Sometimes, particularly when I travel, the world seems odd to me. I’m not sure if it is my aging process, being an ex-pat for 25 years, or just a uniquely “Todd” way of looking at things. I never discuss politics in this column but when lawyers, politicians, or other people who work for the system make no sense I stop listening. I will never step down or be subservient to anyone when science, logic, or rational says something different. Like what you ask? On a recent trip to the USA, I observed a woman board my aircraft with her dog in a stroller during the “pre-board” for elderly, handicapped, or families with children. I wish I was making this up. My keen eye also noticed she had three pieces of luggage… go figure. Am I wrong to judge this woman as an absolute basket case? An abuse of the system. There are so many things wrong here. I am allergic to dogs, a canine isn’t human or a child, the world has lost its sensibilities. On the drive to the airport, I observed solo drivers wearing face masks in their cars. Despite scientific studies proving face masks are non-effective and providing “inconsistent data” I just don’t understand. I also saw people exercising on suburban blocks wearing masks either around others or alone, what does that mean? Are they simply that ill-informed on science or do they actually enjoy being covered up, hiding themselves? What does THAT say about an individual? Leave it on permanently and do the world a favor by signaling fear and insecurity. I promise to stay away, far away. I see it here in Costa Rica along our highway…people literally walking with no one around masked up. Am I supposed to not think about these things? Should I mask my brain somehow? I am clearly reaching out for help.
My parents used to push their three kids to live outside of their comfort zones particularly physically, as they believed sports and discipline was one of the keys to understanding life. To this day my seventy-seven-year-old mother literally wakes up and jumps into her triathlete wet suit and swims a mile in Lake Erie during the summer months, during the winter she does the same in a community pool in Florida. She is disciplined for herself obviously, but also for her three kids, and four adult grandkids. What an inspiration. Think about it. I am in awe that my angelic mother raised three children from her young twenty’s based on love and faith alone and has kept our family together for almost sixty years. THAT is my definition of a woman. Strong both in commitment and in real time Cindy Louise Pequeen is the most beautiful mother, hero, and inspiration I have ever known. I am whole heartily aware that her actions, combined with my father’s love and direction as my varsity coach created the blueprint for me to survive and thrive here in Costa Rica for almost twenty-five years. I see a constant train of failures year in and year out with ex-pats trying to move here that cannot find the answers. My positive direction and resilience are derived from my tight knit family background and friends, and my willingness to be uncomfortable and to overcome. Never has fiscal advantage helped me as I have none. I embrace my struggles and know I will work harder than anyone even now, after earning my tenure I still sweat the small things. I found a wife that does the same. I am not seeking a posh life of leisure, nor do I have a maid, gardener, or staff to handle my affairs…as of now that is the essence of life. Its authentic. Create a dream life for yourself and even the longest of days will feel rewarding and will be filled with value. I certainly have my faults but I am always committed to change, I do not want to be the man I used to be. I believe we are all blessed if we live honestly and with integrity. I have seen this town change from a random beach hide-away to a big dollar investment community of retirees and “investors”. I wish I could say I see positive things for the future but I honestly don’t. I am utterly disappointed in the projects and land use that is to come. I feel helpless and know how projects get their permits and green lights here…maybe it is the same around the world, I wish I could tell my nieces and nephews differently.
Growing up in a border town of Buffalo, NY in the 80’s everyone I knew would take advantage of the Canadian drinking age of 18 and the American dollar being 2 to1 back then. Culturally everyone, adult or teenager, went over the boarder to take advantage of the economics of the American dollar. My family was fortunate enough to actually have a home on Lake Erie in Canada which I still visit today. My grandfather built a cottage after World War 2 so he could fish on Lake Erie and enjoy the good life outside of factory work. Everyone I knew, both men and woman, would visit the Canadian Ballet which was the name of the dance or strip clubs on the northern side of the border. Literally within sight across the Niagara River. Boarder control back then was non-existent if you lived in Buffalo. I grew up around these establishments and back then then they had amazing food, friendly woman, and a comfortable attitude of fun and light heartedness, not to mention super-hot women playing the part. Maybe I was naive at the time, but we always appreciated the working girls and we always went back to Buffalo after our pre-party, clubs closed at 4:00am in Buffalo. My main point being back then all of these women wore extended eyelashes, long fake fingernails, weaves in their hair, revealing clothes, and even some early breast augmentation. They were all putting on a false reality which we all gladly paid for knowing it was theatre, a show. Now in 2023 I go out in public, and I see woman in everyday situations, and I don’t know what to think. I’m so confused. Apparently, that is why the Canadian ballet no longer exists…simply go to your local bar, gym, or grocery store and enjoy the show. Things are so less complicated now.
Todd’s therapy is his writing. Never serious but always genuine he is committed to living a life that is fulfilling He massages the world’s problems away. He can be reached at 8830-7727, [email protected], or massagetodd.com. His wife Sarah is the premier photographer in Manuel Antonio at sarahyunker.com and she puts up with his opinions like a rock star. They just opened a private Bed & Breakfast called Sarahtoninbnb.