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  • Mark Lipton

Men Don't Get it!

Guy got a new pair of shoes in the mail the other day. Not a particularly unusual occurrence in our house, but these shoes were different. As soon as she opened the box and showed me, I knew it! You don’t wear these shoes to work or to the market.


These shoes will need an event!


Like most men tend to do, I asked a stupid question:


“How much were those?”


I was already preparing to amortize the cost per wearing.


But eye roll said it all: "You're too stupid to even talk to!" is what I'm sure she was thinking! Either that or "You just don't get me!"


She’s right about one of those! To me, I don’t care how high the heel is; no one needs shoes like that! Where's the Buckeye logo??


But I do get her a bit (I think). To Guy, the value of the shoes is not in the height of the heel. It’s not the quality of the leather nor the color. It’s not even in the comfortable fit; she would gladly give up comfort for beauty.


No, the real value of the new shoes to Guys is just this: they’re new!


Careers are kind of like that too!


Tomorrow we leave for a short vacation and then it’s time to get home and get to work. I was hoping to string together two-weeks off but my life here continues to be a bit of a madhouse. I was expecting that selling the stores would be an emotional drain but I’ll admit to being surprised how much actual work is involved. I’m still calling people for money and paying taxes! You know; the fun stuff!


But when we return it’s time to start my work at “The Benjamin” as many of our Spanish speaking customers in the Bronx used to call Benjamin Moore.


So, if you look at the “big picture”, it looks like things are finally settling down for me.

But while the big picture may be how we view things, it’s not how we live them. As you read about the big picture, I’m living the little one!


Imagine a life where all your patterns are suddenly changed?


All of our lives follow patterns. Most of us sleep on the same side of the bed each night. When we eat dinner we generally sit in the same seat. We tend to get up at the same time each morning and go to sleep at the same time each night. And drive the same path to work. Humans find comfort in routine.


At the moment, my life lacks that routine and comfort.


I have very little of my old routine left. My commute and responsibilities are different and so my life has a whole new cadence.


My days are filled with introductions which is fun: I’ve always liked meeting new people. But all of my comfortable relationships are gone. I don’t know who I can curse in front of, be a few minutes late with without pissing them off or whether they prefer a call, text of email? Am I walking on solid ground or stepping on a landmine? I never know anymore, until I put my foot down!


I stepped on one this week in fact. BOOM!


When you don’t know your way around in the dark, you don’t know you’ve got a problem until your toe is already stubbed!


And so, when we walk in the dark we walk slower. We feel for walls to support us. That’s me now: feeling for the walls in the dark!


Despite some fears, mostly what I’m feeling now though is excitement. The fresh start I have wanted for years….at 56! Well done Lippy! (For some reason, when I talk to myself I call myself my old college nickname. Strange, right?)


But I’m still dealing with some demons or at the least some ghosts.


Sitting at my desk on Saturday doing some writing I noticed the time: 5:30 PM. I reflexively reached for the trackpad and went to log in to my POS system: the stores were closed and I wanted to see how they had done!


But the icon wasn’t there! Neither were the stores!


And even if the icon was there, it would not have led anywhere. The networks are all pulled out, the cameras have all been replaced and the server that ran our point-of-sale is on a second desk I had to set up in my office to accommodate my current situation.


Many of these changes in my life's pattern though, have left ghosts behind: Thoughts or actions that I do instinctively that should no longer mine. The daily worry for how the stores did is one of those ghosts. I have to remind myself that the stores are not mine anymore; that I can stop worrying.


I never did when I owned them!




©2019 by Mark Lipton

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