08 June 2014

I'm Less Than Happy to Help But More Than Happy to Be a Sage

I'm the type of person who if I say "let me know if you need anything" always hopes you won't need anything. I never say: "if there's anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask." Because I would really want a person to hesitate to ask. Take your time mulling it over and then if you're sure you want to ask hesitate a bit more, do some more thinking. I'm really hoping you'll change your mind and maybe ask someone else for help or figure out how to do it yourself. Maybe you'll decide its not something worth doing after all and you'll just forget about it and thus your hesitation will have saved us both a lot of bother.

I'm being honest.

Hell chances are you don't know me anyway and our paths will never cross so what do you care if I'm a selfish person. For me it pays off. People get the sense I'm not thrilled about helping anyone else -- meanwhile I gladly accept anyone else's help with anything -- so there's no one lining up asking me to help them move. It generally doesn't occur to anyone to ask me. I've successfully put out that vibe and am the happier man for it.

Now advice is another matter. There's no great exertion in dispensing advice and there's a certain self importance associated with sharing your -- as they say in AA -- experience strength and hope. If someone asks you for advice they are automatically conferring upon you the status of expert in a given area. If not expert then at least someone with experience. In other words I'll do the whole advice thing as long as you're not interrupting from something important to get it.

Ya know now that I think about it I don't get asked for advice nearly as much as I should. I've been through the wars in romance so I'm good for relationship advice. And the fact that I've now been married for almost 27 years proves that I'm capable of making a relationship work (actually, in my case its more like allowing the other person make the relationship work but I've at least gotten out of the way so that she could work her magic). Anyhoo I'm good for marital advice and parenting too. I have two grown children neither of whom has committed a felony or run off to join the Taliban. So I now something about fatherhood too. Teaching is another area where I have decades worth of experience as well as coaching writing and being a sports fan. Oh and the big one: getting off and staying off drugs and booze. I can sum my advice thusly: get your ass to a 12 step group and hang on to those people like grim death until your able to function in the world without drinking or using. Nothin' to it.

So I'm not a total waste of space. I may not be chomping at the bit to help you move the sofa but I can share some insights and they're not all bad either.

Now then, is there anything I can help anyone with? 

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