A recent email I received about one of my posts. Guess there was some explaining to do.
I am an avid reader of your blog and loved reading your 25 things about you. I do have a question about one of your facts, though. Did you really say you were the kid from A Christmas Story? Did you feel guilty about having everyone buying drinks for you? I am not judging, I am just asking.
A single Mom loving your blog
Here's my attempt to explain what really happened that night.
There were times in my life where I just didn't want to be me. Times where I wasn't a father and didn't always know what my purpose was for being here.
This was one of those times.
One week after coming to an agreement with my first wife that it would be best if we ended our marriage, I left for a quaint little town in the Western Sierras. I wanted to try and escape everything for the weekend. I went by myself in the hopes that I would not have to talk about my pending divorce.
It was to be a weekend of me just figuring out where I was going to go in my life. I had felt like a complete failure for not being able to make a marriage work, following the same path that my parents' marriage took.
The only solace that I took from the breakup was that my wife and I did not have kids. There was great comfort in that fact as I vividly remember the day my parents told my brothers and I that they were separating for good. It was not a good day for us boys.
My first day up there was exactly what I wanted.
I walked up and down the Kern River fishing for rainbow trout on a beautiful fall day. I caught a number of keepers and also caught something that I didn't expect.
I caught a glimpse of what my life would be like when alone. I liked what I caught.
I realized that some things are just not to be, and that I would be OK when it was over. I also found that I could find happiness in me. Ultimately, I am responsible for my happiness and it was time that I stopped looking for others to make me happy.
When I was to be with someone else again, I wanted this woman to add to the happiness that I already had in my life. They would be the cherry sitting on top of the nice big Sundae that I would make of my life.
Feeling content and satisfied with my day, I headed to the town's only bar to grab a beer and a bite to eat. Already crowded and with few seating options, I placed myself at the bar next to a man with his head buried in his hands.
I ordered my beer and waited quietly in the hopes of not being noticed. While I may have felt a lot better than before the day started, I still wasn't ready to share anything with anyone.
To no surprise, he saw me and started talking:
"Hey, your not a local. How are you enjoying it up here?"
"Yea, it was a great day of fishing. Thanks for asking. But, if you don't mind, I don't feel like talking. Is that cool?"
"No problem. I understand," as he said this, he began to look at me more intently. Then he popped the question.
"Wait, are you that kid from A Christmas Story? You look just like him. It's you, huh? That's why you don't want to talk. You don't want anyone to know who you are."
All I could think of was, what? Are you kidding me? Just because I was blond with blue eyes doesn't mean I am that kid. How was I going to respond to this to get him to leave me alone?
"Yep, that's me. So, please just let be left alone."
From there, it snowballed. He didn't let me be and began to proclaim to the bar who I said I was. It got out of control in a hurry.
People began to come up to me with questions and to shake the hand of the person they thought starred in the classic Christmas movie. They bought me drinks and I did play along with it for the two hours I was there.
I finally left and had a laugh as I drove back to the trailer I was staying in for the weekend. It was time to go back to facing the real me and continue working on what I had started earlier in the day.
I survived that divorce and another one since. The second was much harder for me than the first because this time I did have kids. However, after a few months, I was able to go back to what I now refer to as my "Christmas Story Trip."
Not, so I could go back to being someone else like I did in the bar. Rather, so I could once again return to being the person who was happy in being himself.
Like I was while fishing that afternoon.
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