Redhead Down! Or…Revisiting Einstein

revisiting einsteinHave you ever woken up in the morning and thought: “I spent an hour on my hair yesterday and it looks better after sleeping on it.”?

That’s neither here nor there, but strangely applicable this morning. FML.

Last night, I’d just left dinner with a lovely man. We’d decided to duck a few doors down the block for a warm cuppa, as the ambient temperature in Denver was hovering somewhere in the low 20s. We were chatting, laughing, no more than 15 steps outside the door of the restaurant…


I guess I’d caught some ice (or some jackass ghost came along and gave me a shove) and I went from Vertical Myrtle to Flat Fiona in an instant.

We laughed. He helped me up. I looked at my hand that had broken the fall once inside — red and all owie. He kissed it. We sat.

This morning, I have an epic bruise on my ass — and a story to tell about Revisiting Einstein.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

Might I ask — how insane are you?

When we sit down and look at our lives, we all have lists of things we’d like to change. Things we’d like to see change. From how we make a living to how our hearts are handled. Time with family and friends to how they treat us. Hours we spend going fast versus those spent slowing down.

Popping the bubble we’re in so we can reach everything we see…outside.

We all have that friend that dates the same guy or girl over and over again. They inevitably end up in front of us, across a chat screen, phone call, or cocktail, and we bear witness to the same story with the same characters. Sometimes the names even change.

And we play the role of That Friend — to our friends and to ourselves. And we keep asking, lamenting:

Why is nothing changing!?! (generally slurred due to skewed balance of blood and alcohol)

Well, it’s because we’re insane. We’re doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results.

I’m just as guilty as anyone, truth be told. As each year passes, though, I feel I’m getting better. I’m becoming less insane.

So today, I’m sending you into the weekend with an ass-kicking wish. I wish for you to reduce your level of insanity and design the life you envision for yourself. Maybe it’s an epic playground filled with honey badgers, hedgehogs, and echindas — all in top hats singing show tunes. It could be a mosh pit filled with everyone you thought was cool in the 80s with Skinny Puppy blaring in the background.

Whatever life you envision, it’ll never happen unless you tell insanity to go the way of New Coke and trash that movie you always throw in the DVD player when you’ve allowed yet another epic unworthy ass cactus*** to break your heart. Someone needs to be fired — and chances are, it just might be you. Isn’t it time to revisit Einstein and see what kind of insanity you’re creating for yourself?

To say yes when you would generally say no

Stay silent when you might have previously spoken

Realize that silence and excuses aren’t the same thing as interest and excitement

And say “fuck it” when you might have previously offered up nothing more than a pile of excuses that all sound like “can’t”.

Einstein was a pretty smart motherfucker — and so are you. So why are you willingly making yourself insane?

As the hour grew late last night, we gathered our things and put on our coats, the spent carcasses of a hot chocolate and chai left lingering on the table. We stepped outside and he looped his arm through mine with a comment about not repeating the “Redhead DOWN!” incident of not so long ago. And he walked me to my car like that.

And I can tell you — there was another time not so long where I would have said, “It’s OK – I’ve got it.” After all – I can walk my damn self to my damn car on my own, can’t I? Sure I can.

But I have to say — I liked it. And for a very chilly two-minute walk last night, I felt a less insane than I’d felt in quite some time.


*** hat tip to Amber Naslund for “ass cactus”. The only thing better would be hearing her say it.


19 replies
  1. Seattle DogSpot
    Seattle DogSpot says:

    Thanks for the great posts. Once again you poke us out of our complacency with your witty prose. I hope you have another date with him soon!

  2. Carrie Drephal
    Carrie Drephal says:

    I’ve been working on the insanity for a little while now, and you’re right. It helps when people point out that you can do something different. Silence at times is a great tool. As for the date you had, I fully agree, I can do things myself as well, but once in a while, it’s nice to have someone looking out for ya!

  3. hannahdee
    hannahdee says:

    Kissing the hand is a killer wonderful move. It’s so intimate and giving, turns me to mush. Polite, considerate, funny. thoughtful and boundaries. There are some wonderful qualities in this man. Learning how to accept help is something I’ve been working on myself of late. As it turns out, people actually do want to help, and they don’t think I’m a pain because of it!

  4. MitchRezman
    MitchRezman says:

    We can not succeed unless we are able to “change our path” from time to time – and it’s nice that kissed your hand not your ass:-)

      • MitchRezman
        MitchRezman says:

        Erika Napoletano MitchRezman “Yet” is a good word. Been reading your blog for a while – just dropped 46 LinkedIn groups because stupid was wearing me out so I have a tad more time. I have a thing for redheads something my wife (a blonde) is acutely aware of:-) Plus i like what you have to say – the exuberance of your verbosity is enchanting.

  5. Shalagh Hogan
    Shalagh Hogan says:

    I am happy for you and dateman. Sad about your butt. Glad about the retrospective Einstein point of view. And proud that we’re the benefactors of the the growth. Thanks Erika.

  6. MichelleBrovitz
    MichelleBrovitz says:

    I had, for years, wondered why I always dated guys who turned out to be ass-cacti. Then I read a book advising me to go against “my type” for a change. I did. After an 8-hour first date 3 years ago, we’re now living together and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Einstein was a GENIUS! 😉

  7. ExtremelyAvg
    ExtremelyAvg says:

    Many years ago I walked into a bookstore ready to buy a new read. Out of nowhere,  an idea for change struck me, and I said to the helper, “I’d like to read something by a long dead author everyone has heard of, but nobody reads.”
    Turgnev’s, “Fathers and Sons” was her suggestion and it was a good one. It changed what I like to read. It was a good change.

  8. loup407
    loup407 says:

    A month ago, I was in Boulder, walking back to my car after a meeting. I turned to look over my shoulder, stepped on ice and went down. I had a classic tib-fib fracture and wound up in surgery. I’ll be on crutches until April. Typically, I’m a ” I’ll do it myself” kinda guy. Now, I can’t even carry a glass of water. I have to ask for help. At first, I hated it. But I’ve been that people want to help. Total strangers will help me, smiling. Crutching to my car across a frozen parking lot the other evening, a couple insisted on helping me. We had a nice chat, and I made it safely. Breaking my leg sucks, but it led me to learn that asking, or accepting help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a lesson I won’t forget. Hope you are ok!


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