Values, Opinions, Rules...Whatever You Call Them
Everyone has values, or maybe you call them "rules" that you live by. I was thinking about writing a column concerning all the values that my father gave me while I was growing up. I think I basically came up with three, so instead it evolved into this.
After reading some of these, you will probably realize, if you already haven't, that I am truly crazy.
1. Go to school and do your best.
Thanks for this one, Dad. Not sure I did as well as I could the first, oh, four years. The factory jobs I had in the summers pretty much told me if I didn't do my best in college, that's where I'd wind up. This motivated me enough to want to go back to school, but only because it wasn't the factory. After the internship at Speed Queen in Wisconsin, though, I made it to class everyday, and suprisingly enough (duh!) I made some of the best grades ever.
2. Do the tasks nobody wants even if they make you feel uncomfortable.
I've learned a lot by doing this. And I don't mean sucking up.
3. If you do a good job, people will give you more money.
I don't know why I remember this, but I think we were sitting at a traffic light in Germany and my dad pulled out a payslip and showed me this bonus he got. I was impressed. It's not that my dad didn't work hard, or anything, it was more of a situation where he worked for the government, and I thought it must be pretty hard to get bonuses working for the government. This stuck with me, for some reason. Thanks to my dad for this one, too.
4. Get self-actualized (goal based).
When I was in 4th grade, I was sitting there playing with my micronauts or something and I put this together: If I go to grade, middle, and high school and get good grades, this will allow me to go to college. If I do well in college, it will allow me to get a good job. Good job = money, which in turn = food on the table and roof over my head. It's so basic that it's easy to take for granted. Unfortunately, I think this has become the root cause, or basic reason for living to me. Which is a whole 'nother topic worth discussion at another time.
5. Get self-actualized (everything else).
I don't know if other people get epiphanies on a regular basis, but there have been times in my life where an event happens and it totally changes some facet of me. I was never much of a political kid growing up. I was aware of things like racial injustice and that I grew up lower to middle class, but I never really got into the politics of things until probably my late college years. I realized at some point that I was somewhat conservative, even though things I read and listened too and agreed with were somewhat more liberal. And that's all I really have to say about that.
6. Rules of Consumption
This is almost a subset of values on the consumption of food and drink.
1. If someone offers you a free beer, you either accept or decline it. Do not ask "What kind?" Thanks to my dad for this one. This also goes for food. If your friend says, "Hey, I'm ordering pizza, what do you want on it?" Make your suggestion, noting if you are allergic to anything. When your friend orders the pizza from a place you don't like, keep it to yourself, unless you're going in on the pizza, then you have a right to be choosey.
2. I only like three kinds of beer: A) Free; B) Cold; C) Everything else. It's a very easy rule to live with.
3. A margarita is served over crushed ice. If the ingredients of a margarita are placed in a blender (including the ice) this is something different. I offer the title of "Tequila Sundae," inspired by the Urge Overkill song of the same name.
What's that? It's the same thing? Oh, then if you wanted a Coke, and I went out and brought you back a Coke Slurpee, you'd be okay with that, right? How about if you wanted a pizza and I brought you back a Chicago style pizza? What's that? You don't like Chicago style pizza? Why not? It's got the same ingredients: dough, sauce, cheese and toppings.
4. As a guest, never take the last beer, slice of pizza, piece of cheesecake, etc., unless it is offered to you.
7. You can only be a fan of a college football team if you went to said college.
That's right. You heard me. Let's use Michigan as an example. No more, "I've been a Michigan football fan my whole life." That shit stops right now. You can be a Michigan football fan up until the day you are accepted by a college other than Michigan. If you get accepted by Michigan, congratulations, you can be a fan for life. If you end up going to Western Michigan U, then congratulations, you have a brand new team to root for called The Broncos.
What's that, you didn't go to a school with a football team? Man, that sucks. I hope you at least went to a school with a decent basketball team. If you like the game of football, you can pick ANY pro team and root for them.
And if you didn't go to college, you need to peel that Florida State Seminoles sticker off the bumper of your '89 Chevy S10. Unless your kid goes there. If you pay tuition at any school, you can pull for them, as well.
You can pull for any one college team for a limited time, for gambling purposes. This is sort of like the tuition rule.
This is why we have pro sports, people.
The only exception to this rule is if you live in the state of Arkansas. And I can't even tell you why.
8. You can only be a "fan" of one major league sports team in each sport.
As hard as I have tried to like both the Cubs and White Sox, I can't manage to do it. Bye, Cubs. You can like or hate as many other teams, but you can only "support" one team. Insert athletic supporter jokes here.
I'm sure I have more, but I can't think of any, and it's time for coffee #2.