To the father of three sitting next to me on the airplane who:

  • Smelled like a distillery (his own words) after drinking too heavily with his buddies this weekend
  • Loves sports, used to play basketball in college, always dreamed of being an ESPN announcer, and now coaches his sons basketball team
  • Grew up “dirt poor” in Poulsbo, Washington and went to college in Hawaii where his father moved after divorcing his mother
  • Is a State Farm insurance salesman just like his father was
  • Didn’t want to be like his father
  • Owns a dockside home on the Puget Sound, two boats, and ten acres
  • Used to hunt, but now only fishes. Loves fish.
  • Has a wife with an MBA who stayed home for just one year with their three children and decided it wasn’t for her, that she was essentially just cleaning up the same mess multiple times a day
  • Meets up with two buddies from grade school every year to watch the Superbowl, even though his wife isn’t a huge fan of his friends or the annual rendezvous
  • Was diagnosed with high blood pressure last year and has since cut back on red meat, cut out beer, and now only drinks gin and vodka
  • Has Swedish family hailing from Minnesota and has a traditional name that peers growing up thought was weird
  • Lives on Bainbridge Island and hates everyone around there, particularly the “wussy” men who don’t even know how to change a tire
  • Wishes that he lived in a more diverse place so that his kids could experience and witness all that life has to offer
  • Each year changes his key chain to reflect the state or place that he intends to travel that year (this year is Hawaii)
  • Took his family to Spain last year, but found his three kids to be a handful and was less impressed than expected by the food
  • Is a self-identified foodie who kindly offered me half of his Subway BLT foot long with extra jalapeño
  • Believes raising his children is the best thing he’s ever done and credits his fully developed manhood to the experience
  • Loves to read a biography and binge watch the History Channel
  • Graciously offered his car keys and ice cubes as entertainment for my restless lap infant
  • Congratulated me on making such a great kid
  • Referred to women repeatedly as “girls,” and refused to believe I am 33 despite my increasingly gray hair and deep scowl lines, both features which I pointed out to him
  • Had to ask the personal question (his words) about how it was my wife and I decided who would carry and birth our child and then offered a, “good for you two” immediately followed by, “How does your family feel about it?”
  • Ordered a Sprite Zero. Ordered a gin and tonic. Ordered a vodka tonic. Ordered a Coke Zero and then seemed perplexed when the flight attendant brought him four drinks
  • States he is going through an early midlife crisis
  • Used to be willing to “cut your throat for a dollar,” but according to his buddies has now become soft
  • Believes in the importance of kids experiencing nature
  • Is preparing himself to have the dreaded talk with his son about the birds and the bees
  • Can’t believe the exposure kids have these days to sex via technology and imagines I probably have at least three “cock shots” in my email as we speak
  • Wants to do something meaningful, feels that his current existence is not, but doesn’t know how to change
  • Has a wife who “likes her things”
  • Would do anything for his kids
  • Has never heard of a food desert or food access issues and was in total disbelief that there are kids who might not have immediate access to fresh, healthy food
  • Is happy for the upcoming adventures my family will have
  • Wonders what I’ll write in the future and anticipates that I’ll succeed as a writer because I expect nothing from it, but do it because I love it
  • Thinks he is probably “part of the problem”
  • Doesn’t know how to better utilize his wealth to do good
  • Thinks that I am probably much happier than him
  • Knows he is on a journey

I mean what I said as we parted ways on the airplane. I wish you the best of luck.




One Reply to “OAK > SEA”

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