While I’ve been “‘worrying”, Scrappy and I took off to Tokyo for a week. This was my first time to really be able to explore Japan. It’s an insulated place, 97% of the population is Japanese natives (2% Korean and 1% everything else). It’s nearly impossible to become a naturalized citizen. Japan, though, is the source of nearly all trends, the headwaters of fashion, technology and what we will like in years to come. I monitor Japan closely.
Unfortunately, Scrappy and I argued most of the trip. Despite being brown, Scrappy fits in well with hipster Japanese scene. In most other countries, he turns heads based upon his hair and dress. In Japan, no one paid the least attention, in fact, he was just one other crazy young guy wandering the streets. He had a good time and so did I. But we argued.
What are we arguing about? I thought long and hard about what was the root issue here. The issue is control. I am organized and rarely start to move on anything without having a plan. Life unfolds to me as I have designed it. Scrappy is passive, he allows life to come to him. Point in case, I hate getting lost and thank god I have my handy fag phone with GPS. Scrappy is lost most of the time and is content with this mode.
Scrappy likes that I plan a framework for the day, we’ll go here in the morning, lunch around here and afternoon there. I’ve got all the subway stations figured out and major points along the way. I’m happy to deviate off this plan if something else interesting wanders by, but I walk out the door with a plan.
I like being in charge and Scrappy, like Toto, is happy riding in my bicycle basket. The rub is Scrappy will complain if my plan is in fact a bad plan. “Why did you pick this restaurant?” “That was a waste of time!” “Didn’t you check this out before we left?” Suddenly he can become a critic.
In business, I want to fire any employee who complains without a solution. Bitching is easy. I welcome him to come up with a plan even going so far as to offer to detail plan his vague plan. Unfortunately, the second rub appears. Developing a plan is work and deep down he’s just lazy, he will take a short cut if one is presented 100% of the time.
The lazy element conflicts deeply with my Germanic roots and someone who has been working since they were 12. I’m not a perfectionist, but there are few jobs that are beneath me if they need to get done. These two base elements are like sandpaper in our relationship, constantly surfacing, constantly wearing the edges down. We tire each other, one wanting the other to relax and one wanting the other to get their act together. It’s a battle neither of us can win.
Note: Picture of Mt. Fuji on departure