Seven Things Steve Wiley Should Have Grown out of by Now
Steve Wiley is Jackalope Ranch's Parent Hood. He's a slightly unorthodox father of five who will weigh in weekly with his mildly-rebellious views and observations. If you'd like to see how he came to write this column, watch the intro video. This week he admits to a few things he should have grown out of by now ... and probably never will.
Common theory would be that I have spent my last 25 years in record stores because I love music. It's unequivocally true, music is way up the ladder of loves for me. But the very close, second-place motivational factor to forging a career as the Record Store Geek (my other "persona," because God forbid I could just write as Steve Wiley) was the ability to carry on like a teenager.
The music industry does have some adults, but those are the record company suits that have been fucking it up for years. The really passionate ones -- the ones that found rock and roll and all its delicious trappings in their youth and then had a hard time growing out of it (other than the musicians, who are the ultimate dream-chasers) -- are the record store geeks like me.
When we closed Hoodlums in September, there was probably some hope among some of my loved ones that I'd turn away from my extended childhood and get a real job. But it turns out the prolonged phase had nothing to do with the record store, or the music industry. The phase was me. Instead of growing up, I found another job that would allow me to carry on my stunted growth: Writing.
So why not celebrate this realization in this week's Parent Hood? Presenting: "Seven Things I Should Have Grown Out of By Now".
7. Dressing like a teenager.
By far the most phenomenal thing about working in record stores was the ability to dress the way I want -- just like when I was a teenager. T-shirts, jeans, sneakers, and shorts are comfortable. Suits, slacks, button-up shirts, and dress shoes are not. When mentally factoring in my "compensation package" as a record store owner/manager, I added on about $5K per year just to not have to wear uncomfortable clothes.
6. Eating peanut butter from the jar.
There was a period in my 20s when I didn't eat peanut butter at all. I'd burned out on it during my tween and teenage years, but the burn out didn't last long once the kids showed up. A snip here and a snip there, and the next thing you know I'm having a party with the whole jar (and honey or jelly ... you didn't think I was eating it straight, did you?). See also: ice cream from the carton.