Category Archives: change

Clothes make the man


Some of you might remember that I work for my dad who owns a small accounting firm that he started about 25 years ago. I’ve been with him for about seven years and it appears as though I am the heir apparent.

But bookkeeping is just one thing our small business does and this year we’re adding yet another aspect and it all hinges on me.

I’ll get to that after this quick little sidebar.

When I was in school I was a music major. I dated a dance major for a short while, then an art major. Hung out with all the weirdos who were theater majors. Finger snapped support to my English major wannabe poets during slam-poetry open mics. I hung out and danced at the bar that played 80s new wave, college alternative music.  So basically I was an 80s beatnick.

I swore, to everything that was holy, deep in my soul I was going to make my living as a musician/artist and would never…. never, ever!!!…. sell insurance like my dad, who at the time i hated and considered dead for having left my mother with me and my four siblings, the youngest who wasn’t quite two years old when he did that.

Yeah, asshole right.

Ok, so fast forward 25 years and I’m now working for my dad doing everything from purchasing office supplies to running interference in attempt to keep clients he’s pissed off from leaving. I track alcohol licenses and file the applications for our clients who need it. I keep the books for a handful and pay their taxes. I even change out the water bottles for the cooler and haul trash to the dumpster.

I am a catch all. And last month I finished a class that will help me get my…

wait for it…
Can you guess kids?…

MY INSURANCE LICENSE!!

[sigh]
I feel

like

a middle aged failure.

So to help me along in this endeavor the boss has not so subtly let me know he thinks I need clothes that will help me look the part of an insurance salesman. God I want to jam a hot poker in my ear!

So he insists that I go with him to a clothing store he likes to go to. Any shred of evidence of that kid who had aspirations of being a musician and artist is being severed as I get in the car and go.

I’ve never been one to spend lavishly on clothing for myself. For the most part, I usually buy my clothes at Goodwill or a thrift store. I figure I’m getting a deal and the money I spend is helping someone in need. And as for clothing, I think of it as a necessary evil and if I didn’t think I’d burn people’s eyeballs out I’d probably just go dance nehked in the woods and not worry about clothing. :mrgreen:

So when we get to this place and he’s telling me they’re having a buy one get three more free sale, I’m thinking, “ok at least there is a deal to be had.”

Um. No.

Did you know the sport coats, blazers and jackets cost about 600 dollars?!?!?

So after I picked my jaw off the ground, excused myself to go wipe my butt and clean my drawers I obliged and tried on a jacket or two.

There was a young guy who was tending to me. Looking me up and down, asking me questions then said, “this one. Let’s try this. I think you’re going to like it.”

“How much is it?” I asked sort of sheepishly and accusingly.

My dad chimed in quickly and rather authoritatively, “don’t worry about that. Clothes cost what they cost.”

So the sales guy slipped it on me. Tugged at the shoulders, pulled on the tail, swept off the sleeves a little and says (kinda like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite after taking Uncle Rico’s picture) “This is looking really good.”

I had to agree. As I looked at myself in the mirror I thought, “hey I clean up pretty good.” I almost shot myself a finger pistol but was able to grab hold of my faculties and not have everyone’s dork-meter go full tilt.

We tried on several more and I landed on the four I would take home with me. I’ve never, ever in my life (well except for my Marine Corps dress blues) owned a suit or sport jacket that was brand new and fit just right for me.

At least with my blues I felt like I’d earned them after going through 13 weeks of hell. This… I don’t know. Guess I’ll have to sell a few policies before I feel like I’ve earned these things.

Pops says, it’s a cost of doing business and we need them. I don’t know about that but I have to be honest. I feel pretty good when I’m wearing one of them.

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So what’s happened in a year?


Well, during the last 12 months quite a bit has actually stayed the same for me. I’ve noticed as I get older, I am, if nothing else, relatively constant.

I still work at the same place (earlier this month I hit seven years there), The Deistette and I are still married and hit a milestone in September (she moved here five yrs ago the weekend Hurricane Ike made landfall ), I’m still making music with a few friends of mine (in February we’ll hit seven years) and I still live in the same house that I’ve been working on and renovating for what seems like forever (September was 16 years).

There have been a handful of changes though. My longest readers might remember a post or two about how I like to ride my bicycle… well, I still do but have become a bit obsessive about bicycles since October of last year and have since added several bikes to the herd that used to consist of just my road bike. Here’s a pic of one of my faves.

Trek-720

Years ago, it almost seems in another lifetime, I used to work in the printing industry… well, sort of. I was a print buyer for a financial company. And, because of the vast resource that is the interwebs, I’ve been able to get back to my roots (which started when I was in the military a couple of decades ago laying out the base newspaper via cut and paste). I’ve built (on the cheap) a very crude letterpress out of steel pipe. I’m not sure how practical this thing will be as I haven’t printed anything on it yet but I hope to start printing letterpress stuff soon.

Letterpress when done well is absolutely beautiful.
just my typeImage above found at this Etsy shop

Let’s see what else… Well, this is a not-so-fun fact. In August I hit the heaviest my short frame has ever been. It has however spurred me to become really aware about needing to lose weight. I’ve been going to the YMCA on a regular basis for the past few months and have become more aware about the junk I’ve been putting in my body.  I guess you have to start somewhere and my somewhere is a very, very small step. But moving my body even just twice a week and trying to be careful about what I eat has helped  me to scrape off a little weight. Key words in that sentence is “scrape” and “little”. But if I make the time and get to the gym a couple more times a week and could lose even as little as 15 pounds that would be good. Realistically though, being only 5’3″ and trying to get to a healthy weight, I really need to lose about 30 pounds. Wish me luck. I really need to make this happen.

So those are some of the minor things that are new with me after a year of being gone. But the biggest bit of change that happened is that I withdrew membership to my UU church of which I had been a member for 10 years.

It’s been six months yet it’s still very difficult to come to grips with it. It’s been a tremendous loss and I still I feel quite sad about it. I had a strong community of friends, like-minded seekers and familiar souls surrounding me that I not only saw on Sundays but throughout the week as well. I was deeply involved in my old congregation and literally put blood, sweat and tears in trying help maintain it and help it grow. It was painful to leave and for the sake of proper decorum I won’t go in to the gory details of why I left but for now let’s just say I couldn’t continue to support that congregation any longer.

I am still however…
a UU.

And I think one needs (what in Buddhism is called) a sangha… a dedicated community of spiritual seekers. The basis of my beliefs still stem from my view of the nature of God which comes from Deism. My practice, as much as I may have drifted from it, is Buddhist.

But my people… the ones who remind me to keep vigiliant as a person of faith comes from a UU church.
My sangha.

And so The Deistette and I have been attending another congregation off and on for a little while now. It doesn’t feel the same as my old congregation. I feel like I don’t fit in. But we’re getting a little more involved and are making plans to try to attend more of the events and programs. And we’ve met new people who we like. : )

I think there are three essential elements of a person’s spiritual walk.
1) you have to have a foundation for your belief system (i.e. what is your view of the nature of god, where do you get your sense of right and wrong come? from where do your ethics come?)
2) Your ethics, morality, and/or spirituality should have a practice and be exercised in the real world.
3) You should have a community of like-minded people who challenge your sense of beliefs, keep you in check as well as support your beliefs.

In some instances, two out of three wouldn’t be bad but I think in the case of a spiritual walk… two out of three ain’t gonna cut it.

Here’s to adding my third back in to the mix and to change.