Popularity had never been a problem for me, at least until that one autumn night in October. I can still hear the jerk frat boy’s voice … Freaks! Freaks? Did he know who he was talking to? Was a Friday night on campus. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I’d walked to James’ dorm room to see what he and Jeremy were doing. “I was thinking we could go to the library,” James … [Read more...] about SQUEEZED: Popularity, Peer Pressure, and Fitting In
I took a date to a sushi restaurant last night. The place was crowded; we sat at the bar rather than waiting for a table. Halfway through the meal, a man sitting next to us interrupted our conversation. He was an older man (old enough to have a 26 year old son—will explain that in a moment), drinking a glass of red wine and finishing his teriyaki wrapped in lettuce leaves. I noticed he didn’t wear … [Read more...] about Faces Of The City (Part II)
I watched a movie last night (Blue Valentine), in which the wife of a struggling, unhappy couple asked the husband why he didn’t apply himself more to improving his job situation (he was a house painter). He had so much potential, she said. What I want is to be a husband and father, he answered. I work my job so I can come home to you and (their daughter). Earlier in the movie, there’s a scene—a … [Read more...] about it starts early, doesn’t it?
I was talking to a woman the other day—a woman in her late 60s. She asked me where I was from. “Tennessee,” I answered. “Memphis?” “A small town north of Memphis. What about you?” “Ohio,” she said. “A small town, just like you.” “Do you go back to visit much?” “I went back last year. It was the first time in twenty years. It’s a red state, you know. I can't spend time there. When I … [Read more...] about distinctions
One of my favorite movies is Casino Royale. I was never a fan of the James Bond movies (I thought they were cheesy and formulaic) until I saw that one. I quickly became a fan. I own the movie and have probably seen it forty times. On occasion, when leading my community group (for the getting-to-know-each-other question), I have asked, “What movie character would you most like to be?” Each time, I … [Read more...] about our movie-star moments