(Disclaimer: “What I learned” is a regular feature in Esquire magazine. Since it is highly unlikely I will ever be asked to do one for them, I’ve decided to do one for myself).
Kent Anderson, 55, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Writer, part-time athlete.
I’ve been all around the world, but Detroit is my home.
I don’t like liars or people who lie about me, lie to me or lie to others about me.
I don’t like cowards either.
I don’t remember much about my childhood, but what I do remember is crying a lot. And being laughed at. I hated wearing braces and I hated being teased. Today, it would be called bullying.
I don’t remember doing much with my family. The last thing I remember doing with my parents before they got divorced was them driving me out to Jamestown, North Dakota to go to boarding school. I don’t remember crying so much until I was 40.
I have been called every name in the book. They might have started a whole new chapter based on me.
People are mean. They are nice to your face, but then they back-stab you the first chance they get. Cue the O’Jays.
Once they point the finger at you, that’s it. In their minds, that’s what you are.
Forgive and forget are not in my DNA. I don’t forget and will never forgive. Maybe on my deathbed.
Starting something is easier than finishing it.
I don’t remember much of my childhood before Jamestown. But I do remember my grandmother. My mother will be pleased.
My dad didn’t teach me much, but he taught me honesty and loyalty.
I was at a bar once and as I paid for my drink, a woman said to me “what a poor man.” I started to confront her about it and her husband jumped in and said “she didn’t say it.” But she did.
Whoever said “50 is the new 30,” lied.
Whoever coined the term “Best friend and soul mate” is full of it.
The friends you make between the ages of 15-30 are the most loyal. Everything else is a crap shoot.
The people who have had the most influence on me, both living and dead, good and bad, are long out of my life.
If I had a do-over, I would never have gone to Wisconsin in 1998, let alone moved there. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case of being used for one’s income, but that’s me.
If it weren’t for my mother, I wouldn’t have made it through the aftermath of that decision.
My grandfather lived to be 94. I hope I don’t live that long. I never want to be a burden. To anyone. Whether they love me or not.
If you call me a moocher or taker, then we have a problem. Try “living” on what I get a month. You couldn’t. Trust me.
If I could have on more day with anyone, I would pick my grandmother, who died shortly before I was 10, my dog Brutus, and a girl I knew from North Dakota who died before she was 30.
My cousin Tom died of an overdose in 2002. I still have a problem with that.
My distaste for religion doesn’t mean I don’t have morals or a code that I follow. Watch “The Big Kahuna.” It’s on Netflix.
Sometimes the most profound things come from the least expected places.