Maybe It’s Better This Way


Maybe it’s best this way. Maybe it’s actually what women want. Maybe I’ll be one of those comely bald men, like Shel Silverstein. Maybe my wife will have such good hair that she’ll make it up for the both of us. Maybe it’s like they say, baldness only comes from your mother’s side, though even as I say that I have my doubts. Never has that made any sense.

Maybe it’s fine I don’t have a regular job, writing blog posts could be enough. Maybe a person can become a realized adult this way. Maybe when I go home for Christmas my aunts and uncles and cousins won’t ask me what I’m doing or who I’m seeing and they’ll instead say to each other, “Oh, Jeff? Yeah, he’s writing now.” Then someone will ask, “Just writing?” And someone else will respond, “I guess so, just writing.” Maybe then they’ll take a sip of punch and eat a bite of cracker with dip that’s egg and cheese baked together and think, though no one will say, Yes, Ted’s boy, he’s got it together. He writes for websites, after all.

Maybe it’s smart to not have a husband or a wife. Maybe it’s like everyone says, “You just wait til you get married, oh boy, then you’ll know what it’s like.” And, “Man, it’s so tough being married, you don’t even know.” Maybe it’s right to have failed at every relationship. Maybe falling in love with unattainable people is for the best.

Maybe it’s normal to not have a boyfriend or a girlfriend at this age. Maybe it is because I don’t remember, as a boy, being introduced to my aunt’s boyfriend or my uncle’s girlfriend. Maybe I shouldn’t go around imprinting those kinds of memories on my own nieces and nephews. Maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better.

Maybe it’s helpful to hear from the women I’ve met, “I hope you figure out what it is you want, exactly” and, “What’s it going to take for you to figure out what you want?” and other variations on that theme. Maybe it wasn’t that I just wanted her to be Lake Bell and then for sure I’d have figured it out. Maybe everyone has those kinds of thoughts. Maybe I’m not an awful person. Maybe I am.

Maybe it’s nice that everything turned out as it did. Maybe there’s just no career for a man with a degree in psychology from a land grant university in the Midwest who got really into God for a while and missed the boat on making any kind of business connections. Maybe I was never destined for a real career anyway. Maybe I’d do well to remember elementary school when the coolest kid in my class said I argued too much when we played basketball because I didn’t give in to his calls. Maybe that spirit of wanting things to ‘be right,’ no matter the cost, would never serve me that well.

Maybe it’s hot to have back hair. I’ve heard of women who like hairy men. Maybe gray hair is sexy, Tobias Wolff, Sean Connery, I could be one of those. Maybe I could grow a mustache and buy turtlenecks and have a kind of leathery toughness. Maybe it’s better still to have hair coming out of my ears. Maybe I’m actually becoming a wizard. Maybe I’ll learn a magic spell. Maybe I’ll use it to change everything I’ve ever done. 

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