[Amanda Jones/Unsplash]

Rhumba Man or Shallow Water Oh Mama

00:00 December 19, 2012
By: Phil LaMancusa

"I'm the same old guy that I used to be, I haven't changed at all, The same old walk, the same old talk that can run you up the wall. The same old face, the same old smile, the same old baby blues. And I'm still doin' the Rhumba, Baby, I'm still the man for you!"

If you are reading this, TEOTWAWKI didn't happen; consequently, we've another new year before us-- to make as good as we can-- with the grand notion that what we do will make an iota of difference in the unraveling of our fates. To give voice to the axiom that nothing's in our control isn't what any of us wants to hear, and far be it for me to go there. Alternatively, I'm going to go with a time honored tradition of espousing New Year's Resolutions—you know—rollin' like a big dog over my faults and swearing that this year I will mend my evil ways. Let's get right to it.

Maturity: I resolve that people doing dim-witted things, making bad choices and going around working people's nerves will not jerk my chain. I won't go to a tense place and wish that they would stick their head in a commode and save the world buckets of grief. I will strive to remember that some folks have had head injuries, oxygen deprivation or synapse malfunctions causing them to act out all of their inner ignorances. I'll be kind. No one needs to see their stupidity reflected in my eyes or demeanor. I'm bigger than that, just like you are, right?

Organization: as in to oversee the coordination of the various aspects of my life. To realize that I cannot bring home everything that strikes my fancy and expect to have them stay in some orderly fashion. I cannot remain Old MacDonald with a book book here, some kitchenware there, put the piano there, art supplies here and sure, if it follows you home you can keep it and hey, there's an empty spot on the wall; we need more pictures!. I resolve to admit that my world is in a finite space and in a reality-based lifestyle, there should be no clutter and a place for everything and everything in its place. Now, where did I leave my keys?

Patience. I want to learn patience and I want to learn it right now!

Moderation: For decades I have believed that I should practice moderation and instead behaved like: "too much of everything is just enough too much of everything is just enough and anything worth doing is worth overdoing!" I have essentially taken moderation in moderation. "P'raps jus' sw'one mor margamarga-margareenie," I'll have that last piece of chocolate cake, make mine a double, and another espresso. More cheese Mom! I can sleep when I'm dead! While you're up, get me a beer, willya? Are you gonna eat that? Yum, I smell bacon! I need more shoes! Officer, was I really going eighty-five? Full speed ahead and one toke over the line, Sweet Jesus." Now, is that any way to live? Hmmmm, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Understanding: Phrases like "they're just kids, maybe they're having a bad day, and/or I guess they don't know no better" are going to pour from me like cheap wine at a sorority soiree, I swear. "It's a free country, I see their point and/or forgive them for they know not what they do" is going to sail from my lips like wind driven frigates. I'm going to swallow my impatience concerning imperfection; I'm going to bite my tongue until it bleeds before I criticize someone's inconsideration; I will epitomize all that's good and kind in an empathetic… and… hell, I'll make Saint Francis look like Assisi!

So, go ahead, blast your cacophonic music, cut in front of me, don't use your turn signal, tip badly, scream at each other, throw up in my doorway, spit and litter and honk your damn horn when you can see that the traffic's goin' nowhere; it's okay. Really. I won't mind if you speak before you think, if you're grouchy and take it out on me or if your views on sports, politics, religion and sex may not agree with mine, but you'll have to tell me yours because you just had one Honey Boo Boo cocktail too many. I absolve you of any blame. Let you children run amok, blow your cigar smoke in my direction, rain on my parade…. damn your eyes.

Optimism: Yes, everything is gonna be fine this year, I just know it! Just Ducky! We'll get the winning lottery number, hit the jackpot, fall in love and win the Superbowl! The grass will be greener, we'll take more time off, make sweet memories and our hair will be perfect! There'll be pep in our step, gut in our strut, a gleam in our eyes that comes from inner peace and our pockets will be full of Benjamins. Our skin will be clear, our muscles toned, our children gifted and no shame in our game. Don't stop me now, I'm on a roll, we'll all be Sunshine Supermen, our stride will glide, the road will rise up to meet us and we'll get fries with that shake! We'll be cookin' in high cotton, risin' up singing with the sun in our face and the wind at our back, and if I get any more optimistic I'm gonna get a friggin' ulcer.

Rhumba Man or Shallow Water Oh Mama
[Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

The Reality: I'm still doin' the Rhumba, Baby, (can't seem to quit), so, who am I kidding? It's taken me years of practice to get to this point; why mess with perfection?

Happy New Year!

Rhumba Man or Shallow Water Oh Mama
[Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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