Mediocrity. If I had to describe myself in one word that would be it. Or average. That’s a pretty apt description as well.
I’m of average height. In Japan or The Philippines I would probably be a bit above average. Whenever I visited my brother in Leiden, The Netherlands, I quickly realized how vertically challenged I was.
I’m an average lover. Sad but true. I get bored or winded at about the three minute mark. And long for the post coitus cigarette. Or joint. Or slumber.
I’m a bit above the average in the obesity department. I’m no Gerard Depardieu but then again I’m losing sight of my toes with every day that passes.
I ran a 10k in Ramat Hashron in 1995. And I can remember thinking to myself, whatever happens, don’t come in last. And I didn’t. I ran it in about 50 minutes, which put me dead smack in the middle of the group.
An average time to run.
I’m an average tennis player. Not like my dad, a hall of famer at Temple University (with his picture hanging next to Bill Cosby). But every year I get recruited as a ringer for a bush league “B” club team that needs one win to not drop down to the lowly “C” league.
And I had so much potential. At least that’s what they told me growing up.
So much potential for greatness.
Well now that I’m at the midway point in my life my dreams and aspirations of greatness have shifted to my son, D. And I pick him up every day from Pre-School at 2 PM and we spend a few hours together until M. comes home. And from what I’ve seen of my spectacular three year old he is most definitely destined for greatness. Here are some examples:
1. He really likes kicking, punching and climbing all over me. And stealing my phone.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: A martial arts master. World renown. Takes the Steven Segal/Jean Claude Van Damme/Chuck Norris path and makes action movies.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: 5-10 for aggravated assault and armed robbery.
2. He loves taking his multi-vitamins.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes a bio physicist, wins a Nobel prize for helping finally cure cancer. And male pattern baldness.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He spends all his allowance on making a makeshift drug lab in which he extracts dextromethorphan from cough syrup and puts it in pill form and sells to his friends. For pot money.
3. He loves crashing his wind up toy cars. And laughing.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Evil Kneivel style daredevil who dazzles the world with death defying jumps over school buses.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Personal injury lawyer.
4. He loves riding on his tricyle. Loves it.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes the first Israeli to ever win the Tour De France. And he does it drug free and with two balls.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes a douchey weekend warrior who brags about riding the “singles” at Mitzpe Ramon while wearing black spandex tights and sipping coffee at Aroma. And has one of those bike racks on the back of his hybrid. And smells like Ben Gay.
5. He spends a great amount of effort ripping books up.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes an avant-garde artist who makes stunningly beautiful collages by recycling found objects. He gains worldwide notoriety and wealth and his objets d’art sell for millions. While he’s still alive.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Literary critic.
6. He sometimes takes all my underwear from the drawer and wears them on his head. For hours.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Fashion designer (but not an anti Semitic one) whose unique style and originality make him the darling of New York Fashion Week.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He continues to wear underwear on his head well into the army where he is given an ultimatum: section 8 for psychological reasons (like Klinger attempted to do on M.A.S.H) or platoon commander for Golani.
7. He has a major drinking problem. Meaning he’s always spilling his juice.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Helps the Philadelphia Eagles win the Superbowl and sprays champagne over everybody during the celebrations. We’re talking American football of course. Because his mother is four foot ten and I’m a midget in Holland. And basketball is out of the question.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He spends a lot of time pouring out his ol’ E “for the homies left behind”
8. He likes to scream. And shout. And throw tantrums.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes a social activist. A firm believer in making social change and he takes to the street in protest. And rallies the masses with his unwavering belief in equality and justice.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Knesset Member.
9. We go to the park. And he chases the ducks. And it makes him so happy.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Wildlife photographer for National Geographic.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He becomes a cast member on “Duck Dynasty”.
EVEN WORSE CASE SCENARIO: Changes his name to “Elmer” and starts hunting wabbits.
10. He loves M. and me to pieces.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: He moves out when he’s 18 and becomes a start up success story. He makes his first billion by the age of 25.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: He moves out when he’s 18 and becomes a start up success story. He makes his first billion by the age of 25. And then puts us in an old age home. But not even a good one. Basically, a middle of the road kinda one.
I’m beginning to come to terms with my mediocrity. And that’s a relief. Because there’s so much pressure on all of us to be the best. To live up to our potential. To be the change we want to see. To leave our mark on the world.
But the truth is I’ve never been happier in my life.
And I wish the best for my son. But I’ll tell him that being average is also OK.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking.
This whole blog post was just, meh. Unexceptional.
Certainly not my best.
But at the same time, I suppose, it’s not my worst.