Matthew Suarez 3 p.m., Dec. 11
As I go about life here in Scripps Ranch, I am like many of you. I face the daily rigors of trying to balance work, family, and social activities. And I, like many of you, have discovered a magical little saying that I can carry around and use whenever things creep up and threaten to make me examine them too closely. The magical little saying is: I DON’T CARE! (Has a nice ring to it, huh?) It’s a great tool when the television spews out information about the most recent escapades of Beepie & Boopie and their wacky on-going saga with a bevy of babies. It comes in handy against the onslaught of minutia about the current Octo-idiot who has sold the commercial rights to her chemically enhanced womb… I DON’T CARE! (Feel the momentum?) This magical saying can also be utilized every couple weeks as a different politician crawls out from under a rock and stands before us with his/her gender-undisclosed playmate shuffled off to parts unknown and his/her wife/husband hovering podium side, and sobs about how important it is to stand firm on the righteousness of high moral ground and admit how wrong you are and how you’re never going to…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…I DON’T CARE! (I hear you chanting.)
I can’t recall the number of times I’ve been totally numbed out by the prospects of owning a knife that can cut through a can, pills that make you feel like a man; obedience training for my dogs and my kids, stay-fresh containers with air-tight lids; tools that can build just what I need, spray-can cleaners for where my cat’s peed; girls that want to date me now, tonight, closet attachments with a built-in light. Oh, what a joy to finally address my receding hairline, my expanding waistline, shortcuts to the income I deserve...I DON’T CA…Look! To be honest with you, I wasn’t even aware that I had a libido problem until hearing it discussed salaciously by a panel of semi-literate, ex-not-quite-Playboy bunny, supposed impartial paid spokes-persons. Thanks girls…I DON’T CARE! (It’s official.)
So, a couple of weeks back, my wife and I go to one of the local concerts here in Hoyt Park. These are big events for the neighborhood and the turnout is always large. People set up their blankets and chairs (sometimes even the night before) to stake their spots and a good time is had by all. We rolled into the park with a cooler full of munchies and drinks. I also, like many of you, brought along my magical little saying because you never know, right?
Well, we found our spot and settled in for the show. Through the course of the evening I helped peace-broker a sibling rivalry (between a four and a five year old) that left unchecked surely would have erupted into violence. I helped multiple elderly parties carry heavy items back and forth to their vehicles. I helped maintain a general feeling of well-being with my craftsman-like handling of some fairly corny jokes and comments. I helped support the arts with my applause and cheering for the band—not to mention ten dollars for their cd. I even let a few people, in more urgent need, ahead of me at the Port-A-Potties.
It was in this successful social glow that I sat, cuddling with my wife, and enjoyed the last couple songs of the night. At one point I exclaimed, “These guys are f@#$#@ good!”
Now, I’m not one to curse up a storm usually, but having been relaxing with friends (and a couple of adult beverages) and being caught up in the music, I did let the f-bomb fly. I know other people have survived much worse mistakes. My problem, unfortunately, was that the woman directly in front of me turned and glared over her shoulder like I had just scooped up a litter of cute little kittens and tossed them into a spinning blender! My first instinct was to pull out my magical saying and go on about my business. Instead, I sat and thought about it for a minute--the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. And while I questioned the severity of her glare, I could not question her desire (and right) to enjoy an event without the invasion of my crude vocalizations. Even though my intentions were good—sharing and having fun with my wife and I never meant to involve this woman, I had involved her and I was sorry. I leaned forward and apologized to her.
I can only hope the woman in the park knew then and knows now that I was completely sincere in my apology. I had crossed a rapidly disappearing social line that once gone we may never get back and… I CARE! So be careful with that magical little saying, my friends, and don’t abuse, overuse, or confuse it.
Daniel J McAuliffe