If my calculations are correct, it will be anywhere from 3 months to 6.25 years before at least one of my kids realizes just how cool I actually am. That approximates the window of time between which my oldest child and youngest child graduate from high school. I’ve based this estimation on the scientific evidence I observed in how the perception I had of MY parents changed upon embarking for a post secondary education. I figure, despite how complex and wildly unpredictable the teenage brain is, there are certain consistencies to the human experience that are reliable in determining when your kids become aware of your true swagger.
Recently I was prepping one of my trivia shows and I came across a “factoid” that I had jotted down years ago about an infamous moment for a celebrity singer. I started crafting a short question about the incident, but stopped myself and wondered- “why would I ask a question about this?”. Sometimes contemplative pauses like this are due to second thoughts I have about the informative and entertaining merit of the “factoid”. In this case, it was because I remembered a promise I made to myself to avoid being carelessly mean-spirited towards people when trying to be entertaining and informative. I call it being “Casually Nasty”, and I believe it’s a more serious problem than being intentionally nasty.
As an entertainer, with a background in stand-up comedy, radio, television and performing live on-stage at various events, you might be surprised to hear that I consider myself an Introvert. It wasn’t until I had a discussion with my father years ago that it became clear that we’re BOTH Introverts. He a retired doctor of medicine; me a comedian; both cut from the same cloth, indeed. Not only did I now have an enlightened view of my own persona, but it helped solve an ongoing mystery in my relationship with my wife, who is most definitely an Extrovert.
Some memories of my college years are, well, a bit fuzzy. What I remember in vivid detail, however, are the holidays of my first year away at University living in college residence. Attending U of T from Vancouver, I was one of just a handful of students in an entire building who didn’t go back home for Thanksgiving, Christmas or March Break. As a result, the halls of the dorms were unusually quiet at these times. Not in an eerie way, like when reading, “The Shining”, by Stephen King alone in a hotel-like environment, (not recommended). Instead, the distinct serenity of being left behind in residence was liberating. I felt that I had free-run of the space that was otherwise congested with the jocularity, antics and frenetic energy of day-to-day living in close quarters with dozens of other dudes. Reflecting back as a working parent now, I’m astonished that I could open my door, step into the hallway and say my biggest secrets aloud without any repercussions.
In a marriage, or long-term relationship, the person responsible for handling the regular monthly finances shouldn’t be the one with the craziest cash flow schemes. I know, right!? So, it’s not just a fluke that it worked out that way in my marriage. Wait! Before you jump to the defense of my wife, (who is of sound mind in almost every other way), I’m not saying she’s crazy; just the system she’d have me employ in facilitating our mundane monthly money matters.
There’s a rush you get as a comedian when you’re on-stage performing and, at the same time, thinking about the material you’re going to do later in your act. It’s amazing! Now, I realize it’s not uncommon for people to be able to talk and think at the same time. Being able to stand up in front of an audience and juggle these two with no one else being the wiser is another story. It’s a special skill that is developed and perfected over time. I remember becoming aware of my talent for doing so early in my career as a Headliner at comedy clubs, and it reminds me of a magical moment of awareness I had as a parent.
Recently, I asked my wife to look me in the eyes so that I could tell her that I love her. “Oooohhh my G-d, you’re such a freak!”, was her response. An odd reaction, yes; unless you’re familiar with my penchant for adopting new schtick to improve my person and the world at large. At any given moment, and without warning, you might find me: vitamixing avocado pits; writing sexy love texts; reading my financial statements aloud; wishing happiness and prosperity for people who annoy me; buying locally manufactured ties; and promoting self-awareness and empathy as the keys to utopia. The latest thing I’ve come up with- I have declared myself to be on an Anger Strike.
Whether you’re married, dating, in a common-law relationship, or working it all “International” like Pitbull ft. Chris Brown, it’s not easy to keep the “love” alive. If you want to maintain that spark, and make your amorous relationships last, I’m going to share with you the one key thing you need for success.
WARNING: This post contains content that I find disturbing and gives me the squirms.
The most important thing I can tell you about my travel experiences as a self-diagnosed, semi-professional germophobe is that I still travel. This is an impressive feat of courage considering what I find disgusting about taxis, airports, airplanes, hotels, restaurants, conference centres, other random people and washrooms of any kind that are not attended to by my also-clean-freak wife. Before you nod knowingly and shrug wondering what’s so different for me from how you feel about this very same list of geogermal entities, let me ask you this- have you ever left a note for the maid at your hotel that says: “This room is cleaner than it was when I arrived. Take the day off. –Adam”.
I’m happy to say that I have only a few “uncomfortable” dating moments filed away in my portfolio of romance. That includes the “non-starters” where it just wasn’t going anywhere for anyone, which were somewhat awkward. Slightly more unpleasant were the dates where it was painfully obvious (to me and the waiter) that it was my companion who was feverishly scrambling for an exit strategy.