Ed was one of the first “daddy bloggers” I ever read. I was immediately drawn to him because we both have daughters named Zoe. Well, actually, his daughter is Zoë, with the umlaut, because that’s how she rolls. In addition to sharing his generally G-rated tales of fatherhood at Zoë’s Dad, he has also written for the UpTake Vacations Blog, and is a contributor to Quirkee.com. For the “Just A Little Crazy” series, however, Ed tackles crazy from a completely different angle, and, as you may have gathered from the title, there are salty words and shenanigans aplenty. You’ve been warned! And while you’re here, be sure to visit the new Crazy! page to read previous entries in this series . . .
The only difference between myself and a madman – is that I am not mad.
~ Salvador Dali
I find it particularly telling that when posed the question, “What is the craziest thing you have ever done,” I was unable to immediately call to mind any specific examples. None. I drew a blank. Now don’t get me wrong here. I’ve got a past, a history, if you will. It’s just that quite a few of the details are a bit cloudy.
So I asked a few of my old buddies. “Simple question, guys – what’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done?”
I guess I was expecting a rousing round of “remember when” chock full of juicy examples and tantalizing tales of misspent youth (or early adulthood).
I was expecting them to share stories like . . . “Remember when we were in that car wreck? We were hosting those kids from the missionary choir and they were in the back seat. When we got hit you jumped out and started screaming, like a madman, ‘Oh, you fucked up now, dip shit!’ You stood there just freaking, expecting all of us to be your backup, only to turn around and realize our doors had jammed on impact. You were alone with two of the biggest, baddest dudes I had ever seen and these guys were getting more and more pissed with every obscenity you hurled at them.”
Or a story like . . . “Remember the time we went to the LSU game and decided, ‘What the hell!! The Saints play tomorrow at noon; let’s just go to New Orleans.” You got so drunk at the bar that we just left you. You told us you woke up thirty minutes after kickoff at that stripper’s house. She and her roommate were doing lines of coke off of your penis.”
Or . . . “that time you gambled away the $900 postdated check for the deposit on your brand new Mazda Miata. The Miata you bought before you had found out if you passed your nursing boards. And then you borrowed fifty bucks and won it all back!!”
Or they might have said something like . . . “Remember that time we went egging cars and you threw eggs into the open window of that one car – the police squad car – on surveillance.”
Little stories like these I was expecting. I got nothing. No answers to my e-mails. Maybe I was crazy to think these guys would answer at all. The more likely scenario is that their wives – wives very long on memories, quite short on forgiveness – intercepted the e-mail. They most likely saw my name on an email to their husbands and said, “Oh Fuck No!! You aren’t about to talk to that loon! I don’t care what he wants!!”
So I asked my wife. Straight up just out of the blue. “Honey, what’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done?” Without missing a beat her face lit up, she looked at me smiling and said, “Ooh, that thing. That thing with the beads. And the feather!”
(I kid. I don’t know you guys well enough. And it was Cool Whip, not a feather. I kid, again!)
Honestly, she thought a minute and said, “Well, the story about you going out drinking and gambling in Baton Rouge the night before you sat for your nursing boards and getting stuck on the riverboat until 4 in the morning – (I had no idea it left the dock) – that shit was pretty crazy. I mean damn, Ed, that is your livelihood, your future.”
Then she thought a bit more and said, “You know, there’s still not a week that goes by that someone doesn’t say something to me about the time you loaded up all five kids and drove them across the country by yourself. That was pretty crazy.”
So here’s the thing: I guess I have done some pretty crazy shit in my day. Or stupid. Either way, I just don’t see it that way. I’m just living. I’ve always been the dude that was ready to go. Scenario: A call from a buddy that says, “Dude, we’re heading out to X Marks the Spot. It’s going to be great. You coming?” A typical response: “When are you going? Now? Let me see . . . it is a work night. I’ve got a test tomorrow. I don’t know.”
Pose the question to me and my typical response was, “Pick me up.”
I just did shit other people wouldn’t normally do. Or would fucking wrack their brains deciding whether to do it or not. I don’t consider that crazy. Spontaneous? Sure. But not crazy. I just did stuff without thinking of the consequences.
(To my enormous fortune I now have children and the spontaneity has been significantly curtailed. That, and no one calls anymore.)
Truth-be-told, the majority of the things I do now as a matter of common occurrence most people consider crazy.
Taking five kids to the grocery store would be an act of lunacy to most of the people I know. I’ve got no choice. Why should it be crazy, then? Or what about packing the kids and their bikes up for a day on the trails? Why should that be considered crazy? They’re my kids! We’re a family and families are supposed to do stuff together, right? It’s not crazy. It’s just how it is.
Hell, what do I know?
So you want crazy? All right, here’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done . . .
Long after I was drunk, I continued to drink. Countless times I drank despite my wife having clearly enumerated the consequences for my actions. Severe consequences and I just said, “Fuck it!”
I would load my children into the car after more than several and drive them home. I’d put them to bed with alcohol kisses and continue to drink long into the night, cursing life and my depravity. I was angry with no one. And everyone. For no reason. For every reason.
I continued to drink despite what it was doing to me physically and emotionally. Most horrifically, I continued to drink despite what it was doing to my marriage and my family.
Now THAT is crazy!
(This October 23rd will mark the third year of my sobriety. I still have some issues with lingering anger but have opted instead to treat them with peanut butter. Oh, and for the record, some of the events described above may or may not have actually happened. Details were quite possibly embellished – except for the Cool Whip. That shit is real!)