Sent From Above…What a Gift!

It’s not what you think.

This is not a heartfelt blog about someone/something that has been a blessing to my life. This is not a God-blog. You know what I mean, right? The ones about how “heaven is close & the kingdom is near“? Yeah, not that type of blog. Not that I don’t like ’em or even can’t write em. But this ain’t one.

At all.

Unless God was sending me a sign.

Here…let me explain.

Last week, I did something  I rarely do. I went downtown. Now this is not because I hate downtown or anything but moreso because I have no reason to ever go downtown, plus I ain’t got no extra coin to spend on downtown swag (except for the NEW ERA hat store…that is a piece of heaven, for real.). Anyhow, as part of my new responsibilities with my alma mater Master’s College and Seminary (I’m co-teaching a class on Pop Culture and Media. It’s cool. Cool cool cool.), we went downtown for a pop culture tour to see a TIFF movie, a taping of George Strombo (on whom I now have a slight man crush on *blushes*), a taping of Much Music’s New Music Live (60 mins, 2 videos…TWO.) and a red carpet entrance (no stars…).

At the start of the morning, I was feeling excited and nervous at the same time. See, I’m a 31-year-old going to spend a day with a bunch of 20 somethings whom I don’t know well and I never do well in those situations. I’m the “try-too-hard-to-be-funny-only-to-come-off-awkward-type of guy”. I work with a bunch of 20 somethings  every week who are like family to me so they get the awkward guy part and accept me for who I beeez, which is awesome. But in a new setting, it can be off-putting…which is even worse when you know it! So I get dressed (tried to hard to be hip…Wifey thought I looked…how do you say “less manly” without offending someone who accidentally googles ‘Chris Chase Girly Man’?), get on a school bus, memorize 24 names and get over my internal fear of embarrassing myself.

When we get downtown, I connected with some of the students who I already knew over The Office and Simpsons references (it IS a pop culture class…) while waiting in line for Great Expectations. Around high buildings.

Filled with birds.

And as we walk into the theatre, my body feels several droplets of what I thought was water on my chest and arms.

And my face.

Then I heard gasps and some laughs. And I smelt what I can only describe as Liam after eating prunes.

Yup…from above I was crapped on. By a bird.

I imagine it had been following us from Ajax, waiting to hurt one of us with its deadly dangers of poop. And it struck me with such force that I smelled bad. And was terribly embarrassed.

Yet, the poop was a great ice breaker for me…I didn’t have to worry about being cool, because I was crapped on. I didn’t have to worry about what I was wearing, because I was crapped on. I could be me. With no worries. AND it missed the beard by this much!

What a gift. What a crappy “crappy” gift!

#seewhatIdidthere?

If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

Married to a Mumbler (A Marriage Story)

THIS IS A CONVO THAT HAPPENS OFTEN IN THE HOME OF THE CHASES

Chris: Hey hon…where the ________________? (choose whatever)

Wifey: mmh meme muummgmn, mhm memem mhemmm.

C: Pardon me?

W: mdmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmm

C: (To himself) …uh…umm…ooo-kay…I’ll just…dang…

Liam: Da-da-da-da (fart)!

____________________________

This summarizes many of the conversations I have with Wifey on a daily basis. Now not all of them are like that. A lot of them are full-voiced and filled with beautiful syntax, structure and substance. Some end with laughter. Others, with meaningful pauses and lingering gazes. And still others with loud points made and the cries of “Ha! I win!” that follow.

But yeah, in a lot of them, I have no clue what Wifey is saying. Here’s a summary of why this is (or rather why I believe this is):

  1. Wifey has a naturally soft voice. I THINK I’ve only heard her yell at me once. She’s been justifiably mad a bunch  but yelling isn’t her thing. Which makes me very afraid for the day she breaks and yells out.
  2. Wifey has a naturally higher voice. Now when I say I don’t mean squeaky high or chalkboard high, just higher.
  3. Wifey is a “baby of the family”-last of three child. I think that all younger siblings develop that “Talk under your breath”-thing so they don’t get beaten up or something. I’m no clinical psychologist but that’s my opinion. It’s easy to say whatever you want (good, bad, nice, mean) in a lower grumble.
  4. I am naturally hard of hearing. This is both in being stubborn AND in what I hear. Years of big headphones and loud base filled tunes have wrecked my ears. As for being stubborn…I got nothing.

So you can imagine the frustration Wifey must feel when she asks something of me and I can’t respond because I’m not sure what she said. ALSO: She, like many people, hates repeating herself! So that’s never fun to say, “What?” (Ever notice that when people repeat themselves, the tone is much more “You’re a deaf dummy!!” Or is that just me?)

So with every mumbled statement made, I have different responses that I can make, with each have different results.

  1. Pretend Like Nothing Was Said (Times used: 25%. Fear of reveal: 80%. Percentage of wifey’s anger: 90%). So in this scenario, I just walk around FULLY knowing she said something but out of either fear of asking again OR being too lazy/tired at the time to re-ask the question, I say nothing. This then consists of me walking around or strategically playing with the kids, who are always loud and therefore blocking my ears. This always works by leaving the room.
  2. Guess what was being said (Times used: 15%. Amounts of times incorrect: 60%). This is a good one if you’re not worry about being wrong. My natural response is to often say, “I thought you said…” which is responded with a “Why would I say that?!” Which is always true.
  3. Stand, Pause and Wait for a Repeat (Times used: 30%. Frustrated glances from Wifey: 70%). How annoying would that be? Just having me stand around you, not doing anything waiting for you to say, “Did you HEAR me?!” Never a good one to choose. I really should change my approach here.
  4. Get sarcastic and mad (Times used: way more than I should). This is when I’m tired at my wits and I’m thinking “Just a bit louder, puleeze!” Any negative response I receive based on this when I’m called out on it is fully deserved. Plus, it’s a bad example for my kids to see, Wifey to feel and me to be. Trill
  5. Respond by saying “What?!” (Times used: It’s my default! Classic response: eyeroll and repetition). This one has  the right intentions but wrong delivery.
  6. Mumbling back. This is never a good one. This is when it get really immature on my part. I tend to do this more when I know Wifey may be saying something that she actually doesn’t want to say allowed.
  7. Just asking (Times used: 5 to 7%. Residual effect: Minimal). I get nervous about asking, which is dumb because she is my best friend but when I do, while there might be some annoyance, getting the task done is better than not. Plus, I know that she knows that she mumbles at times, so I should give her the fairness of simply asking. PLUS, I have MANY more hangups than that! I am talking many.

Being married to a mumbler is “tough“, and by tough I mean funny enough to blog about, but not as tough as other issues found in marriages. I think it’s fair to be real about stuff like this though. Just like she would be on how I didn’t help her find her keys, once. We, and by we I mean couples, never talk aloud about the little things, which often makes openings for the BIG things. And in  my doing so here, it’s not as a complaint (trust me, I told her about this post and she laughed at it and said okay, especially since I’m showing off my immaturity) but more in a “You know a funny thing Wifey does that I feel fine sharing with you is…”-type way. I do know that I am very fortunate to be with someone as funny, talented, forgiving and creative as her. In two weeks it’ll be seven years of her accepting and putting up with me, not the other way around. We do get on each other’s nerves at times (as other young couples do at times) but in the end, Chase loves Brown (maiden name) For Life.

Even if many-a-times I have NO clue what she’s saying.

More than likely, she’s talking about the beard.

PS. Ellie is a lil Mumbler too, which makes for fun moments too!

If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

I Hate Chris Chase (Based on a True Story)

The other day while I was fabrezing my beard, I logged onto my WordPress to see the movement of my latest post. While doing this I noticed something quite…unnerving. Someone did a google search for me. Now before you say, “Calm down there Mr. Narcissist!” Look at what the search was (this is not made up):

Now that’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? First, I’m not google worthy. Secondly, HATE? Wowzers! Like the person couldn’t even just search my name or my work or something but that they actually “Hate Chris Chase.” And it’s not general hate. Nor is it invitational hate (as in Let’s hate…). It is personal hate…and its something that I’m sure they didn’t expect I’d ever see.

So I saw that and my mind went racing to figure out who would do such a thing. I mean…I am loud and while not as loud as I used to be, I do get up there in volume. I sometimes put my foot in my mouth at the pain of others, but I am much better at saying sorry now than I was back in the day. Could it be someone from my old youth group (I do wish I had more friends from that time in my life at times but life is what it is…)? Someone who I spited accidentally or maybe purposely? Could it be Frank Grimes (go to 0.21)? So then who could it be…this really bugged me,

Because no matter how confident you are, especially if your identity isn’t found in yourself, or something/one else but rather in Christ, you still want to be liked or even loved by others. Call me weak. I call it human. We’re all built for relationships. No one is above wanting to be accepted. Even snobs want love. Even bullies want love. Bullies bully cause they don’t know how to ask for love. And when you find out someone doesn’t like you, most of us, when we’re alone get really bothered by it, even if for a split second. And trust me, it sucks (if I had a dime for how many time I got blamed for a friendship flame out i’d have at least 25 cents). The weak part is when you can’t get over it, i guess.

So I got pretty sad. Then angry. Then wanting to find a way to track the person down and simply ask them why…then I decided to create a back story for this person…and that made me laugh a lot. Cause it was good.

Then, after 3 hours  (or so…) of laughing to myself I realized that I wasted my time on this person’s  anger/resentment/unforgiveness/fear/narcissism/sad googling/mistake (hard to believe but there is more than just 1 Chris Chase in the world) and realized that “haters gonna hate”, I guess. And even if their anger is justified (albeit not gone about in a healthy manner) I’m no better if I sit there and hate them back or even dwell on their hate. So, I decided to leave it. Until I blogged about it…and went through it again. But now I’m fine…i think…lol.

 

I guess the beard really isn’t for everyone. Real Talk.

…And to my friend, the googler…It’s all good. Thanks for reading the blog anyhow. Hopefully we can make amends one day. And if not, I hope you have diarrhea for a month

…kidding:)

(*added today) I guess I also have to admit that we all have hate in our hearts too. I mean we all don’t like/trust/accept people. There are some we connect with and others who we don’t as…easily. I need to work on that in MY life as well. Love (and hate) is a two way street…

PS. The beard lives on. The beard drinks hate and produces grey hairs of wisdom.

PPS. I normally have my phone on vibrate but when it’s on loud, this is my ring tone – 

If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

#Beardwatch Gangnam Style

Hey friends,

It’s week three of #beardwatch and I have my first real dilema approaching. One that is making me question my resolve to go one year, YES one year with a full neck scarf, that will double as an ascot on Sunday mornings. It is…staff portraits.

Now it should be known that I’m not a fan of these things. I didn’t like school pics (shout outs to Jostens, yo!! ) because my smile never worked or I was looking away like an old prospector, or I work overalls (Stupid grade 5 pic). So at work, though I am in my 30s, I’m always the guy who makes the big stink about doing this sort of thing or who rebels by either:

1) Ice Grillin’ the Camera (trans: not smiling. Just straight mean muggin like I’m from the streets…even though I only drink Disani water, Starbucks Coffee and the like…yup, I’m a yuppie.).

2) Rocking a Fitted (trans. wearing a baseball cap…but in my defence, it was Christmas and it was a RED cap so Ho Ho Ho, dude.)

3) Sporting Hipster Jeans (trans. red jeans. Again, it was Christmas…)

4) All of the above

Anyhow my first picture, all the way back in ’05, was me in a dress shirt looking all serious and I was miserable…in a grown man way. Not outright but more in the “I’ll just sulk through this till it be done“-type deal. And  now, I have them coming up on Tuesday and I am rocking a hardcore beard. And I’m thinking, “should I keep it? Is this what it is? It’s not even a 4 month beard yet?” Plus, that affect what I should wear too…

Now you and I know I won’t cut it but this mid-beard crisis shows me that this will be a bit harder than I thought, especially when it gets long and caught in my winter coat zipper in January or when it’s hot and we’re at Cobourg beach in July…not to mention the sand. Maybe I bit off more than I could beard here…Lord, beard me strength.

FUN STUFF

I must say, I do enjoy how my chin is growing. I look like a billy goat. I now have a car comb, just for red lights and traffic. Seniors always get a kick out off seeing me with a comb in my beard on the road. And by kick, they call me disrespectful to the flag, or something. I’m just waiting for my jawline hairs to be a straight as my chin. Then, my friend, it is oooooooo-ver!

I’m also in competition with my buddy Drew who sent a pic of his beard to me the other day. I must say, after careful inspection…mine is much better. Joking! White people hair grows differently from my own so I’m not judging anything until we’re at the halfway mark.

BEST COMMENTs OF THE WEEK:

“I really don’t see anything good coming from you doing this.” – Kent Andrews

“I’d support it if you were doing it FOR something.” – Adriana “DJ” Myland

“Yelck (w/eye roll)” – Wifey

TWEET OF THE WEEK (EVEN THOUGH IT WAS LAST WEEK)

Next week is one month. Don’t forget to send tweet love through#beardwatch and I’ll add you to my blog comments!

Thanks for the love y’all!

Over and beardout,

Chase