Reality Bites by James A. Norton

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Reality really does bite. Let me tell you a story about some undesirables…

Seriously. Hasn’t it been too long since I bit into someone who has deserved it? Remember the “old” days when I spanked someone in print and/or online and then told them to “chew on that” with an air of arrogance that was matched by my ego. Recently, I’ve gone back and forth on the issue of whether to ease up on someone who was so rabid for me to do it to others at in the past and now claims to feel “threatened” by it. Oh the irony of the Somerville “double standard.”

Over the years, I’ve alluded to the little idiosyncrasies that plague the general population of those who have lived, worked and played in the ‘Ville over the last three or four decades. I’m not talking about the little things like political patronage or the everlasting battle of the “haves” and the “have nots” – to get to the meat of it, you have to drill down a little further.

There’s the whole underbelly of power that shifts back and forth depending on the issue. It’s not pretty under there. Speaking of not so pretty, just under the surface, right under our noses, there are very few boundaries when it comes to making a deal in this city anymore. Oh sure, it’s not the wild west anymore, but almost anything can get done with a little help from a friend. Or an enemy.

The one thing you cannot battle back from, no matter how much you try, is when the well of public opinion has been poisoned about someone or something local – and ironically it’s almost always not due to anything that’s actually rooted in reality. People say that they don’t care about what’s going on with someone else, and I am not circling around the rumor mill, but they do talk and everything gets lost in translation.

Unless, of course, you just don’t give a crap about any of it any more. I subscribed to this theory right after a few things went completely sideways a few years ago through no fault of my own. Let me tell you from personal experience, if you spend any measurable amount of time worrying about what others think of you, then you’re just wasting time you could be spending living your life in love and happiness.

So getting back to how this applies to me – well, I don’t live in a world of regret anymore. I now live in a world where I truly enjoy what I do for work, I have a great group of very close friends, I am blessed and very proud of my children, my step-children and my granddaughter and last but not nearly least – I am thankful for the one person who has transformed my life – my wife Lynda – without whom I would not now what it means to be happy at all. #GMK

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