Once upon a time, I was 16. Yes, those were heady times, I was all young and restless and unsure of my place in the world. So it happened to be raining one day, and I was in need of a haircut. Off to the barber’s with a large Pilsner umbrella. No idea why the Pilsner umbrella image stuck in my head, but I digress.
So as I casually saunter along (yes, I do that, when the road is empty), rain just raining on, some guy I don’t know asks if he can share. Said umbrella is large, not those small things people carry around in their bags that only work to keep the rain away if you’re less than 3 feet in height, it was a big-ass umbrella… pardon my French.
So I agree, and share the umbrella with the guy, who I did not realize was drunk, and we start talking. Where I’m from, what I do, what he does, where he’s going, small talk pretty much. Then the guy, completely out of nowhere, asks if I’m married. Right, notice how I said at the beginning that I was 16 at this point. So I say no.
Dude then says, “Don’t. It’s not worth it. Don’t even think about it. just get yourself someone nice, settle with her, things get thick you can just get out.”
Shock.
First, that the guy was giving me life advice that pretty much amounted to me ignoring everything I had been taught up to that point. Here was a rather different image of women, one that I had not realized for the most part existed. Women were another thing, girls were the ones I was comfortable with being awkward around… Delightful irony.
And he went on about how life is pretty much unfair, I should trim down my dreams because it will hurt less when they are crushed, and that we are all going to die. At that rate, it was only a matter of time before the shine from High School wore off and my eyes would be opened…
Secondly, I had no idea who he was, so the overall shock the situation was generating was just scary. But I was learning something at least…
It sounds like forever, but the whole thing took about 10 or so minutes, and I got to where I was going, while unsolicited-advice-man went on, the rain having subsided.
Right. So my life was going to suck and women were now something to pretty much use… Cheers. And everything I believed in was bound to collapse, life support being taken away and all.
I don’t know why, but the way things are turning out have been the exact opposite of what the man was saying. Maybe it was me working to make my life distinctly unlike umbrella man’s, the way I have to work at making sure I don’t have some sad drunken discussion with some random umbrella person somewhere…

But something in my gut tells me I’ll be fine.

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