Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

Archive for January, 2017

So Free and So Money

Posted by flyingbk on 01/24/2017

On Sunday, I bestowed the privilege of watching a seminal bro film. My younger bro was only three years old when Swingers debuted on the silver screen in 1996. Thus, it was mandatory for me, as a caring older bro, to show him this timeless classic.

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I’ve watched Swingers so many times. It’s a movie that holds a special place in my heart because I eminently relate to the main character, Mikey (played by Jon Favreau), who’s taking forever to recover from a broken heart. With the encouragement of his buddies (played prominently by a young Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston), Mikey tries to pick up girls at parties and bars, but he fails constantly, usually spectacularly. If you’ve watched the movie, you know that there are fewer cringe-inducing scenes than when he interminably leaves messages for Nikki (Brooke Langton). You sympathize with Mikey’s loneliness and desperation for companionship even as you shake your head at his complete lack of cool and game.

One theme jumped out at me as I re-watched on Sunday night. In his earlier interactions, Mikey is always trying to prove himself: He wants the ladies to know that he now has an agent, and he pretends that his comedian career is taking off and that he’s busy all the time. The continual fronting painfully reminded me of many of my first dates (usually as a result of online dating) when I always tried to put my best foot forward and sought to frame my job and career in the most positive light possible. Thankfully, there was no aspiring model or actress who asked me what kind of car I drive.

It’s all so exhausting. I once was an online dating addict, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been Coffee Meets Bagel-free for almost six months. There are still times when I notice that it’s noon, and I’m relieved that there’s no bagels to check. Don’t get me wrong: I encourage online dating and I celebrate the couples that I know have originated from it. I have simply concluded that it’s not for me anymore, and it’s been so liberating not having to do any more framing.

Fast forward to the end of Swingers. With Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing in the background, Mikey meets Lorraine (Heather Graham). Lorraine is the one who makes a move first, asking Mikey to dance. After they swing dance up a storm, totally hitting it off, he walks her to her car. And what I love about their interaction is that Mikey is honest with her. As he hands her his business card, he admits that his career isn’t so hot.

(Personal aside: Want proof that this movie is my jam? When Mikey pins Lorraine’s number to the calendar, thereby exercising newfound discipline in his game, he pins it on… December 13. My birthday. Yup.)

Because Mikey senses that Lorraine is already interested in him, he is free. Free to be vulnerable. Free to be modest. Free to even be weak. Those vibes that Lorraine throws at him make all the difference. Now, I’m not suggesting that women should take the lead, and I’m certainly not a guy who’s qualified to dispense any dating advice.

But Mikey’s evolution did remind me of the gospel.

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The gospel tells us that if we believe in Jesus, we are deeply loved and completely accepted as we are. We don’t have to pretend to be something that we’re not. We don’t need to act like we have it all together and that our lives are on this perfectly secure path. We don’t have to exaggerate or tell fake stories about ourselves.

As the opening credits of Swingers roll, Dean Martin croons, “You’re nobody ’til somebody loves you.” Thank heavens that in Jesus Christ, we are deeply loved and validated by Somebody. He’s not so interested in what kind of car we drive. He loves us as we are, flailing job and career and all. And he’s ever pursuing us. As I read in a book last night, “God always gets the girl.” That is, His people.

Because of God’s great love, we’re all so money, whether we know it or not.


Hat tip (and recommended supplemental reading): This Mockingbird piece.

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Stumbling Upon a Resolution

Posted by flyingbk on 01/12/2017

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I believe in making New Year’s resolutions. I know the shelf life of a resolution is usually a month, perhaps even less. But there’s value in resetting our priorities and seeking to live a more fruitful and purposeful life in the year ahead. So usually in December, I begin sketching out ideas and practices that I want to commit to for the new year. By the time January 1 rolls around, I usually have 5-7 resolutions, or working principles, that I wish to incorporate in my life.

The Weight Loss Miracle

But what I’ve discovered is that the best resolutions I’ve made at the beginning of a new year are the unplanned ones. Two years ago, as 2015 started, I weighed in at 181 pounds. Of course, I had tried to lose weight before, but abjectly failed time after time. However, during the first week of January, I simply started eating less. It wasn’t by design; it just happened (I’ll go ahead and credit God’s sovereignty, because, well, God is sovereign). That week, I ate one slice of pizza for lunch instead of two. I even simply ate just mixed nuts for dinner when I wasn’t too hungry.

At week’s end, I saw the results, plain as day: I had lost three pounds. A light bulb went off in my head. You mean that if I eat less and consume less calories, I actually lose weight? I know, it’s a brilliant observation. Thus, a new resolution was born: Eat less. And by the end of March, I had dropped 17 pounds. Sadly, I’ve stayed around 164 since, despite wanting to get down to at least 155. One day.

When I tell people this story, I always emphasize that it was dumb luck (and God’s grace). I didn’t set out to lose weight. But deep inside, I knew something had to change, and at last, I employed the right means to do it.

A New Resolution for 2017

On January 2 of this year, I decided to give up social media for the day: No Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter. I’m planning to do this once a week. For the longest time, I’ve known that Twitter is the death of me. We live in an instant society where we always want to know the latest, and Twitter feeds that beast so well. I load up my Tweetdeck, and constantly scan multiple feeds (including personally curated lists regarding baseball, college basketball, and money).

I shudder to think how much time I’ve wasted on that platform. So on that day, I realized how much happier I was to be off Twitter. I just felt more fully present and less distracted. Even while watching a comedy on TV, I enjoyed it more and guffawed more appreciably because I wasn’t on my phone while watching it. There was also much less instinct to check my phone throughout the day.

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All along, I’ve realized that I don’t need to check it. What do I need breaking news for? I’ll find out soon enough. And at least on Facebook and Instagram, the people I follow are actually people I know! Most people I follow on Twitter, the sports reporters and fellow fans of the New York Mets and Georgetown Hoyas, are not people I have actually met.

So yeah, no Twitter in 2017. I admit, I’ve checked it a couple times just to see people’s reactions (i.e. the Hail Mary catch in Packers-Giants game). But as a daily practice, it’s been gone, and my life is all the better for it. The key, of course, will not be to simply replace it with more time on Facebook and Instagram, or reading articles on ESPN.com, or shopping on Amazon. But hey, one step at a time.

 

 

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