November 24, 2017
To my Nieces and Nephews
Over the past 30 years, I patiently amassed a collection of your embarrassing photos.
I shot many, mined Facebook and asked your parents for contributions.
I often threatened to display them at your weddings.
However, it’s unlikely I will ever attend any of your happy nuptials.
Instead, I present them here and now.
A few pieces of advice.
The best advice is:
don’t listen to advice!
Well, not from anyone else. Always listen to crazy uncles!
And be thankful I’m not the creepy weird uncle.
The one who wears a bit too much cologne
and dates women ½ his age.
Avoid those uncles,
especially if you are female.
Most of what your parents told you is bullshit!
Maybe all of it (probably).
Don’t listen to it.
If their voices are still in your head — expel them!
You are adults now.
Don’t listen to your parents anymore.
You can “listen” to them,
don’t be rude.
But don’t “listen” to them.
Just nod your head and say “yes”, a lot.
By all means, if you like their advice take it.
But if you don’t — don’t.
Your parents grew up in a different era.
They lived through their own trials and tribulations.
Yours are different.
Make your own choices.
When you fuck up, admit it.
Don’t hide mistakes because of pride.
If you need help, ask for it.
If you are too proud to ask your spouse,
then ask someone else.
Ask a friend, ask a boss, ask me.
If you don’t and I find you wallowing in self-pity.
I’ll kick your ass until you stop.
And I will sleep on your couch,
eat your food,
drink your booze
and disrupt your life until you smarten up!
Celebrate your accomplishments.
But equally admit your faults.
Imperfection helps you grow.
Acknowledging your limitations proves you are an adult — not a child.
Children are not a requirement of marriage.
Make a choice together, and ignore anyone's comments on your decision.
Yes, they are a blessing and bla bla bla…
but not a requirement.
Most are great. Some will test your patience.
as a teenager
I was a pain in the ass.
Many people still believe I am.
If you plan on having children.
(And I know some of your parents are saying “when”.)
IF you have kids.
Don’t write their life story before they are born.
Let them grow up and explore their sense of self.
Give them the freedom to find their identity.
by all means,
help with the persona
But before you help them,
ensure you know who you are!
Don’t demand perfect behaviour from your child.
Set a good example, and they will follow.
Parent by example, not by force.
When children arrive,
realise they observe you every second of the day.
they know when you lie.
They know your faults.
Don’t hide your shortcomings,
get off your fucking ass and fix them.
If you believe you have no faults — you are a fool.
Be a confident parent.
Maintain your poise.
Don’t be arrogant.
Understand you are not the best at everything.
Show your humility.
Embrace it as a parent.
Your children will be smarter than you eventually.
They will receive a superior education.
They will be in touch with modern culture.
You may be the king of today’s video games or technology.
Or you may consider yourself well read.
But in 15 years they can,
Live in the present.
Forget: “how you did it when you were growing up”.
You grew up 20 or 30 years ago.
Maybe the way you did something was perfect back then.
Doesn’t mean it’s perfect — or acceptable now.
Remember the past and learn from it,
don’t live in it.
We still hug our children as we did 50 years ago,
but we no longer spank them with a leather belt.
For my Nephews, or nephew-in-laws or whatever it’s called when you marry one of my nieces.
if you are twice the age of my niece,
then the word is PERVERT,
Expect a visit from me shortly
for a little talk and possible ass kicking.
Being a man is doing the right thing,
not the manly thing.
The right thing may embarrass you,
may be uncomfortable,
may be a pain in the ass,
but the longer you avoid doing the right thing,
the harder it is to do.
When you fuck up — get the embarrassment over quickly.
Don’t blame anyone but yourself.
Don’t make any excuses.
Tell your wife you fucked up!
Figure out why you fucked up!
Explain it to her.
Find the solution.
There is no correct way to “be a man”,
only the path you choose.
Not every man likes cars, or sports, or “manly things”.
If you do, great.
If you don’t, great.
Who gives a fuck?
What you appreciate is nobody’s business but your own.
Just ensure it’s your choice.
Don’t let the word “manly” define you as a man.
Create your definition.
One that defines you!
Ignore everyone else’s.
Love your wife.
Love your kids.
Love your family members — if they are kind to you.
(If they are not, cut them loose.)
Don’t Love your man-cave, or your car, or your 4K TV.
The moment you put the word LOVE in front of any object you diminish your LOVE for people.
Like things, LOVE people.
Use things, never people.
be caring, sensitive,
open and honest husbands and fathers.
Never compromise your strength, power and integrity.
Be both strong and gentle.
Use your big ass manly arms to help others.
Pick them up.
Protect them with those muscles you proudly display.
But spend more time using your arms,
than admiring them.
For my nieces, nieces-in-laws, and my daughter.
Don’t take shit from anyone.
He may be your husband,
but he’s not your boss.
And he’s definitely not always right.
The harder he tries to convince you he is,
the more wrongful he becomes.
just nod and just say yes
until the “boy” stops talking,
and the “man” walks back into the room.
(I don’t pretend to know anything else about women so I’ll end my advice for my nieces/daughter there.)
Money means absolutely nothing.
The saying is: “you can’t take it with you”
and it’s true, don’t try.
it’s just a means to the end.
And you decide the end.
If you are not happy with a little,
you will not be happy with a lot.
If you obtain anything to impress anyone,
you impress no-one.
I’m not saying don’t buy a big ass house
if you can afford it and have a use for it.
However, if you do buy a big house with a mother-in-law
suite ask me to inspect it for you.
It should only take a month or two,
and I can give you a full report.
If you agree money is just "a means to the end" why not decide the means?
If you don’t love your job find another one.
If you cringe when the alarm clock goes off in the morning — quit.
Find something else first if at all possible,
but don’t take shit from anyone for too long.
You deserve better!
There are better bosses,
It’s a bit like love;
you just need to get off your ass to find it,
other times it falls into your lap.
I know all your parents are cringing if they read this,
but tough shit.
you don’t have to listen to them anymore,
you don’t have to worry about what they think.
Only worry about what you think.
And by “worry”,
I mean THINK about what you “think”.
Is it positive?
Is it moving you forward?
Or is just the same old crap running through your head
and affecting your body?
If it is crap, take a shit and get rid of it.
Always ask why!
Ask why I spout off this crap instead of sending you a traditional “congratulation” or even a gift?
Congratulations, by the way,
I am happy you found someone special in your life.
Also, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc, etc, etc...
I’m sure I forgot 99.9% of them over the years.
If you’re upset about it tough shit.
Get over it.
You are an adult now.
But please ask why!
Ask it every day!
Especially ask it when someone says you “should” do something.
ALWAYS ask it when they say you HAVE to do something.
You don’t HAVE to do anything!
You choose what you do and when!
You are the boss of your life — no one else!
If you don’t think you are the boss,
and if you believe you don’t HAVE a choice, you are wrong!
Just keep asking WHY.
You will figure it out eventually.
Don’t accept situations as: “it’s just the way it is”
Make it the way you KNOW it can be.
The way YOU want it to be.
If you are unhappy, there is always a better way.
Ask for help.
Don’t give up on your dreams.
Do it all.
Have a family (or not)
and a home
and a career
but always dream.
Daydream when bored at work!
(unless you are a surgeon, then pay attention please).
If you have some burning desire in your heart,
you want to play the guitar,
or write a book,
or be on TV,
or design clothes,
or walk across Canada,
then keep trying.
It will all happen if YOU choose.
No one ever stopped greatness!
You can’t stop it; greatness is larger than the weak minded who only crave normality.
Ignore insecure people who try to stop your success — they will fail.
Greatness comes from your desire and asking “WHY?”
If anyone tries to stop your greatness
and you need help telling them to fuck off call me.
I’ll gladly tell them for you.
It’s the very least I can do as your uncle or uncle-in-law.
(I really should google what the fuck that’s called).
Love your spouse with all your heart.
Remember the day your chest first pounded at the sight of them.
Remember thinking you couldn’t live without them.
You can live without them.
You are an individual first, a couple second.
Cherish those moments.
Cherish your partner.
But do it your way.
Don’t let culture dictate your Love.
Share your vision of Love.
Don’t mimic the crap on TV, that’s not Love.
It’s nothing more than a fairy tale for the minions who are too lazy to develop true romance.
When your partner takes time out of their day,
and love out of their heart
to let you know how special you are.
And you feel loved,
Don’t ever forget it.
If you do,
you are an idiot.
(And I will kick your ass if I find out.)
Now if you don’t like my advice.
The great thing is you don’t have to listen to me or anyone.
You don’t HAVE to do anything.
I don’t care if you take my words or not,
it’s your life.
I only care that you ask WHY.
If all you get from this is:
WHY hasn’t my uncle been locked up yet?
I’m good with that.
I did my job.
You have asked why.
Now for the moment you have NOT been waiting for.
The embarrassing photos!
And yes, there are a lot.