Costume

Costume: (n) a style of dress, including accessories and hairdos, especially that peculiar to a nation, region, group, or historical period.

If all the world is a play and all of us humans are actors on the stage, who’s in charge of the costuming?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Are we all wearing costumes continually?

I came to write my blogs today. I’m wearing a pair of underwear, slippers and a golf shirt. It is what I refer to as my “blog costume.” Once adorned in this particular frock and frill, I am fully aware that I should not take myself terribly seriously. I should relax, be as realistic as possible, and certainly never lie.

Yet I’m not comfortable wearing this to the grocery store or even family functions. For them I require another costume.

Since I’m getting older, which began shortly after my birth, I want to dress for the grocery store with a certain contemporary appearance that lets people know that I’m not stuck in a decade which is tucked away in the history books. Of course, there’s a danger of dressing too young for myself, and looking like a wannabe millennial instead of an aging “Woodstocker.”

Then there are family gatherings. I realize they want me to play the function of “dad and grandpa.” What costume does one don for such an occasion? It has to be friendly, generous and have a certain amount of gravitas, so if one of the children is in need of counsel, the duds will match the words.

Are we all wearing costumes?

Can you really be a rock band if all you wear is blue jeans and t-shirts? Isn’t there a danger that it looks like you’re playing one set at the club and heading off to do a shift at the warehouse?

I guess we need to look the part.

To do that—to play our part—even to remain in character at times—we require costumes.

We know this is true, because when someone is out of costume, the reporters show up to do a story. When President Obama wore something other than a dark suit, for the next two days it was the conversation on the 24-hour news cycle.

“What was he doing wearing a light-colored suit? Are we a banana republic? What’s next? Flip-flops?”

I guess Bill Shakespeare was right—the world is a stage. Unfortunately, we spend much more time worrying about our make-up and our costumes than we do learning our lines.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Convenient

Convenient: (adj) at hand; easily accessible:

Although in the annals of literary history, he is considered to be one of the greatest villains of all time, Ebenezer Scrooge has a classic response to Bob Cratchit when his worker asks if it’s convenient to take Christmas Day off. In all candor, Scrooge spits back, “No, it’s not convenient to pick a man’s pocket.”

I, for one, have tip-toed my way around friends and family for years when asked if something was convenient or not, fearing I would come funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cacross Scrooge-like if I voiced my real opinion.

So this morning I will tell you five things that are not convenient:

  1. It is never convenient to be lied to, even if an apology follows. Mistrust lingers.
  2. It is never convenient for someone else to make an appointment for you simply because he or she thought it was “in your best interest.”
  3. It is not convenient to assume that as a Grandpa, you will attend every event at the school pertaining to your grandchildren, just because “you better, or you suck.”
  4. It is not convenient for the restaurant to run out of straws and napkins, but “they hope you’ll understand.”
  5. And finally, it is not convenient to be honked at in traffic simply because someone views him or herself as an aggressive driver on the way to an important meeting.

I shall add a sixth:

It is not convenient to listen to talking heads on television tell us that politicians just naturally run by different rules than us normal human beings.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

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).

 

Donate Button

Brawl

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brawl: (n) a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this story–maybe because it drains a quart or two from my virility if I relate it in truthful detail.Dictionary B

But many, many years ago, I was walking the streets of the inner portions of a large city. I was with two friends, and we were “feeling our oats,” as they say–studly and strong.

In the process of our little jaunt, we were confronted by three other dudes, apparently residents of the neighborhood, who found our presence distasteful.

We probably should have cooled our heads, relaxed and been respectful of this trio of locals, but we just kept boppin’ along, trying to ignore them.

They didn’t want to be ignored.

So a series of insults were flung back and forth–some questioning our relationship with our mothers, others suggesting that these adversaries perhaps wore pink tennis shoes.

Long story short, it was squaring off to a fight.

We were about to have a brawl with people we did not know simply because nobody was willing to back down.

That’s what a brawl is–an unplanned fight that occurs because conversation is implausible–and violence suddenly and unexplainably seems logical.

Right before we were ready to mix it up (and by the way, I do not know what that would entail, since none of us had ever been in a fight before) I suddenly got cold feet, tingly balls, scared bowels and a chill going down my spine.

I didn’t want to scuffle.

I didn’t want to be a coward.

So I raised my hand and said, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have a heart condition.”

I do not know why I did this or why I chose to claim a debilitating disorder. But for some reason it diffused the situation, and the three guys looked at me like they were eyeballing their grandpa.

They gave me permission to walk away.

And shortly after I eased by them and tiptoed down the street, the remaining five decided they had lost interest in the fight, exchanged one last round of macho bullcrap, and the two groups went their separate ways.

My friends thanked me for being so inventive in avoiding the skirmish.

I learned that night that brawls are to be avoided at all costs, even if you temporarily have to feign geriatric.

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Bra

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bra: (n) an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts

When I look in the mirror I see some wrinkles.

But also, I peer at the countenance of experience.

I have people who call me Dad and also Grandpa.

After years and years of relationship, there are souls who come to me for counsel.Dictionary B

I have even been referred to as “wise.”

I have awards which proclaim that I am a creature of merit.

But still–when I see a bra, I get giggly

There is a little boy inside me who has a childish view of a garment.

I could pretend that I don’t.

I could force myself to look at a bra and think it was similar to a t-shirt. But I would be lying.

I think it is fruitless to pretend that we ever escape the first inclinations of our youthful lust, but instead, just gain the insight to run away from them … before they take us down tawdry paths.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Austere

Austere: (adj) severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance.

I call it the “Granble Face.”dictionary with letter A

It’s that look blending the countenance of Grandma or Grandpa with the attitude to grumble.

Somewhere along the line, we gave up on the idea of giggling, smirking, laughing and running around looking for ways to be mischievous.

Maybe it’s because it finally registered in our brain that our parents wanted us to be as miserable as they were, and we feel the responsibility to honor our father and mother so that our days might be long and filled with anguish on the Earth.

I don’t know.

But I do know this–the austere facial expression that greets me daily as I look at my peers and fellow-humans leaves me caught between despair and hilarity.

They look so funny trying to be so grownup, and they tend to get so angry with me because I maintain my childish chortle.

  • What is the power of being austere?
  • Why are we supposed to be quiet when we enter a church or a funeral home? Is it really going to bother the dead?
  • Why is it necessary to sit in traffic, roll down your window to save on air conditioning, and sweat and curse at the holdup? Why not just turn up the radio and rock out to Queen?

Austere is the profile that proves we’ve had enough birthdays to be defeated.

It is the universal complexion of those of any color who have reached a certain status, where despondency is a badge of honor.

It is often accompanied by words like mature, holy, focused and adult.

Even though we were told for our spiritual journey it’s best for us to “become as little children,” we would rather develop the “Granble Face” …Grandpa grumbling about the price hike on his medication.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button

 

Attractive

Attractive: (adj) pleasing or appealing to the senses.dictionary with letter A

As I was getting ready to write this essay to you fine folks, I glanced up and caught a glimpse in the mirror of an aging gent, who apparently had come to sit for a spell and act as an audience for my thoughts.

Yes, there was a brief second when I did not recognize the person in the mirror.

Certainly it is me. I am not in denial.

But there is a different “me” living inside, who is vibrant, young, energetic, playful and probably delightfully naive.

The fellow in the mirror is well-traveled, rugged, worn and definitely showing the effects of the passing years.

Sometimes I forget that he is the face of the project.

Maybe that’s why I like being a writer. It allows the other tenant who occupies my space to pull out his cleverness and “cute” ideas, without having to advertise Grandpa, on the front porch.

I’m not afraid of getting old. I’ve been getting older ever since I was born. It isn’t the first time I’ve been shocked by the process.

So I am fully aware that this is a part of life, and by no means do I resent it–it’s just that occasionally I’m surprised at how it physically manifests itself much more drastically than it does emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

I guess I would be greatly disheartened if my spirit looked the same way as my body does.

What is attractive? Attractive is what causes us to be attracted. So what attracts you to a person and what attracts me will certainly be somewhat different.

I know this to be true:

Anyone who is pleasant to the eye quickly becomes a disappointment if they aren’t able to hold up their end of a conversation.

And it is amazing how ugly a person can become once stupidity has been unleashed.

So I guess I’ll work on my outer core, to keep it from deteriorating too quickly, and trust that you will give my inner man the chance to show you how attractive he truly can be.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button