Social Misdemeanors and Ecclesiastes

Every society has unwritten rules for proper comportment, learned over time and through the mistakes of childhood.

When walking up to a urinal, you don’t look at the guy beside you, no matter how well or poorly endowed he is by the Creator. In fact, you are to pretend that he doesn’t exist, the exception being the times when you give his lower back a gentle push mid-stream.

When pulling up to a red light, you shouldn’t look to right or left in order to stare at the passengers of other vehicles (unless you are in a very large truck). Such behavior must be forsaken in the transition from 5th to 6th grade. Again, it is polite and respectful to pretend that others don’t exist. Obviously.

I’ve never been good at following rules. You might say that I’m the bad boy, rebel type. The celibate kind.

So rolling up to a red today, I took the opportunity to stare at the car to my left. Meeting my gaze with intensity was a young lassie in a booster seat. The mom had noticed me too. Realizing that my clandestine stare career had come to ruin in mere moments, with two of the observed turning into observers, I looked away as if nothing had happened. But it was too late. My grin refused to be squelched. As the corners of my mouth insisted upon a reunion with my voluptuous lobes, I looked back at the ladies. Both smiled back with genuine summer warmth. And so we parted ways.

Life is full of pain. And it is full of smiles from strangers, good beer, jumping fish, talking crows, cereal, puddles, and country music. Why? Because God has determined to make life good poetry, saga, and song.

Enjoy food. Enjoy drink. Enjoy work. And smile at that random woman and her toddler.

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