I am tired, oh, so tired. We have been burning the candle at both ends. This week and last, we’ve been rehearsing for new gigs, getting up very early to travel and play and then do it all again the next day. This “work” thing is much harder than I remembered!
Of course, we’ve been schlepping snd strumming for nearly thirty years, but taking off 3 1/2 months has given me some perspective on how hard we worked during our careers. The other alternative, of course, is that I’m an old fart and everything IS harder.
Today, we took our show, “I Can: The Grit and Growth Mindset Show,” to a middle school audience in Amityville, NY. To be honest, I was more afraid of these 6th, 7th and 8th graders than I was frightened by the horror movie that took place in this Long Island town. Our ideal audience is around four feet tall and some of these kids were as big as NFL players. Again, it may be that I’ve shrunk or am now seeing things a little bit cockeyed.
Since we left at six in the morning, the traffic wasn’t bad. That said, it always blows my mind that there are tens of thousands of commuters who get up before the roosters, drive at 75mph with a large cup of coffee in one hand and offer one-fingered salutes to anyone who gets in their way with the other. I try and ride with the flow so as to not piss off these New Yorkers who MUST get to their desks before 7am.
I suppose it makes good sense, then, that we were teaching NY kids about grit. If you’re going to be a car salesman in Kentucky, you don’t need grit. There, you just need to show up at the office by 10am and sell a bunch of trucks to the people who red s new vehicle.
If you’re doing the same job in NYC, you’re fired if you don’t sell 27 cars in a month. I’m not making that up, either. I met someone last week who was let go from their job at Mercedes when he only sold 25 cars last month.
Am I saying that New Yorkers are a crazy bunch and I want to get the heck out of here asap? Yes and no. I love these people and hate them, too.
After our shows, we stopped at an Italian Pork Store in Massapequa for lunch. It was right out of the Sorpanos. The owner served us homemade lasagna and eggplant sliced thin just like his grandmother made it in Napoli. While at our table, we talked about raising children and other subjects that people with grey hair discuss and thoroughly enjoyed his polite manners, humor and delicious food. You can’t get that kind of experience outside of New York or New Jersey.
Getting on the Southern State Parkway, though, Beth was cursing the drivers, our GPS and life in general as she tried to navigate our way home. I waited patiently and wished I knew how to pray the Rosary.
Eventually, she got the truck up to cruising speed and I handed her one of the cookies I bought at the Italian eatery – biscuits made with Nutella. Beth doesn’t do anti-anxiety meds, but she reacts well to good cookies and a delicious cup of coffee.
Oh – I forgot! After we left the pork palace, we went into a neighboring spot to grab her a cup of joe. This, too, was an old-world joint with five or six men drinking espresso and watching the news to learn about Monkey Pox.
Beth ordered her American coffee and I then realized I only had $1.00 in cash. As Beth frowned at me and turned to go to the truck for her wallet, a customer behind us said, “I’ve got it.” This complete stranger, another gentleman, paid for Beth’s java. Wow.
New York is loud and fast and it assaults my senses. But there’s no doubt – it’s an Adventure!