Experience is simply the name we give mistakes” Oscar Wilde once said…or maybe he said it twice…why wouldn’t he? It sure is a great quote! I would have put that one in heavy circulation had I thought of it before Wilde did. Sometimes I hear myself make a statement once in a while and think ‘hey that’s a good one, got to remember that one’, usually can’t remember what it was the next day. Years of substance abuse takes its toll…or they weren’t as substantial as I thought they were in the first place. Certain readers I imagine are gasping for air right now. Substance abuse? Yes…you heard it! Why do we use the word ‘substance‘ for drugs?!I never heard a mother of a ‘stoner‘ say…‘my son can’t come to the door right now, he’s in the back, high on substance’. Nor would the son use that word…can you imagine a junkie saying to a partner in crime (crime; which is up for debate) ‘dude… this is the best substance I ever did!!! Or maybe he would…you know being high and all…anything basically goes in a ‘enlightened’ state of mind.
When was the last time you ran into a stranger on the street that was of any substance? If you would you smash into substance you probably wouldn’t even know it. And if you would, you would be annoyed, and say it was an obstacle.
The third definition of the word substance in the dictionary says: 3:– That which is solid and practical in character, quality, or importance: Now there’s some poetry going on right there! Poetry it’s just everywhere, it’s getting a kinda girly really!!! Very powerful, and quite intimidating..(I’m sensing a pattern here). Let’s shift gears! How’s that for macho?! Solid and practical? Solid as in ‘unwavering, steadfast and true? Flashback to ancient history alert! I dare you guys to be solid to the average modern girl nowadays, I tell ya’ whatever the hell you might possess that could be taken for substance, is either going to her bank, or it’s gonna get whooped! Not literally, the whooping that is…Lordy me sure hopes not! But man! Some of the women folk will hunt/haunt you for the rest of you life. Either by bitchin’, nagging, blaming, but mostly through alimony! Alimony even has a certain (evil) ring to it…I tell you, the bells of hell sound better!! Ali-money! Woman…womoney…or better yet mo’money. Greed in the flesh! But they can also just haunt your mind..see how I used ‘italic’ on the word just?? Did that to emphasise sarcasm. But there are women you will never forget. There’s a few around. That occupy your personal memory bank, and that’s the good and bad part about it…best and worst in you, and about you!
There’s also a the physical side to substance..in this light you get to read the first definition of the word ‘substance’ that says; ‘That which has mass and occupies space; matter’. Ha! Some guys are reading this, looking from behind their devices back over their shoulders aawww there’s old substance eating jelly donuts on the wornout couch! My lord that was sooo sexist! OOOMMMGGG!!! some of you gals might exclaim, and your right, that’s a substantial stupid statement each way you look at it! I’m all for womens-lib…is that still the term? Women’s lib? Always sounded like a medical term for an intimate body part to me! But I’m all for it…it gets me a bit excited really. Not really…but I for one, am emancipated enough to know that somethings never change. Women still want a guy who surprises them now and then, I will cash in that check tomorrow when my wife and ex read this blog. Also a big plus is cuteness…no I won’t go there…but I am…and man do I know it! Another desired requirement is being funny…certainly don’t wanna go there! And of course being a smart dresser helps..sorry you American men, I said smart…..as in dapper, and real swagger…not hip hop swag.. y’all!!! No true swagger! That guys like….Gary Grant, Nat King Cole, Clint Eastwood, Sidney Poitier, Steve McQueen, Big Chief, J.F.K. and Dean Martin had. I mean in a sartorial and yet natural manner. I will deal with the word sartorial in a later blog. I know, it might have been smarter to write the one on ‘sartorial’ first, one might think. It just might. Is that debatable? Possibly…yes…..but it would be less fun….because I’m on a roll…and kind of lazy. A dear co-worker of mine, once so eloquently described the word laziness like this; ‘Laziness is the continuous pursuit of efficiency’. Speaking of laziness…..I’ve dwelled on the women’s side of things long enough! So here I go on record saying that many man, sons , brethren, fathers and husbands…are invading the space between the couch and the fridge, taking the freakin’ TV remote with them at all times! Drinking from the cartons, in your jogging suit covered in gravy stains. I tell you and so does Carl Hurley if you got gravy stains all over your jogging suit your program ain’t working! Don’t know who is worse, these couch potatoes/morons? or the guys who think that they are THE guy! Coming home late just for supper, wife bored to her wits listening about how well your presentation went, or how you stood your ground when your boss gave you an earful. Yeah right…..big man…sure you did! A lot of people are substantial bores that’s right! Yuppie substance translates to “the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream” said Billy Shakespeare. And boy do you cast one heck of a shadow…did you guys notice I used ‘heck’ instead of ‘hell? That feels so much better..I feel kind of Buddhistic. such an instant and substantial relief. Anyway people of substance….people like Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham, Gandhi, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and my dad. What was it again? “Experience is simply the name we give mistakes”. I find kind of comfort in that one, I got experience alright! Mistakes…means you don’t make them on purpose, but maybe we make them just for the sake of purpose alone! When I think of mistakes, I think of forgiveness like my dad’s forgiveness for me…when I did something awfully stupid when I was young. My dad never really lost his temper….I am still alive. He always kept his grace. And that reminds me of the hymn Grace greater than all my sin….all my sin….wow….talk about substantial…I’m alive! But only by the Grace of God!