Slightly Off Balance Bitterness

I have no balance in my life, and it’s my right leg’s fault.

When I was in junior high, whenever I wanted to participate in a sport, I had to get the yearly physical. Junior high was already the worst and most embarrassing and humiliating part of my life. The physical was just the cherry on the top of the embarrassment chocolate sundae. They wanted me to turn and cough, which I thought would be easy. Turns out turning and coughing was rather painful in sensitive areas. I just wanted to play basketball. They just wanted to examine me like I was King Kong in a petting zoo.

My first physical.

I was in good health, except for a few small things they discovered. The first thing they discovered was scoliosis when they examined my spine. Scoliosis is just another name for a bad back for life. Medically, it’s a slight curvature of the spine. I contributed to the curvature getting worse, by sitting all day at work and laying all day at home, but it’s my spines fault for being crooked in the first place.

The next “little” thing they discovered was that one of my legs was longer than the other. One side of me is 6’2 and the other side is 6’1, meaning that when I measure myself for height, I’m only 6’0. Which is weird, because that isn’t how averages work. But you know that I’m not average. I’m well below. Just like my height being well below what it should be. It’s hard to explain, but there is a lot about me that is really unexplainable. But the fact that I have one shorter leg and a crooked spine explains just about everything about me.

These two “little” off balance things about me, cause my whole life to be out of balance. This fact is pretty easy to see last week when I was “hanging out” with my co-workers as part of a Friday team building exercise. We pretended really hard to act like we were interested in getting to know each other. One of the things we did was play a little basketball. I was shooting some free throws which I used to do fairly well, but somehow the ball kept missing slightly to the left. Instead of blaming old age, lack of practice for the last 10 years, or motivation to be there with these people, I blamed it on my balance. Just like Wolverine is a genetic freak with metal claws, I’m a genetic freak of off balanceness.

I never take blame for things I’M doing, but on my genetic defect of off-balance. We all know that I would be in the NBA by now, if it wasn’t for my short left leg and curved spine, not because of my bad shooting and pathetic athletic skills. Basketball and sports aren’t the only things that I’m off balanced at.

Why I’m not in the NBA.

The other day, I was supposed to take out the trash, because it was turning into Mt. Vesuvius, a volcano of trash that would destroy the house and leave our floor in ruins. It’s the one chore I do, so I have to make lots of noise, and walk around proudly as I do, so my wife will know how much I’m contributing around the house. It’s also an opportunity to throw my son under the bus, because he will never do the trash. I make snarky comments to my wife while doing it like, “We would probably fall off our chairs if the boy ever took the trash out, right?” of “Has the boy ever taken out the trash?” It’s a rhetorical question meant to create throw my son under the bus, and it has worked so far. I just need one more easy chore to throw him under a freight train with and I’m husband of the year.

When I was looking at the trash pile up, I mentioned it to my wife. “The garbage pile looks like it’s going to fall, don’t you think?” and she answered, “Nope, I piled it completely evenly, so it didn’t fall off. I even got on a ladder to make sure it was evenly balanced.” She had spent the last two days building a trash pile that would rival one of the Eight Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Egypt. And yet, when I looked at it, it looked like another Wonder of the World, the Leaning Tower of Pizza.

I’m a huge fan of video games, not so much a fan of board games, even though most of the people in my family are. It’s incredible how relatives on both sides of my family love them. I have nephews, and even nephew in laws, who are board game influencers. Recently, my mom decided to get rid of her board games and my brothers and sisters are competing board game style to get her board games. It’s like an Inception of an Inception, or a Matrix within a Matrix to get these games. Just like when I go their houses and sit on the sidelines when they play board games, I’m sitting on the sidelines while my siblings fight FOR the board games. I think they are correctly named, but incorrectly spelled. They should be called bored games.

Ruining architecture since 1973.

One of the games that everyone loves is Jenga. Jenga is an architect’s nightmare. Imagine being a world class architect that designed world class buildings, like say a Leaning Tower of Pizza. He takes months or years perfectly designing a building where industry can be built, or church goers will worship, or masses of people will be entertained by The Office the Musical. After his designs are approved, construction takes place and it takes 2-10 years to build. Then, there is a magnificent grand opening for the amazing building and every applauds and cheers for the amazing pillar of the community this building will be.

Then, right after the ribbon cutting of the building, Godzilla and King Kong get in a fight in the city where the amazing building was. Godzilla and King Kong are fighting but then see the building and decide to play a game. They start poking around the building, pushing floors around so they can find a weak floor and then they put the floors on the top of the building. But then King Kong gets bored of finding wiggly floors, and gets mad, and knocks the whole building down in one swat of his hand. King Kong just crushed architect dreams in one swipe of his hand.

Wanna play a game of Jenga?

I’m King Kong in that scenario. I don’t have the patience for Jenga. People literally spent minutes arranging all those Jenga pieces into a masterpiece skyscraper and I end up destroying their building with one swipe of my hand, because I’m off-balanced, both physically and mentally. To me, Jenga might as well be the garbage piling up in my trash can, or the Leaning Tower of Pizza. It looks off-balance, and it’s my job to make sure it falls.

I’m not only off-balance physically, I’m also off-balance lifealy. My bitter views are not only the cause of how mentally off-balance I am, but I’m off-balance because of how I think bitterally. It’s just one big cycle that never truly finds its balance. I’m like the spinning top in Inception, except I’m always toppling to the right of the center. It’s a miracle that I’m even able to wake up in the morning and get anywhere. In fact, this morning was evidence. I woke up, tried to walk to my dresser to get some clothes and I stumbled and almost fell over.

My off-balance nature is why I’m so clumsy. I’m always one bad step to the right or left from falling on my face. It’s why I have so many scars, bruises, scrapes and bumps. I’m a walking, off-kilter, stumbling, bumbling mess. It’s why I can go without eating for 18 hours and then cram down 2 days’ worth of calories in 10 minutes. It’s why I can’t do yoga or meditation. It’s why I lean so far into bitterness and not anywhere into niceness. It’s the reason why my favorite onesie brand is Tipsy Elves.

I can’t maintain a balance if my life depended on it, and it is all my short leg’s fault.


Bitter Slightly Off Balance Ben


11 thoughts on “Slightly Off Balance Bitterness

  1. Finding someone to blame is apparently a useful life skill. I read (years ago and who knows where) that its the mark of a winner. Lost a match, a fight, a wallet? Blame anything but your own folly— and move on. So congratulations! Next please?


  2. I was all set to nod and agree that board games are kinda lame, but now I’m hung up on that thing about onesies. Wait…what? Aren’t those the basic baby snappy outfits? They have brands? You…have a favorite kind? 😳


  3. I broke my left foot in November and had to spend six weeks wearing one of those big heavy plastic boots that attach with industrial-strength velcro, which made my left leg a couple of inches longer than my right. Not that I was ever very well-balanced to begin with — in fact, that’s why I fell and broke the bone in the first place. It’s a miracle I didn’t break any more of them.

    Anyway, I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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