A Few Short Years Ago…Whew (A Man’s #NeverTrump Maturation Process)

dsc00319Before we moved back to Missouri, my wife and I lived in South Florida. Besides the beautiful weather, amazing food, and lovely people, we were fortunate/unfortunate enough to bump into a celebrity or two every once in a while. That can be kinda fun sometimes, especially if you’re into “people watching” as much as we are. Stumbling down to The Miracle Mile for a Colada or two of Cafe Cubano before noon on a Saturday potentially led to a Maserati, Lambo, or Ferrari running you over. Sometimes that morning fog takes a little while to clear – not so much weather-wise, but often in the head…lol

I’ve always seemed to be around clusters of people who want you to know who they are but not acknowledge who they are…naturally most of the celebrities I’ve interacted with in public seemed to fit into that sort of category. Growing up and having most of my early career in or around DC meant also bumping into random folks from the television frequently – they were just the talking heads from Sunday morning moreso than the stars from other nights and the big screen. Moving out of the DC area is definitely jarring at first – it seems like most of our local channels had 3-4 hours of news on every night when I was growing up. “National News” is really “Local News” since so much of it was taking place right up the street on Capitol Hill. Once you get out here to flyover land, things certainly dial back a little bit.

mstreetI worked for an occupational medicine consulting firm during my 20s near the corner of 19th & M Street (just South of Dupont Circle).  This is not only really close to K Street (Lobbyist’s Row back in the day), but it is also smack dab in the center of what (at the time) was DC’s premier “Gentleman’s Club” area. In that context, I very much don’t know “the scene” anymore (or any of those old scenes, really – wink, wink), but I was certainly a young man in his 20s at one time. There are a lot of folks from back then scratching their heads when they run into me now – yeah, I really did make it. I really am still here.  Original liver…no, really.

Point being – yeah. We had a lot of “good times” (from a 20-ish year-old perspective) back then. I had friends in the industry, I had friends who were dancers, I had friends who were masseuses, I had friends all over the place. When you’re one of those odd folks who winds up in a “Titty Bar” for lunch semi-regularly (I swear, they had great food – and it was free…haha), people seem to remember you. Oddly enough, you seem to remember the lunch times a little more 1d03aaacc09b485d6a51babac910ee29than the ones where a bunch of drunk friends pile into a “Gentleman’s Club” for a bachelor party or birthday or just because it’s Tuesday. None of the girls are usually dancing, maybe one or two bored chicks are getting ready for a long day of “setting aside money for tuition”. And again, free food. That’s very often as important as having a girl talk to you (ever) when you’re a 20-ish year old dork like I was.  I was shy enough to “Silent Bob” myself through a lot of that period.

What you really saw, though, as you headed back to lunch around 1:30 or 2:00 (I’ve always been a late riser and certainly that makes me something of a late eater), was the limos and assorted cars with Congressional license plates from the Hill zipping in as folks came over for a “late lunch” to miss some of the crowds. Last thing I was doing was having a drink at lunch – there was plenty of time for that after work after all, and I was probably still getting over the previous night’s hangover and that first pot of Espresso was wearing off by now. It was moving into the afternoon cocktail session though, and what better place to do that than around 19th & M. This was back in the Land that Time Forgot before everyone drank designer coffee, but we still had an Espresso machine in our work area and were ordering Jamaican Blue Mountain and 100% Kona by the pound back then long before the mainstream figured out that some beans do taste differently…lol

Most of the reps I saw aren’t even with us anymore – the one I remember seeing the most had certainly been on the DC Circuit for a while.  I’m not a Kiss-and-Tell kinda guy, and I think that being around that sort of “culture” (if DC life can possibly be referred to as such) played a strong part in the formation of those morals. I find most of the joy in life comes from actually experiencing stuff – not necessarily in recounting the stories of (my and others’) exploits to other people. I learned that the hard way I’m sure, but by now in my mid-40s it’s just a feature not a bug. I’m not awed by much anymore since I’ve really seen some truly crazy shit and met some amazing and interesting people during my brief time here on this stubborn ball of Granite. Plus, well, I’m naturally pretty shitty with names, so I never remember who anyone is anyway…lol.

me-rob-nolaThis has led to more than a few experiences where I’m sitting there with someone that the TV or print media says I should be fawning over, and I wind up just treating them just like a normal person like me since that’s all they are in my simple, limited frame of reference. I’m not the most social person in the universe (that’s changing a little as I grow up thanks to writing oddly enough), but I can drop a funny joke here or there with the best of them…inevitably the ice is broken and I’m laughing with whoever in an First Class lounge or Bar and then life goes on and a few days later, I’m like…Damn. That was XYZ. LOL. Funny Stuff.  Now I’m just a boring old married guy so the days of Clubs (other than Sam’s) are long in my rearview mirror. It’s actually a “life” I had left long before ever meeting my wife (funny how that works out). I still have the memories, a few of the brain cells, and certainly a lot of stories when I can remember half of them. It was a hell of a “research phase” for this writing hobby I’m trying to develop into a career of sorts, I guess (all pointers welcome).

So yeah, fast forward back to South Florida. Meri Jane and I had the opportunity to meet one of those “famous real people” from the TeeVee down at one of the Casinos. It was a person who I actually looked at for a few years and said “Damn. That guy’s a real leader. Yeah, I’d like to shake his hand one day.” We weren’t doing anything that day so wtf, up the Florida Turnpike we went.  We hung out for a little while and then made our way over to the tent where everyone was Meeting and Greeting the special guest that day. Now, this guy is something of the ultimate white color guy in a blue collar world. One of those folks that came up through the ranks, got his hands really dirty, and then matured into the leader of the whole show. We made our way over to where folks were meeting the “big star” and it was eventually our turn to get our picture snapped with this exhausted guy who I’m sure was having an OK time but would rather have been back at work doing what he did best…lol.

Bam, it’s finally our turn next to meet this “Man’s Man” – this guy who is literally at the top of his food chain, the apex predator of all apex predators in his universe. When he’s working, he’s the last authority, has the last say, and has to be since lives are at stake. Top Alpha of Alphas.  Shaking hands in a tent somewhere in South Florida has to be about as far away from the guy’s comfort zone as Uranus is to Earth.  But there we were, so once more into the breach we went.

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And that’s about when Sig F’ing Hansen got a shot of my wife’s “stellar rack” (don’t shoot me, those were her words before we actually met face-to-face…lol). My wife is…shall we just say…well-endowed. Not massive fake OMG kinda stuff, but she’s a very healthy woman. We were looking great and feeling even better (it’s a miracle what living in Coral Gables and walking everywhere does for one’s health). Well, whatever she was wearing that evening certainly perked Sig back up and got his full attention…haha. He grabbed my wife’s hand, looked her up and down, gave her a big “Friend, I haven’t seen you in forever” bear hug, and managed to get out something like “Daddy Like!” while shaking the cobwebs from his eyes. We all laughed, handshakes were exchanged, I sincerely thanked Sig for doing what he did on the show and sharing his life with everyone, yadda yadda yadda. We grabbed a few of their special Northwestern beers (really good stuff back when I drank), and sauntered back to the car asking each other if… “that had just happened.”

_dsc4626-1420Never in a zillion years of Sundays were Meri Jane or I offended by what had transpired. Here was a guy with a beautiful wife, several beautiful daughters, who had (in theory) made a borderline “lewd” (I’m sure according to some “feminists”) remark about an obvious part of my wife’s anatomy that’s always had her feeling self-conscious for one reason or another. Other circumstances might have called for caps in asses and other assorted loud noises and anti-social behavior. It was meant as a compliment from a stunned individual, and thankfully it was taken by all parties as such. Everyone got a good laugh out of it (I doubt Sig remembers this since I’m sure they have him doing this crap all over the country). My opinion of the guy didn’t change, my wife didn’t feel threatened, and nobody lost any teeth.

Why does any of that matter?

I’ve never met Donald Trump. As of today, I really have no desire to. Sure, it was 11 years ago – but dude, you were fuckin’ fifty-nine at the time. Someone drops that tape from when you were 29 – nobody but the most partisan leftists would even be talking about it this morning. But literally double that age plus 1? You still felt that way and needed to stroke your own ego so badly at 59, that this is how you were behaving within the last dozen years? Thank you sincerely, Donald, you did the one thing that many of my friends have been trying to do for months now.

You made me the #NeverTrump Man I am today.

Mr. Trump, I’m forever grateful.

Have a great weekend, everyone! We’re doing the final preparations before blasting off on #BigRoadTrip2016 next week…:) Can’t wait to fill everyone in with where we’re going (so we can meet some friends), what we’re doing, what we’re seeing – and more important what we’re hearing from America during this run-up to the election. If you’ve got ideas on things we need to see both before and after November 8th, please let us know!

And oh yeah – there’s no way in hell Donald’s ever hugging my wife.

Not while we still have a Second Amendment.

I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this Gentleman, folks…:)

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