Love to all. Even you, anglepark mcgoo.
So, I leave my house at 6am (late morning for me. seriously. ugh.) and started driving to the train station. My neighbor pulls out behind me… it’s this guy from way down the road. The dude’s a tailgater. There’s been a few times he’s hung on my ass all the way from the train station to home.
I figure I’ll a slightly different route to the train station, thus avoiding him having to be held up by me, and me having to worry about being tailgated. If I can’t destress myself via not caring about potential tailgating (I’m neurotic like that), I’ll destress by removing myself from the situation. Not bad thinking for early in the morning, right?
I turn down the alternate road, which turns out to be a lot snowier than the main road. I’m concentrating on the snow, when I see a car approaching from the left. This SHOULD be impossible. But somehow, I’ve come all the way to the main road in town, and I’m literally going straight THROUGH the stop sign, and I’m going to collide with this BMW, and it’s totally my fault.
Slowdown. Clarity. Little arrows across my field of vision. Options.
If I tried to break, the guy would hit me. If I tried to make the turn, the guy would hit me. So I gunned it, and shot to the other side of the road, towards a plastic-fenced construction lot, so that I’d squeak buy and worry about stopping my own car in a few seconds, vs. having a two-car, my-fault situation.
I cross the road and brake to a stop. Accident avoided. The guy goes by, honking. He honks a lot. He’s pissed. I back up. We’re both going to the train station, so I decide to follow him to the parking lot in order to apologize. He must think I’m going to shoot him or something, because he starts driving funny… like stepping on his brakes, shooting forward, stepping on his brakes again.
I park next to him anyway. Wave.
I get out, and say: “I’m so sorry about that!” He’s like “YOU ALMOST KILLED ME.” I say: “I know! I’m really sorry. You know what happened? And I tell him. (I leave out the neighbor part, but mention the snow and that I didn’t see the stop sign at all, and that it was totally my fault.)
Now, when I talk to people, especially if I’m apologizing, I sometimes, touch people on the elbow. You know what I mean. It’s kind of a pat, timed with “I’m really sorry.” This guy jumped back like I’d shocked him or something. It was weird. He also didn’t make any eye contact for the entire time he kept looking to the left and right of me.
I guess I expected him to be somewhat accepting of my immediately taking blame and apologizing. Especially considering nothing actually happened. And I KNOW I should have just apologized without giving a crap what his reaction was, but I’m not quite there yet. I’m just not that spiritually fit.
It takes me a few seconds to realize that the guy is just trying to step around me so he can continue being pissed off. The only thing he said was “You almost killed me. You went through a stop sign.” My response was, at first: “I know. I’m really sorry.”
I should have let it go at that. But, like I said, I’m not there yet. When I realized that he was pretty much rejecting my apology, saying “YOU ALMOST KILLED ME” again, I said: “Oh, you don’t want me to apologize. My mistake.”
Shouldn’t have said that. What I WANTED to say, but didn’t, was:
“Oh, shut the fuck up, you jackass, crybaby, dickface, loser, arrogant, scumbag. I’m pretty fucking sure you and your BMW would have survived an 18 mile an hour impact with a 2000 Miata. I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been a scratch on your heavily hairsprayed head. Nobody almost killed you, so stop whining.”
I dunno. It’s weird. I was apologizing for an accident that didn’t happen, because I made a stupid mistake.
Are there really people who can fully “take themselves out of the results business?” and just do the right thing without worrying about the consequences and results? Can they promptly admit to being wrong and then not obsess over it?
I’d like to get to that point, but I’m not there yet. I think that’s what I’m going to pray for for a while: “God, please help me do the right thing, and stay out of the results business.”
Love to all. Even you, the dude with the extensive noseblowing ritual.
I went to confession today, for the first time ever. I’m not sure why it wasn’t part of the initial conversion process, but I was never required to do it. And I’ve been kind of afraid to ever since.
But you know what? I decided that it’s Lent, I genuinely want to change certain behaviors, and I’m genuinely sorry for my sins. So I went to confession.
I guess I kind of went big: I went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan. The Priest was kind of funny: I was the first one in, and he was kind of messing around on the other side of the confessional, and I actually heard him say “Who put this here? Idiot.” I said: “You need help over there?” And he said: “Just a minute…. just a minute.”
And then said: “Okay.” And I confessed my sins.
He had some concrete advice for me. And he gave me a penance.
I left feeling really fantastic. And I still do. Craziness.
Love to all. Even you, the angsty gentleman with the too-big coat.
I laid in bed until 2am thinking about work and money.
When I fell asleep, I dreamed that my company was completely in the hole, and that I had to fire all of my staff, and that property values had collapsed so I couldn’t sell the house and escape to Vermont.
I think my brain has had enough vacation.
Love to all. Even you, the three repair dudes who came before the last repair dude.
I’ve never seen snowflakes like these. My 10-year-old was, without exaggeration, moved to prayer. They were huge, individual stars, falling to earth, retaining their individual shapes as they piled up.
We’re leaving for New York in two hours. This has been awesome, but I’m also looking forward to home, friends, high-speed internet, AA meetings, and making my company significantly more badass.
Thanks, Sugarbush. You rock.
Love to all. Even you, the bulldozer driver who crashed through the garage.
After this picture was taken, I skied down the “Spring Fling” trail at Sugarbush yelling “Wheeeeee! Wheeeee!” I yelled “Wheee!” that is, until I got to the race course. Then, I skied alongside the course (I’m not crazy, you know), repeating “Repave the past, Richie. Repave the past.”
Because last year, I got totally stuck on that hill. Embarrassment city.
This has been a killer vacation. The kids improved by leaps and bounds (my oldest skied through the woods with John Egan for four hours straight, yesterday), the weather was beautiful, and, with the exception of some vacation-behaviour-adjustments, we all figured out how to accommodate each other nicely.
Although I’m sad to leave, I’m glad we’ll be arriving home on tomorrow night, since that gives us the weekend to prepare for school, work, etc.
What a blast. I love Sugarbush. And I really love this part of Vermont.
We’re definitely coming back next year, if we can.
Love to all. Even you, the teacher who temporarily lost track of my daughter.
My youngest did one of those synaptic-connection things where he kind of practiced something for a few days, then suddenly GOT IT. Yesterday, he couldn’t ski five feet without falling down. Today… well…
Today was the most fun I’ve ever had skiing. Although I missed the morning because of the furnace outage back in Westchester, I hooked up with Maggie mid-morning and went on some really fun runs with her.
I challenged Maggie to a race, and she completely smoked my slowpoke ass.
After lunch, we went on one more run, then picked up my daughter and son from ski school. (My oldest was at adventure camp for the day.)
I went three bunny-hill runs with my daughter, then up the big quad to the green runs. On the way down, my daughter suddenly took off. I called out “slow down, honey! slow down!” but off she went, around a big turn and out of site.
I sped up to try and catch her. When I came around the big turn, she was nowhere to be found. I saw her, finally, HUNDREDS OF YARDS AHEAD, near the bottom of the hill. Stopped. Waiting for me.
I passed a group of folks taking lessons. I heard the instructor say “like that little girl who just went by.” I turned around to look at the instructor, crossed my skis, and went tumbling down the hill, losing a ski in the process.
I got up, got my ski back on, and went to meet my daughter.
I pulled into meet her, she said “Daddy where were you?” I said: “I fell down.” She laughed and said “That was you I saw?” Oh, it was.
The next thing I know, Maggie is next to me, saying “Look! Look!” And there was our youngest, making lazy s-curves on the green hill, showing a control and ability that, compared to the day before, was leaps and bounds ahead. Startling, really.
Yay, synaptic connections. Youth is SO cool.
The four of us went on another couple of runs, then home. Maggie picked up my oldest when Adventure Camp ended.
The evening ended wonderfully: we dropped the kids at a Sugarbush Pizza and Movie night, and Maggie and I went out to dinner at “Timbers,” the new restaurant at the bottom of the mountain. DInner was actually quite good… and Maggie and I tried about six different Vermont cheeses.
Reason number 217 that Maggie and I are a good couple: we both love cheese course.
Tomorrow, we look at Vermont real estate.
This was a GREAT vacation day. Possibly the best ever.
Love to all. Even you, the lady who tried to take my kid’s seat at the movie.
Five years ago, our furnace quit on New Year’s Eve.
Four years ago, our furnace quit on Christmas Day.
Yesterday, our furnace quit. Our babysitter, who’s been checking on the cats, called to say that our hosue was 48 degrees, and that the furnace was off. My neighbor shut off the water main last night, and the repair folks are meeting the babysitter at the house sometime over the next few hours.
I’m dropping Maggie and the kids off at skiing in forty-five minutes, then coming back here to make sure I’m reachable during the repairs. Which sucks, because it’s 25 degrees and climbing: looks to be a beautiful day to ski.
Alas. Hopefully I’ll be able to ski in the afternoon.
Love to all. Even you, the folks who miscommunicated about who should be where, when.
We’re going to take the kids to the Ben & Jerry’s factory (every kid should go there once), and to see the Icelandic ponies at The Mad River Inn.
Yesterday was a wicked hard day, parenting-wise. My oldest got into a teenage-level funk and was challenging everything we said… from not being allowed to jump off the roof of the neighbor’s house (!) to who gets to ski with who, to where to eat to whether we could stop for a brochure for this ski lodge to pretty much anything else we suggested… and he always remained about 20 yards back. Stopping and plopping into the snow until we called him over. The direct disagreements would be followed by long, long, moping periods. He snapped out of it eventually, but it’s really hard for me to deal with.
On the other hand, my oldest has turned into an AMAZING skier. Totally fearless. I can’t keep up with him at all. He skies into the woods at every opportunity, takes whatever jumps he can find, and basically radiates joy at every turn. It’s kind of incredible to watch.
My daughter blew me away at the end of the day. As I watched, she skied down to the chairlift line, got on the lift alone, went to the top of the bunny hill, and skied back to me… all on her own. She looked terrific! I can’t believe how much she’s improved in the last few days.
My youngest has been hard at work in Ski School, and is really coming along. He’s also quite taken with the teenage ski instructors.
To Maggie, there’s almost nothing better than where we’re it right now. The only thing that could make it better for her would be if we were staying in our own place. I’m not sure that’s going to happen this year, but maybe someday. When Maggie skis, she has this terrific smile on her face… she definitely the family snow bunny.
So now, it’s off to do dishes and head into town. My back is already thanking me for the day off.
Love to all. Even you, whoever parked in the middle of the one-way street.