A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Power of Association

My son, whom I'm very proud of, knew everything as a teen. I told him then that he should make notes because he would never again be as smart as he was at nineteen.

One pearl of adolescent wisdom that he sowed among my middle aged furrows of bigotry is that it did not matter how he dressed, nor did it matter much how he and his friends behaved, as long as they were law abiding citizens. Thankfully he never went for the gangsta sag look, I would have never allowed that. Connor was too much of an individual anyway. He was more of a Goodwill store "I don't care" type who saw clothing as the malicious trappings of a society that judges on appearances. He viewed the clothing industry as a cog in a vast hidden machine of systematic mind control.

Recently, he has spent several weeks in Paris. Not Paris Texas, but rather that other Paris, where all those Frenchmen run around. He has decided to leave his job teaching applied mathematics at a major state university. He is joining an international corporation that uses mathematics to somehow determine where to drill for........oil. ....... Ah, Capitalism......Good old Capitalism. When a young man finds the girl he loves and decides to settle down, there's nothing like having a few greenbacks in your pocket instead of a bunch of philosophy in your head.

Connor called me to enlist my assistance on his resume and to garner some advice on what to wear to his interview. Shave off facial hair for the interview? Darned right. Get a Republican haircut. I'm rather proud that he didn't ask whether he should wear shoes or sandals. Instead, he asked what type of shoes, and if he really needed a tie. I informed him of my opinion. My son is approaching wisdom, not because he now understands why he needs a good paying job, and why he needs to act and dress appropriately to obtain it, but because he now knows that there is much that he does not know.......Without the knowledge of one's ignorance, the search for enlightenment will never be undertaken.

This afternoon, as I was re-photographing a small revolver, I thought about that......How much the trappings of our personal personae affect how others perceive us, and ultimately the direction our lives take.

I thought about my own choices, the one time artistic prodigy who enlisted in the US Navy, sailed the world, who became a rabid imperialistic Republican expansionist, and then left to become a nurse. The guy who now sports a French forked Balbo and rides a bike to work. The guy who advocates for the care of those who do not speak for themselves.
I thought about the son who has gone from voting for Al Gore and saving the rain forests from the horrors of human indifference, to a burgeoning Capitalist ready to do some expansion of his own.
Yep. That's my son. I'm proud of him. I hope he's proud of me too.

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Blogger Justin Buist said...

Shave off facial hair for the interview? Darned right.

Whoa there. A well trimmed beard, goatee, or mustache is fine in the business world.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I agree Justin, I have one myself.

However, it can also be the one thing that scratches you in the job interview if your interviewer doesn't feel the same way. Far better to get the job first and grow the beard later than to try to impose your feelings on whether it is acceptable on a person who holds your keys to the job you want.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without doubt, I thought, the UTube clip will be CSN&Y's "Teach Your Children":

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach you children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go bye,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know bye,

Don't ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look and them and sigh and know they love you.

And you of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by.

And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by. [Repeat coda]

"Turn" is appropriate for many: wisdom comes to youth by passage of time. In "Teach..." wisdom comes through a dad's feeble attempt to pass the word, and a son's recognition--that, sigh--the power of association he has with you is more important than the forgotten notes he made when he knew everything.

My very best wishes to you, sir. And to Connor on his interview.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Pastor St. John said...

Thanks for your thoughts on your son's journey to adulthood. My son is 25, and still growing up, and I see many similarities. I hope he turns out as well as yours. Best regards, Marshall at www.mouseguns.com

7:41 AM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

A couple of things you might want to mention for to your son. I bring them up because I mentioned them to my son about the time I stopped being a "dumbass" in his eyes and started being the guy he turned to for advice.

"Dress for the interview, not for the job". Suit, tie, shined shoes, clean shave, neat hair cut. Even if the job is digging ditches, dress for the interview.

The resume is the thing that gets you in the door for the interview. A crappy resume, no matter how smart you really are, is going to end your chance at the job before it really starts.

Read as much about the company that you are interviewing for before the interview. It's much easier now with the Internet than it ever was before.

When raising your children all you can do is set a good example and hope that it sticks through all the Sturm and Drang of adolescence.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Hey Xav, what's the tool in the photos?

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your son and I have this transformation in common. I used to be a museum curator with no money in my pocket, liberal views, and a slight chip on my shoulder. Fast forward three to years later I am the manager/part owner of a small financial institution, married with a six month old, and my views are somehow stronlgy conservative. My wife will tell you that I still have the chip on my shoulder. You just never know where your life will lead you. All the best to your son.

11:06 AM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

You and Connor both have a lot to be proud of in each other.

Well done, papa!

11:20 PM  
Blogger Assrot said...

It sounds like your son is headed for great things and is growing to be a man to be proud of.

I wish I could say the same about mine. Unfortunately when I divorced his cokehead mom, the judge decided that he should live with her. Still haven't figured that one out. I had a good job, a place to live and no substance abuse problems nor criminal record. My ex-wife was a junkie, had no job, no place to live and two felony convicions. I can not to this day understand what that judge was thinking.

My son turned out like his mom. he lives in prison off and on all the time. He's 31, uneducated, has 3 felonies, all kinds of substance abuse problems and no interest in bettering himself.

Believe me, I tried with everything that is in me to teach him the high road. I was not allowed visitation when he was a minor and by the time he was 18, I guess it was too late. I pray for him and still offer to help him if he will try to help himself. I honestly think my ex screwed him up so bad that there is no return. He'll be what he is the rest of his life.

Be thankful and proud of your son. You could definitely do worse. You would not want to be in my shoes.

My two daughters that I raised from my second wife are the best kids you could ask for. Both have good educations, are self supporting and have excellent jobs. Both would give you the shirt off their back if you really needed it and then teach you how to make a shirt. Neither has ever been in any major trouble other than teenage pranks when they were young and neither uses drugs nor drinks alcohol.

I don't want to toot my own horn but I think it is obvious who is the better parent. I wish I could beat that asshole judge to within an inch of his life and make him face what he caused.

Great choice of music by the way. I play a little guitar. That is one of the few songs I know. I am not a musician. I just learned to play guitar and sing. There is a big differene in knowing how to do something and having a true talent for it.


7:01 PM  

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