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Ha! Just kidding!! Kel, our "Horizontal Hold" columnist is on Mars for the time being, and we can't seem to get him to send his columns in, due to him being some light-years away. Gordon, being the Mature Guy he is, has blessed us with twice the writing this month, and we have snealiky replaced your regular programming with one of Gordon's columns.

Adventures In Maturity

by Gordon R. Dymowski

First, a few notes before I begin: originally, I was going to submit a column about how a drunken social worker tried to lick cake frosting off of my forehead on her birthday. However, I lost that file, and since I had written it back in April, thought I needed to actually write something a little more timely. Also, way back when I did that whole "turn of the milennium" column back in January, I inadvertantly plagiarized Voltaire, so as punishment, I must encourage you to purchase The Portable Curmudgeon.

As I may or may not have written before (I wouldn't know - my columns keep disappearing on me; maybe I shouldn't be sniffing nail polish remover before sending e-mail), I had hired a young lady back in February. She was looking for a chance to enter the lovely, glamorous world of non-profits; however, I had to show her the dark side of being in a field that is, at best, sorely underfunded, overworks its employees, and basically challenges every moral principle in your being. She came from the corporate world, so she wasn't used to stuff like accounting for every dime; I wasn't used to someone who felt I dressed like a total geek.

In time, we grew very close - close in a mentor/mentee way, and gradually becoming friends. She helped me dress less like a grad student, and more like an actual hip young dude; I helped her understand what life is really like for some people. We ended up getting a lot done, and we also helped cement some really good personal relationships. (I promise, there are jokes a-comin', kids. Bear with me.)

However, as I'm writing this, she left my employ a week ago. It was one of those "once-in-a- lifetime" deals that says, "Hey, God's working here, so stay out of the way, especially during the Divine Coffee Break." Am I sad about her leaving? Hell, yes - I moved into a new office (which is actually in a chemical dependency/methadone clinic), and she's not across the way. Although the people here (I'm writing this at work - just don't tell my boss) are nice, I am already really missing her. Of course, being around other people, and not trapped in a small, moldy basement office helps immeasurably. I would write more, but that's going to be in my new book, More Ham!: The Autobiography of Gordon Dymowski.

My point? It would be easy for me, in the midst of all my crises, to curse her name under my breath. It's easy to knock someone around, to dis someone, to be really horrible out of jealousy. Luckily, since I've had those once-in-a-lifetime chances, I really understand, and am happy for her. When you care about someone, you care about them all the time, not just when they do cool stuff for you. Heck, she even left me a shopping list of clothes so that I can become a lean, mean, love machine. But anyway, back to my point - I'm happy for her, and am proud that she is now doing something she totally loves to do, and I'm glad for her. I know she'll be reading this, since I'll e-mail her the link; she knows how to correspond with me. And kids, remember - maturity is wanting the best for anyone regardless of how you're feeling. If you like them when you're up, you'll dig them when you're down.

As always, comments, questions, and other rantings can be addressed to me at Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to work, but not before I replace some methadone with Folgier's crystals.

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