February 20, 2005

Some Gratuitous Advice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:27 pm

I was reading this post by Christina and this one by Sluggo, both of which are about the joys and challenges of raising little girls. Their posts caused me to remember something that happened to me a few years back.

After having worked particularly late one evening, I stopped at a local saloon for a drink. As I was sitting there nursing my drink and decompressing from the day, a young guy bounced into the place and walked briskly over to the stool next to mine and took a seat. He was absolutely beaming. I didn’t have to ask what had made him so happy, because he immediately volunteered that he had just come from the hospital where his wife had given birth to a baby girl just the day before. He proudly showed me the photo of his beautiful baby daughter.

His unbridled joy was contagious, and before I knew it, we were talking “daughters” and toasting his good fortune. We agreed that there isn’t anything more beautiful in the world than a little girl running around the house. It brought back wonderful memories, as, at the time, my daughter was no longer running around the house, but rather was away at college.

I liked the guy and was genuinely happy for him, so I thought I would give him the benefit of my experience in dealing with daughters. Of course, one could write a book on the subject, but I wanted to impart to him the single most important thing I learned from the experience.

I said, “I’m going to tell you something now, and I am asking that you remember it always.” He eagerly nodded. “In fact, in about a dozen years from now, I hope you say to yourself, ‘Jeez that guy I met in the bar all those years ago really knew what he was talking about.’ This advice, if heeded, will save you countless hours of frustration, aggravation and downright exasperation.”

I suppose he expected something more profound than what he next heard, but sometimes profundity creeps in on cat-like feet. I looked him in the eye and earnestly said,


I continued, “All the bitching, threatening, hollering, and stomping in the world will not change this cosmic truth. So, just understand the reality and be happy just to keep perishables from rotting in the place and attracting vermin. Otherwise, just learn to close the door.”

He thanked me, but I’m certain that he was too swept up in the moment to take me very seriously.

I, therefore, say to all of you with young girls in your house: Don’t fight it. You will most certainly lose. You may experience an occasional “victory,” but in the long run, it is like trying to sweep back the tide. You’re life will be much more pleasant if you don’t try to alter something that has been cosmically pre-ordained.

Now, laminate that advice for your wallets and gaze upon it as necessary.

That is all.

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