Son of a Beach
I was sitting in a coffee shop in Encinitas when I read a Facebook post from my daughter where she mentioned how depressed she was and went on to ask people about their own battles with depression. Now this is a very personal subject, yet she had a ton of responses in just a few minutes. This was a good thing, people willing to share their feelings on such an important subject, and letting others know that we are not alone in this world of ours.
Being a father, I tried to do what I always do which is try to lighten the mood and make her smile by telling her to go sit in a public place and practice squeezing her butt cheeks together until she laughs because she is sitting there squeezing her butt cheeks together in a public place, and, if it’s done right, no one knows. I went on to tell her I got the idea by analyzing a statue of Buddha and speculating about the source of his enigmatic facial expression.
The aforementioned practice was the only thing that made some sense. He had to be smiling on the inside for some reason, and I know he has this super serious reputation and all that, but he had to have a fun side too or else people would not relate to him the way they do. Spiritual leaders love their fellow creatures and people get that.
This also explains those people like Torquemada, Hitler, Stalin, and those religious fanatics who believe blowing up the innocent is an act of faith. People like them look at the same statue and identify more with the somewhat dour expression because it reverberates in the dark space behind their eyes.
This leads them to assume that everybody else in the world needs help in connecting this falsely presumed sour attitude of spiritual people to their own hidden source of the pickle face. By help, I mean the hot lead enema, or knife blade across the trachea, you know, people being so stubborn about recognizing what’s good for them and all.
It’s probably not like they didn’t try to get the humorous aspects of life. I am sure there must have been times where Torquemada went home and wrote a letter to a friend with a similar disposition, “You should have been there. Every time he got to place where he recited “as we forgive those who trespass against us,” I would signal Jorge to tickle his testicles with a red-hot poker. It was hilarious. I howled. So, did he. LOL.”
Some people just don’t have the gene for appreciating humor or for understanding how a human being is supposed to act. They don’t get it, so they just naturally think that everybody else is crazy and their sense of duty requires them to make sure that other people understand just how serious life on earth truly is.
I always wonder about how their young lives played into the creation of the hideous narcissistic belief that you have to poke someone’s eyes out in order to get them to see things right. Did their mothers scour their asses with Comet and a steel scouring pad when they pooped in their diapers? Did their fathers put their beers down and laugh while the butt scouring was going on? It had to be pretty bad to adopt the tonsure as a hairstyle, or to come to the belief that Jesus actually advocated cutting a weird looking ring around your head to prove your commitment to the cause.
This is the kind of shit that bounces around inside my head after my daughter posts something on Facebook about being depressed. I don’t know if it means I’m a crappy father or not. I know that my response was born somehow in my dealings with my late wife, yet it is even more than that. It’s how men respond to when women complain about things. Since the days of the cavemen, men have learned to try and fix everything that’s wrong. This goes against the truth that women are usually better at fixing things than we are. Women sometimes just want to be acknowledged and to know that they are being heard.
A therapist told me this one time. She told me to just shut-up and listen and nod my head from time to time. Maybe not in those exact words, but with the exact meaning. I found it odd that she didn't even say I had to actually empathize with my wife. In fact, she clearly inferred that I just listen.
For the life of me, I can’t just do that especially when it comes to my girls. But, I usually fix things like the Three Stooges fixed things. In my eagerness to be a good father, I often try to fix something that’s not broken. I also have a tendency to make things worse. Sometimes they just want me to fix myself.
I know that I should have called my daughter and just listened to what she had to say, only offered advice if it was requested, and finished by telling her how much I love her.
Life for men would be a lot damn easier if our caveman ancestors had had good therapists. They could have used a good body wash too, but that's a different story altogether.