Cotillion

Cotillion: (n) a formal ball given especially for debutantes.

A cotillion used to be subtitled “a coming out ball.”

Now that phrase would evoke great laughter—because “coming out” means something completely different from it did when we were funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
referring to the first time a sixteen-year-old girl was dressing up like a woman and spraying perfume in her hair.

Somewhere lodged between the fallacy that “everything in the past was better” and the hard sell of “everything now is superior” lies some sort of compromise.

Maybe if we approached the passage of time similarly to the way we eat food at a smorgasbord, we might just arrive at a blending of practices which would be satisfying and beneficial to our well-being. For after all, at a buffet you grab a plate and walk the line, take a little bit of half-a-dozen or more items, go sit down and discover what is pleasing to the palate.

This is exactly what I try to do with my human life.

I have no desire to live in the past, filled with disease, pestilence and prejudice. Yet I’m not particularly satisfied with being overwhelmed in the present, with forms of idiocy which have merely donned contemporary costumes.

I do like a little bit of the cotillion to go along with my Facebook and Instagram.

I like the idea of the transitions in life being honored with celebration and a touch of reverence instead of the crude way of thinking that a young girl becomes a woman by losing her virginity.

How can we balance the human heart, spirit and brain? The heart wants to be moved, the spirit wants to be inspired and the brain desires learning.

So I guess my goal is to feel my way along, looking for those things that inspire me, and then try to make them my own.


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Conversation

Conversation: (n) informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons

I guess I’m trying to understand Mr. Webster’s inclusion of the word “informal” in relationship to “conversation.”

I surmise that he might be thinking that a conversation is different from a discussion, because the minute it becomes a discussion it has an funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cagenda, or at least a main subject. And a discussion transforms into a debate if the two people talking are in disagreement, becoming an argument when each person is determined to stick to his or her guns, trying to convert the other person.

My problem with a conversation is that it often becomes two human beings reciting their resumes to one another, allowing time for the other one to counter with similar information. In other words, “How are your kids doing?” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Now it’s my turn. “This is how my kids are doing.” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Because of the social media craze in our world, even the discourses we have with each other live and in person have begun to resemble Facebook with verbal posts.

To me, that’s not a conversation. A conversation is best defined, I believe, by the idea that two people get together yearning for fellowship and hungry for fresh insight.

It’s not a series of soliloquies in which we hope the other person is listening, but rather, dialogue peppered with questions, some indecision, observations and enough incompleteness that the other party feels comfortable contributing.

Conversation is the absence of the deadly five questions:

  1. How are you?
  2. What have you been doing lately?
  3. How are the kids?
  4. Health been excellent?
  5. What’s going on with the job?

If you can avoid these five questions religiously, you can sit down and have an actual conversation, which can turn out to be truly spiritual.

 

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Condone

Condone: (v) to approve or sanction something,

Life is a perpetual pursuit to discover the boundaries, borders and limitations of what is just none of my goddamn business.

If I become exhausted in this worthy quest, I will soon start objecting to things that other people are doing simply because I do not want funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
anyone to think that I condone such irregularities.

This is why governments release well-worded rebukes to other governments about their comings and goings, so as to make sure the history books will note their disapproval.

For years we did this over the subject of divorce. It was so looked down upon in our society that people were ashamed to admit they had marital problems for fear of being ostracized–for even thinking about calling it quits.

Those in the gay community were repeatedly informed by the righteous rabble that they were loved as people, but hated for their sin. (However, since that sin was considered to be homosexuality, it was a little bit difficult to separate it from their lives, to receive the love instead of being stung by the hate.)

I don’t think Facebook could exist if people weren’t condoning one thing while condemning another, to make sure it appeared they were not in a condoning mood.

To read what people write in criticizing one another, you would assume they have removed all beams from their own eye, and are clear-sighted to evaluate and critique the world around them.

Not me.

I will run from any instinct to judge another person, which also gives me license to not be present to condone.

Matter of fact, that running may be the only exercise I’m getting.

 

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Clause

Clause: (n) a stipulation

Recently, I had a new grandson born. Everyone was so excited. After all, it’s a new life.

The proclamation was, “Welcome to Earth, little Julius!”

But Julius, my dear little friend, you need to read the accompanying clause. The actuary tables tell us the average person lives about seventy-seven years. Let’s
break that down:

The first eighteen of those seventy years are spent living in a house under rules and regulations, taking orders from everyone over twenty-one years of age, dabbling with all sorts of shit you shouldn’t, and confused because the front part of your brain literally has not grown in.

The next twelve years leading up to the age of thirty, you find yourself on the hunt for education, occupation and romantic elevation. There is too much experimentation, frustration and degradation involved in that process. You will often be bewildered because your original elation over obtaining your freedom has been deflated by reality.

Then you reach your thirtieth birthday–a whirlwind of messy nastiness, some of which you’re already trying to pay off in installments.

Now it’s time to have some kids of your own. You decide on two, and end up with three because someone forgot something. These three children begin the life process, impudently resenting all authority figures over the age of twenty-one, primarily you and your mate. They possess more opinions than intelligence.

You feel love but also occasionally diminished–because what you planned to do with your life has been hijacked by others telling you that you’re already old, decrepit and dead, and it’s their turn.

This takes you to about age fifty. At this point, you are greeted by doctors. They tell you that everything you’ve done in the first five decades has created some unhealthy results in your body. Probes, operations and sometimes diseases kick in to remind you of your mortality.

You suddenly find yourself carrying a pill case. You try to make it unobtrusive or even decorative, but you are now hooked on meds for the rest of your life.

This takes you to seventy. Of course, in the meantime you’ve become a full-fledged grandpa or grandma–with more little children who have found even meaner, egregious ways to ignore you. They are instructed to hug you, kiss you and send you thank-you notes including unidentifiable pictures which they’ve drawn. You learn to acquiesce and call three lines scrawled on a piece of paper “great art.”

This leaves you seven years.

You can’t walk as well anymore. You have to stop to recall your password for your Facebook account. And when you look in the mirror there seems to be the face of a troll emerging from your countenance.

The purpose of this essay is to remind us all that life comes with a clause. It’s a simple one. It’s not even in fine print.

Welcome to Earth (where you better make sure you enjoy what you do, or else what you do will take away all your joy–and that’s for sure).

 

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Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Brussels Sprout

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Brussels sprout: (n) a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.

I was thinking about tough jobs:

Being the promotion agent for O. J. Simpson.

How about this?

Social media guru for the Facebook page of Adolph Hitler.

Or …

The marketing representative for Brussels sprouts.

This is a vegetable that has a public relations problem at nearly every turn. (Or turnip, for that matter…)Dictionary B

It is often described as a very small cabbage–not that cabbage has a great following itself. So being deemed a smaller rendition of an “also-planted” vegetable is not a “heady” proposition.

Brussels sprouts are fussy about being cooked. Some people like to keep them crisp and others, well-done. For those who like them kind of soggy, crisp is inedible. Likewise, the crispers choke on the “softies.”

Brussels sprouts also suffer under the dubious honor of being healthy. It would be a wonderful world if people were actually concerned about their health. Most people become interested in their well-being just about the time they grab their chest with a heart attack.

So it becomes an issue of taste. It’s gotta taste good. To accomplish that, we cover them in butter. Butter can make almost anything taste good, including snails.

But the problem is, when you put butter on Brussels sprouts, it’s like sending a choir boy to a maximum security prison to hang out. That which was good will certainly be tainted. The butter turns the Brussels sprouts into liquid death.

Do I like Brussels sprouts? Yes.

Would I serve them at a party? No.

Why?

Because deep in my soul, I really like people.

 

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Blurb

Blurb: (n) a short description for promotional purposes

Dictionary B Production bigger, promotion smaller.

It is the philosophy of Hollywood.

The explosions, action, mayhem and murder need to be huge–nearly beyond comprehension. But the title, description of the plot and dialogue should be as tiny as possible.

Anyone who is trying to interact with the American public must comprehend that the first step to being able to connect with the populace is to realize that they don’t want to read. An argument could be made that they don’t want to think. But certainly, limiting the number of words on a piece of paper to describe a massive idea is considered to be “Madison Avenue genius.”

I’m not even going to speculate on what these words should be, because as each week passes in this great country, which touts the value of education, we actually surrender more and more to a common stupidity.

  • Don’t use big words.
  • Don’t use unknown words.
  • Matter of fact, don’t use any words that were conceived before ten years ago.

In doing this, you will be able to write a blurb which explains your intentions to those who are intentionally acting dumbfounded by anything that isn’t recently posted on Facebook, Instagram or can be discerned through watching a YouTube.

 

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