It’s no surprise that I showed up to my own interview nervous, after hours of rummaging through my closet for no reason, sifting through out-of-date dress shirts, still pressed and holding the tags from a dry cleaner in Los Angeles.
It’s been over four years since any of them have been worn.
That’s how long I’ve been a stay-at-home dad.
There aren’t many occasions for me to get ‘dressed up’ anymore. In fact, the running joke is that, for me, ‘getting dressed up’ means putting on long pants or long sleeves… as opposed to shorts or a t-shirt with cooking oil or milk stains, rips and holes.
There was no reason for me to get dressed up for an interview with myself. I guess the thought just seemed exciting.
And maybe I got caught up in the moment, as I was about to turn another mile on the birthday dial. You’re supposed to get excited about your birthday, right?
Who cares… whatever.
We spent this past weekend at my parent’s house, celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday…
…but I sensed some concern from my family about my physical appearance and demeanor. I know they love me and everything was coming from a good place.
Perhaps it’s an unfamiliar look for me, the effects of taking care of two toddlers and a newborn, all while trying to meet writing deadlines and spend time together as a family on the weekends. Maybe I’m just tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally.
I mean, I haven’t given up on myself, if that’s what they’re wondering… or have I?
Sure, I’ve gained a few pounds and seem on edge 90% of the time, but my eye is still on the ball and I love what I have.
PROFESSIONAL ADRIAN: What are your thoughts about turning 38 today?
REAL ADRIAN: Fuck 38, it ain’t got shit on me.
Alright, maybe 38 does have SOMETHING on me.
For the first time in my life, my waistline matches my age. But don’t I get extra points or a lap dance for that? Shouldn’t I play the Lotto or go to Vegas? Isn’t that what everyone says?
Okay, I get it. My metabolism isn’t embodied as a greased up boy-toy on the cover of Men’s Health. I need to get more exercise. My neck looks like a nude-colored fat-scarf and this is the first year that, in the middle of the night, my wife has had to reign blows on my back or kick me in the ribs to get me to stop snoring at night. #truestory
With three kids under five, I don’t even bother closing the door when I take a shit, we may as well have an outhouse. Forget Randy Quaid, I AM Cousin Eddie.
Last week, I accidentally choked on and swallowed a Crest white-strip (thought I might die, fell to the ground, clawed at the french doors) after my kids started fighting and I jumped in to break it up. I shove a sharp scissors into my nose canals and carefully maneuver several mirrors, bouncing one off of another like I’m trying to start a fire with the sunlight OR I’m pretending to be Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible trying to steal the secret files to make sure I didn’t have any long, wispy danglers coming out of any of those breathing and hearing holes.
I’m two years from having someone shove a gloved hand in my ass to feel around for cancer – where do they sell that t-shirt?
I can’t even watch ‘hot young people’ porn anymore, it makes me depressed. I have to scan through until I hit ‘mature porn’, because it makes me feel a little bit better about myself.
PROFESSIONAL ADRIAN: Do you regret staying at home to take care of your kids instead of pursuing another career, outside of the home?
REAL ADRIAN: Why do you have to ask the question like such a condescending asshole?
Sorry, I guess I’m a wee-bit sensitive. Maybe it’s because I’m soooo emasculated from staying at home with the kids all day, cooking and cleaning.
To answer your question, not at all.
I don’t regret any of it. I’ve realized that I’m lucky to have this opportunity. The time that I have with my kids right now is something that I’ll never get back and if you did your research like a decent journalist, you’d know that I’m a blogger, author, speaker and writer on the side–so I’ve already managed to pursue another career INSIDE of the home. So take your stupid collared shirt and smug look and go pound sand.
PROFESSIONAL ADRIAN: Do you think that your wife has less respect for you since people essentially see you as an old man with no job and a car full of screaming kids?
REAL ADRIAN: Jesus. What is with you, man? Your interviewing style is abrasive and rude as hell and I’m contemplating punching you in the mouth with both fists…
PROFESSIONAL ADRIAN: I’m sorry, you’re totally right, that was a bit crass. Next question… if you could do it all over again, what would you change?
REAL ADRIAN: What do you want me to say? That I wish I bought a house on the shoreline in Maine and smoked weed and sanded down homemade canoes outside all day? You want me to say that I should’ve listened to my dad when he used to tell me to become a golfer even though his sales pitch was falling asleep on the sofa with the remote buried in his armpit, forcing me to watch it for hours on end when I was eight? Or do you wanna hear how I should’ve been a park ranger or a big swingin’ dick on Wall Street?
Nope. Not givin’ it to ya’. Not going there. Half that shit I can do in retirement.
I love my life. I love my wife and I love my kids. I love the fact (not really) that my dermatologist found a Doc McStuffin’s sticker on my ankle two weeks ago during my yearly skin check. I love that my daughter needs to try on six shirts before preschool every morning before she finds one that isn’t ‘too tight’ or ‘too itchy’. I love that if my son disappears, I know he’s probably taking a dump on the hardwood floor in the corner of the playroom.
I also love their hugs and kisses. I love that they want me to kiss their ouchies and make them better. I love the looks on their faces when I pick them up at school. I love that Charlie has my ears and, combined, we both probably get over a thousand channels on these suckers. I love it when all five of us, plus the dog, are stacked like sardines in our bed on Saturday morning watching cartoons.
I wouldn’t change a damn thing.
PROFESSIONAL ADRIAN: Do you have any goals for the next year?
REAL ADRIAN: See? Finally, at the end of the interview, you’re asking some quality questions.
My goal is to live each day like it’s my last. To make my kids and wife laugh and smile, to do my best with everything I do. To be honest, loving and caring.
I have a feeling that this year might be my best yet.
So happy birthday asshole… put a smile on your face.