Sunday, July 16, 2006

That other road thingee

Today I was out at Santa Monica on the beach. Lots of hot guys around playing frisbee. Some were even foreign hot guys, and who comes up to me? The forty-something insurance salesman with a wife and two kids. But whatever.

This guy told me he once thought about being a teacher but decided to be an insurance salesman so he could provide for his family. He likes his job, but still kind of wishes he gone into teaching and coaching basketball because that's where his love really lies. He hates the lifestyle of being rich. His kids go to private schools and he lives in the fancy house with the fancy neighbors and drives the fancy car. And in ten years, he said, he'll be a teacher. His kids will be all grown and he can finally go do what he really wants to do.

He's not the only person I've heard say something like that. People tell me all the time how much they wish they could teach, but the money is just not good enough. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to teach forever. I want a staff writing position, and eventually to be a showrunner and executive producer. But in the meantime I do a job that's good for my soul, and I don't regret that. I guess it's easier to do when you don't have kids. Then again, my mom did okay on a teacher's salary.

I hope that insurance salesman does become a teacher some day, and I hope he's not too old to run around on the basketball court when he finally makes his move.


  1. Anonymous2:53 PM

    I'm still trying to work my head around this insurance salesman telling his life story to you out of nowhere. It's like that scene in The West Wing where a businessman Toby Ziegler meets in a bar tells his own life story and it just happens to tie into everything they've been talking about during the episode.

    Maybe this ties into something you've been thinking about. Maybe it's doubt, uncertainty, feeling antsy. Maybe it's nothing at all. For now, for today, keep doing what you're doing. Keep writing.

    My father was a teacher for over thirty years, up until he died. Partly because of that I don't look at any profession as being more admirable. That's about all I have to say about that.

  2. I honestly think he was kind of lonely. Here's a guy who has a wife and two kids, but he's at the beach alone on a Sunday afternoon. I was alone too, and I think he just thought I'd be nice to talk to. At one point he excitedly ran up to me to show me some dolphins in the ocean, like I was one of his kids.

    I get that a lot, though. I think it's because I'm so polite to people, they feel like it's okay to talk to me.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Teaching has its stresses, that's for sure. But the rewards are worth it.

  3. Anonymous1:15 PM

    I hadn't realized that he was all by himself. That makes it much more sweet and even a little sad. He probably was lonely.

    Encounters like this that happen in places like Starbucks or just walking down the street--not the sort that happens at a bar or a party--can kind of stick with you. You have these weirdly personal conversations with somebody you've never met before and then suddenly you'll never see them again. The town is strange that way.


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