My last post—the one that has reinvigorated my rap career and led to some very kind comments from all of you, including Megan’s earlier today that confirms I’m not the only person who still remembers Mark Linn-Baker—was by far the most ambitious undertaking in the history of the dining room office.
Except, you know, for that whole “I’m trying to write a book” thing.
So, not long after “Dining Room Office State of Mind” dropped, I started thinking: “OK, what do I do next?”
Clearly, I can’t devote hours to every post, as I did with that one. Sure, I’d like to claim I turned it out in 20 minutes while watching General Hospital, but you’d spot that lie right away; no writing is getting done when Sonny’s on trial for a murder he didn’t commit. Speaking of, according to IMDB, the actor who plays him has appeared in 1,175 episodes, and that’s only since 1993.
That’s so astounding that hopefully it’s distracted you from my tacit admission that I’ve started watching General Hospital. I told you it was over, Gossip Girl.
Anyway, without the benefit of a lot of writing time, upping the ante with my next post loomed as an intimidating task. However, when I went to get into my car after work tonight, I discovered I have been putting unnecessary pressure on myself.
It took the wise lady parked next to me to teach me this. You see, she was driving an early ’90s Lincoln Towncar, inside of which you could hide an entire Smart car dealership and still have room for your 12-disc CD changer. One might think that when she purchased or borrowed this vehicle, she would have realized she’d need to be at the top of her parking game to keep it inside the yellow lines. If she felt she weren’t up to the challenge, we might reasonably expect her to bow out and just stay at home.
Well, as it turns out, this seemingly ironclad logic does have one failing in that it assumes this person will naturally strive for parking greatness. But why raise the bar when you can just lower your standards?
It’s surely a lot easier to dock the USS Can’t See Past My Hood within three inches of my sideview mirror than try to contain it in its own spot. Granted, I do think my door tapping her mirror as I held my breath and tried to squeeze my way into my car did momentarily distract her from the book she was reading—oh yes, she was sitting there the whole time—but it was nothing her annoyed “Sorry”—which was unmistakably not sorry—couldn’t make up for.
You see, she could have let the prospect of parking that car correctly own her; instead, she decided just to be cool with her blatantly inferior performance.
And that’s the mantra I’ve embraced in order to allow myself to follow up what, in my humble opinion, is my strongest post to date with several hundred words about a 30-second non-interaction with a stranger in a parking lot. Although in my case, I’d say this is more about returning to reliable mediocrity than actually lowering any sort of gold standard.
You had a glimpse of something special—like the Hummer parallel-parked on a downtown street—but now I’m afraid it’s back to regularly scheduled programming. All I can say is: