Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Show Me Crane Technique Dad

Last night I became a Sensei. What I have hoped and dreamed for all my life happened. My oldest son came to me for my wisdom, looking to be enlightened.

"Dad, I don't get it. I come home from work after a fifteen hour day, say hi to my wife and crash on the couch for a few minutes just to unwind. She sits across from me not saying anything so immediately I know something is wrong. (He's learning already.)

I make the mistake of asking her, "What's wrong? She says predictably, "nothing." Now I know I'm really in trouble. If I press the issue I'll piss her off for pressing the issue, if I ignore her I'm dead because I'm not communicating. (He is wise beyond his years.)

Finally she relents and says, "You never want to do anything." So I say, "What do I not want to do?" She says, "Anything." So I say, "Give me an example." She says, "Like go to a coffee shop and just hang out and read a book." So I say, "You don't even drink coffee." She says, "I drink tea." I say, "I can make you tea right here." She says, "It's not the same atmosphere as a coffee shop." So I say, "Okay let's go to a coffee shop." She says, "You're only saying that to make me happy. You don't really want to go to a coffee shop." So I say, "I don't ever want to go to a coffee shop. I would only go to a coffee shop to make you happy. Isn't that the point?"

I looked at my son, who now had this lost look on his face, and I remembered when he was a boy and scratched his first Lotto ticket and came up empty. I knew that look.

"Grasshopper, show me sand the floor."

"What dad?"

"Show me, paint the fence."

"Dad this isn't funny."

"Show me, Wax on! Wax off!"

"Dad, you're not making any sense."


"Now grasshopper you are beginning to see the light."

"But dad I'm trying to make her happy."

"There is no try, only do."

"Do WHAT???"

"Sweep the leg?"

"Sweep the leg? You want me to trip her? Are you nuts?"

"Um... Fear has no place in this Dojo."

"I'm afraid and confused every damn day dad. Give me a little real advice please."

"STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR. Wait... that's what women do, let me think."

"Dad knock it off I'm trying to learn how to make my wife happy."

"First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, son, not mine."

"You're a big help dad. Is this how you deal with mom?"

A moment of serenity now filled the room and I could swear I smelled Lotus blossoms. I saw by the look on my sons face that he had seen the light. He was one with the hopelessness that is the married man. He now knew that he would never know and that all was right with the world.

"You know dad, you're not Japanese."

"Yeah I know son. You good?"

"Yeah I got it."

"We should have a Karate Kid marathon."

"Sure dad, as long as we don't have to watch the one with the chick."