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Last sunday I was sitting around with a bunch of teens from our church and discussing a million things at a million miles an hour. It’s entertaining but challenging to keep up with the randomness that engulfs the adolecent mind. It keeps you on your toes… keeps you active… keeps you aware of just how fast they can process random things and how difficult it is for them to stay on any one topic for too long.

During our discussions, one of them raised a question,

 

When did you become the “old guy”?

 

snapeWut

 

Awesome… First of all, I’m only 33. This is not what anyone would classify as “old”, second of all – I still listen to popular music, I’m on top of most to all of the trends (even if I do think some of them are stupid), and I know WAY more about the world then you do… SO GET OFF MY LAWN!!

 

Oh my god… I have become the old guy.

 

To be fair to the teen who asked me this question, I was graduating high school when he was born. I could legally smoke, drive a car, vote, and move out on my own when his poor mother was pushing him out of the womb. In perspective of his life… I’m “old”.

 

I think there’s a distinction between “old” as it pertains to being an adult and “old” as in, you’re over the age of 70 and your body is falling apart. I know the question was more geared towards the former and it got me thinking about when I did finally start feeling like an adult. That I will give him… I do feel like an adult now. Was it when I started my career? No… I started my career at 20 and I definitely wasn’t an adult then. Was it when I got married? No, we were just two kids married to each other at 24. Was it when I had my first child? No… I had no idea what I was doing and still felt like a kid with WAY too much responsibility. Then I figured it out…

 

I started feeling like an adult when the most trivial of actions had ridiculous sized consquences.

 

Here’s the deal – I can’t get away with anything right now. I have to watch every single action or word that comes out of my mouth because everyone will jump down my throat and punish me as hard as they can. I, by default, am a horrible person that is out to steal your wife, your money, your kids, and ruin your life.

 

I became old when one false step meant my life was ruined. There is no forgiveness when you’re an adult male. One wrong word and you’re fired from your job or thrown into jail. There is this bell curve of how much people scrutinize your life and it really spikes at 30.

 

GraphOfAccountability
my paint skillz are amazing

When you’re a child you can get away with so much because you’re still learning how to be an adult and when you pass by a certain older age, people just think you’re going senile and reverting to a child like state.

 

The other day I was talking to a teller at the bank and was being generally nice to her as I am with most humans, when this 75-ish year old guy comes in and just blurts out, “well since you’re flirting with that one, I’m going to try my luck with this cutie” as he walked up to the other female teller. And everyone there giggled. See? He can get away with that because he’s old. But if the roles were reveresed I could very possibly have a sexual assault case throw at me. One word = life ruined.

 

So I guess the answer is “30”. Right at 30 is when I became an old man adult because I have to be ever so careful in what I say or do. I hate being in this “bump” in the graph. Always feeling like I’m being judged and having to justify my actions stinks.

 

I can’t wait till i’m 80 and can cat call from my front porch when a 20 something walks by and she’ll look up and smile because it’s “so adorable”.

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10 years ago today, I dropped down to one knee and took a chance. I took a chance on a girl who I had always thought was too good for me, was too out of my league, was too street smart, too beautiful, too amazing to ever be with a guy like me.

I dropped to one knee in the middle of a forest in North Carolina and struggled to get the ring out of my camera bag. She struggled to see that I was proposing to her. She thought that I had fallen or that I dropped something so she immediately tried to help me up. It took her 3 more seconds to realize what was going on.

I finally got the ring out, and asked her to marry me.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into, had no idea what it was for, no idea what it really meant.

 

I never thought it would be this amazing.

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There were a few times this past month where I cracked open ye old blog editor, started typing nonsense and then got distracted. This led to a total of 1000 words that got lost to the ether, never to be seen by this blog. I'll try to make up for it in June. 

Let's talk about doctors.

Now that Isabella successfully had her surgery and has recovered quite nicely from it (you go girl), I felt that it was my time to shine in the medical mystery spotlight. For the past few months I had been having interesting digestive symptoms that felt a heck of a lot like getting "glutened" when I know darn well I had not ingested any of it. 

Now, for those of you that are new or may not remember, I sincerely wish that I was one of those people who did the gluten free thing because of a diet or because it "made me slightly gassy", unfortunately I am full on diagnosed celiac. This disease, if you're not aware yet, is an auto-immune disorder where my body has decided that it hates anything made with "delicious". So much so, that when I do eat any of this delicious, it just decides to beat the crap out itself. That is, my white blood cells attack the villi in my small intestine. 

You know... because... genetics. Yay!

Anyway, gluten free diet but having symptoms as though I wasn't. This evolved into a pressure under my left rib cage that manifested itself after eating "certain" things. I tried pro-biotics, I tried diet alteration, I tried antacids, I tried a lot of things. Why?! 

Because I hate doctors. 

I don't hate the people... I hate what they represent. Doctors represent the fragility of my body. I hate being fragile.

After trying many natural things to fix this pain issue, I finally broke down and visited my local doctor. After explaining these symptoms to him I got a "sounds like heart burn"... hrm... well, ok it may sound like heartburn, but I can tell you it's not. But, you're the doctor - so give me some heart burn meds (because the OTC stuff wasn't good enough) and lets call it a day.

2 weeks later, still pain, no change. Sitting in my office, holding my left hand side, I said screw it and went into a walk-in clinic at the behest of my wife. I walk in (like the clinic told me to), explain the pressure I've been having after eating, and she immediately says, "well, I'll have to talk with the doctor down here because I'm not sure we want to take a heart issue... we might walk you up to the emergency room". 

Wut? I said "digestive"... not heart... I'm not having a heart att...aaand here we go up to the emergency room. 

Upon arriving in the emergency room, I was told to get in a gown, lay down, had an IV jammed in and 6 viles of blood taken, all with nurses scrambling around me. Whoa whoa whoa whoa... what the crap?! I went from having some pressure in my lower chest to hard core emergency patient. 

After a bit of panicking and the emergency doc finally chilling everyone out, I was free to go with a referral to a gastroenterologist (couldn't they have done that in the walk-in?).

Let's talk about bacteria.

Most bacteria is actually really good for your body. We have billions of bacteria chilling in our flesh bags in a pretty symbiotic relationship. From our mouths, to our skin, to our insides... it's everywhere. 

Sometimes bad bacteria gets in there and needs to be killed, which a fever and some white blood cells take pretty quick action on. 

Sometimes bacteria growth just gets out of hand. 

When this happens in your intestines, specifically your small intestine, this is a bad thing. A newly discovered diagnosis called Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, or SIBO, has been found to effect a lot of people. Turns out, in celiacs, it's really common. I would have never known this had I not gotten the referral to the quite amazing GI doctor. 

SIBO presents itself most commonly when you have any sort of damage to your small intestine which would prohibit the normal muscular contractions that keep the large intestine's bacteria out. Also, and I write this with a whole crap ton of disdain towards the other doctor, stomach acid is another huge player in keeping your small intestine overgrowth free. 

Being on an acid inhibitor was one of the worst things that I could have done. Way to go, doofus.

Further reading about SIBO also leads to some recent studies that show that this whole "gluten intolerance" thing might be a load of garbage (remember, gluten intolerance is nothing like being a celiac) and that, in fact, it might be people suffering from SIBO. One of the things that plays to comfort with SIBO is a low FODMAP diet. Which, ironically enough, includes eating lots of gluten free stuff.

Let's talk about future updates.

I actually have a lot of other stuff I want to write about that happened in May, but will do so later this month. I feel that your attentiveness to this text is dwindling... or is it my dwindling attentiveness to writing... 

Probably both.

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I hate buying really expensive things. 

I think the reason I hate it so much is because I always feel unprepared and uneducated about what I want to purchase. When I don't know a lot about a certain thing, I either spend way too much time investigating on my own, or I reach out to someone who has more knowledge than me about the item. 

Unfortunately, most of the time the most educated person about a big ticket item happens to be that dreaded sales person.


(that chest hair)

See, I have this natural instinct to believe that everyone at their core is a "good person". But it has always been the sales person that has brought me close to abandoning that belief. They attempt to come off as your best friend, as the source of unbiased knowledge, as a security blanket in the land of dangerous purchases. When really, most of them are out to manipulate you or pressure you into purchasing from them so they get a huge commission. I'm not saying ALL sales people are like this, in fact my brother from another mother is actually a model sales guy, but most are cow poopies.

Especially... the car salesman

Isabella and I are hunting to buy a new car. Something that will be big enough to grow with our family, big enough to haul stuff, but small enough to not be the douche in the H2. You know who I'm talking about...

(yeah yeah, it's an H3, I know...)

The first one that caught our eye was the Ford Edge. We're already happy Ford owners from the Focus purchase last year and thought we'd keep it in the family. We're slowly finding out that the Seattle area Ford sales people are not much like the friendly Waukesha sales people we encountered. 

Sales guy number one would not shut up about they are the "lowest price in the area" and told me there was no need to look around. How everyone else would look at other dealerships but would always come back to them. Then he proceeded to talk crap about a different specific dealer. How they were shady and tried to be sneaky about pricing. After all this talk about giving us the best deal in the area... all he offered us was what they posted on their web site. Look... either tell me straight that the internet price is all I'm going to get, or shut your yap about you "not caring about car prices".

So we went to "the bad dealer" because I had to see for myself. Guess what... they weren't that bad. In fact, the way they handled their customers was about the same only they didn't talk so much crap. They almost got us to purchase a car, until the big boss man pooped on the deal the sales guy was going to give us (we had a Chicago bonding moment)... so we walked out. 

The moral of the story is...


What I've learned is that the sales people play a very specific game and that there is a very specific counter-game you can play to throw them off guard. Car sales people HATE when you are confident, in control, but completely indifferent. Show enough interest to get them begging, but keep enough distance to want to chase you. Get up and walk towards the door a couple times and watch them squirm. Tell them when and what to write down or what paper work to stop or start filling out. Stop them dead in their tracks during their pressure tactics and call them out on it. I think this will become a new hobby for me. 

At least it would if I didn't feel like punching each one in their nose... that might get me in a bit of trouble.

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I still find it amazing how connected this world has become. The size of this planet is growing smaller and smaller as the restrictions around communication lessen. I think back to my childhood and all of the ridiculous things we used to do for the sake of communication. 



I remember how many times we had to rush home to make sure that my parents were home to receive a call. We used to have to schedule phone calls on a calendar days in advance. The phrase "I'll call you when I'm on my way" was never muttered because it didn't make sense. 
If you missed a call it could be the end of the world because you probably had no idea where the call was coming from or how to return their number. It's not like you could glance at the caller id, or play back a message on your answering machine - those things just didn't exist.

The number of communication channels used to be 2. 
You had your phone and you had a hand written letter. The former you had to actually be present to even know it happened, and the latter resulted in a 2 day waiting period to get your communication. 
The number of communication channels now is almost infinite. Limited only by the software that we choose to use to do said communication. You can communicate to specific people through email, talk to loved ones through Skype, talk to the world in 140 characters or less, or post stupid pictures of your kids or your pregnant belly with rage-inducing acronyms like DH, SO, LO, etc on Facebook.

Are your "friends" really your friends?

How many followers do you have? How many friends on Facebook? How many people read your Tumblr or subscribe to your blog?
I don't have very many followers or friends because before I follow anyone I like to ask myself:


(hello... my name is twitter follow #178... and I would like to share with you...)

What would you do if any one of these people showed up at your door?


"Knock Knock" - Um... hi? Hi, I'm Twitter follower #178... I was just in the neighborhood and thought we could hang out cause we're friends. 
I would take a gander that 95% of you reading this blog (which is probably 7/8 people... the actual number, not the fraction... well it's a fraction too, but you get what I'm saying), would look at that person as though they were crazy and you'd tell your kids to go to their rooms and lock the door while you explain to this person that they're a stranger and it's a little weird that they showed up.

But why? Why is that weird? I thought you were "friends".
I think about those who I consider my friends online... I think about @dpringle and @religionbites who I know I need to meet in person someday in life... I think about @Love_Is_A_Place who if she ever moved to the west coast would have a friendly family to have dinner with in person immediately... I think about @Sew_Lin, @HouseofJules, @showmyface, and so many others who (all 239 of them) could show up at my door and, aside from the shock and awe, be immediately welcomed in. Because they wouldn't be strangers. (yes, even @NathanFillion, @ThatKevinSmith, and @neiltyson)

Next time you think about posting something personal online, next time you tweet your pooping preferences, next time you talk about some ailment... ask yourself if it's meant for your "friends" or your friends. Beyond that, are we just feeding our own narcissism?