has a lot of time on his hands), and some unimportant texts. And then I saw it, a text message from my wife who I had been separated from for the last four months. It read:
We are officially divorced. Neither one of us can get married for six months. 🙂 Congrats!
There may not be a more up and down experience than parenting. The pride felt in a parent’s heart when their offspring scores an A on that test, makes the winning basket, works really hard to learn trumpet, or on the other side- the wonderment at the sneaking out at 230 am, or the throwing rocks at moving cars, pool hopping when the people are home (brilliant), maybe a brush with the law… or two.
One of my favorite books is Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. It was a difficult read with lots going on, but the reason I was immediately gripped by it was because of the circumstances Pynchon put the story in. The setting was England, 1942. Pynchon made for wicked metaphors out of science with thermodynamics of entropy and making sense of complex systems, most of which flies over my 7th grade frog dissecting was as far as I got head. But his most sardonic metaphor was making the pattern of the German V-2 rockets match the pattern of one of his characters sexual encounter patterns.
OK – I need to go back to this illness. I had one of my worst days with this damn thing yesterday. I woke up sick as hell, and then had to go in for a tongue biopsy at 1030. My wife had a crazy morning scheduled and the biopsy was scheduled just last week, so she couldn’t come. I told her it wasn’t a big deal not knowing anything about it, and I wasn’t told not to drive so I did. Discussing the unlikely chance that I would need a ride home, I called my brother Matt since he worked near the office I was having it done at and asked if needed, whether he could pick me up. His answer went something like, “Well, I have a 1015, but I can come get you after that.” Thus indicating where my family is on this deal.
“You think you could maybe leave the meeting if you had to?” I asked.
“Is the meeting with the Chairman, the CEO, the President, or the COO?”
I waited. “…sure, yea, I guess so.” “Thatta a baby.”
Remember when sports were fun? Like throwing the pigskin around in the front yard with your dad or kicking the soccer ball with mom or playing H.O.R.S.E. or bumping the volleyball, and how it meant the world to you to spend that time with them. Sometimes, the most important conversations you had about life were with mom or dad in those moments. I can tell you in my case that it was in fact, the New York Yankees that kept my father and me barely talking my junior year in high school. And for that I would like to say, thank-you NY Yankees. Oh and also- what the hell are you doing with your draft picks? Who is the most recent pick to start a game, Jeter?
Self-motivation and the Courage to fail are keys to success
I love the word gritty. Great word. Or grittier, grittiness, grittiest, grittylicious. I love my literature gritty, my sports heroes, my movies, my favorite historical leaders, my preferred works of art, my bars, and my women. This tendency or allure is probably because I have also lived in a gritty fashion. I certainly played sports with grit, which would explain the physical impairments including three back surgeries and a knee surgery.
According to Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth, students who work harder day-in and day-out are more likely to succeed. Sounds like common sense right? She explains how talent, and this goes for athleticism or musicality or artistry or writing, and specifically her point- I.Q., does not determine success. Being gritty does. The TED talk is six minutes long, and her speech is very well done.
The above saying is French for the more things change, the more they stay the same. And as an adage, it is often shortened simply to; plus ça change... Although I suspect you have to don a black turtleneck and take a drag of your cigarette right before you say it for it still to work.
I remember so little French after four years of it in high school -or as my old French teacher, Fr. Kestermeier, used to call it-frog-speak– that I have to question what the hell I was doing all that time and how I passed. I assume it was sleeping during class and cramming for tests. Whatever the reason, I wish I would have taken it much more seriously now.
And that brings me to this train of thought; How many regrets does a normal person carry with them about their life? And why do we allow ourselves to keep making so many of them? My guess is we think we won’t regret something later, and that whatever it is we yearn for will pass. Breast implants? Maybe. But taking a trip with your spouse to the one place she always talks about, no way. And yes, she will have a new favorite place later, but you can go to that one too. Continue reading “Plus ça change…”
I wasn’t planning on writing a second part to the illness story, but with such a reaction, I feel like I need to clear up a few points and expound on some others.
Since the last post, I have received a number of calls and emails of support and compassion, and many people have shared their similar experiences. It’s nice to know there are others out there as miserable as I am. Misery does indeed love company. Now get off my lawn! Seriously though, thanks to all for the goodwill.
Going through this illness has been mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting for not just me, but my entire family. I am sure my friends, colleagues, and extended family grow tired of asking “How ya Feeling?” every time they see me, hence, the name of this blog. I know I get tired of them asking it. They are only showing their concern. But try being asked by at least five people everyday for two years and see what it does to you. It wears you down because you can’t get away from it. If it’s not beating you up, it’s making others remind you that it could beat you up if it wanted to- like a bully on the street corner or one of the Five Families of NYC mob lore.