In Esquire magazine they have a section dedicated to something called “What I’ve Learned“. This is my favorite section of the magazine. You can gobble up some poignant tips on life in those pages. The format is very simple, conversational even. It’s assumed that you already understand where this person is coming from – whether they be an actor, politician, or civilian. Some are humorous, and some are tearjerkers. Mostly they follow the same pattern regarding commentary by the featured personality regarding the following topics: Sex, Death, Parenting, Faith, Aging, Power, Money.
Inevitably the personality will gravitate toward the topic that’s more prominent in their lives at the moment the article is being written.
Today I’m 36 years old, and I thought I’d share my very own personal – “What I’ve Learned”..silly and self indulgent, I know. But until Esquire decides to do a piece on me, I thought I’d help to kick it off:
WHAT I’VE LEARNED in my short 36 yrs, that is…
Losing is a necessity. I believe I won too easily when I was younger
If I remember correctly, they called me “Ankles Dessi” when we skated on our pond in Mahopac. I couldn’t stand straight up on my skates yet. Ankles turned completely in, I looked like a wounded duck.
We called Dad “Mikey” because we’d make him walk out on the ice to test it…like the commercial – let “Mikey” try it…
I’m still so new to parenting, I have no idea if I’m a good Father or not. Maybe if I follow my Mom’s example I’ll be OK.
Mom always says “you parent the way you were parented”
If you’re comfortable calling me Chrissy, chances are that I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember.
My Mother gave me my heart
If my Mother asked me to do anything I would do it, no questions asked. Anything.
What I know is: the day I went to Papa’s house to pick out the suit he was to be buried in I was drawn to a closet door I’d never been in. The first thing I touched was a pile of his old handkerchiefs. I asked my grandmother if I could have them. When I pulled them off the shelf, there was a note under the handkerchiefs addressed to her, (a final love note if you will) and a wad of cash for her to “spend on herself for something nice” after he was gone. I know that I had nothing to do with that. There was something else going on there that I can’t explain.
I feel more myself now than I did when I was 16, or even 26 and that feels pretty f*cking good.
Power is energy. I have a lot of energy.
Money comes and goes.
My brother was the hammer that molded me. Some day I won’t care what he thinks about me, but I doubt that day will come anytime soon.
My Father gave me a furious burning desire to excel. He also taught me to have humility as well as when to ask for help
When I was 16 I failed my driving test. He brought me into the garage and let me have it. “Dad I don’t need your help” “Chris, if you didn’t need my help, you would have passed your test, now get out the orange cones”…
As you get older you’re shocked you worried about the things you did when you were younger
I’m surprised that I remember so much. I can tell you the name of every teacher I ever had, phone numbers of my friends when we were growing up, and the name of almost every kid I played on a team with, but I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast
My 2 ½ year old remembers everything; I ask her where my keys are
You know when you know. I never understood that, until I knew
I didn’t tell anyone about the ring, not a soul…except the woman that cut my hair that morning.
I told Laura I was going to marry her after 2 weeks of dating
I’ve never been surer of anything in my life. It’s still the best decision I’ve ever made
What struck me about her? There was something there that had never been there before, it just felt like home. She felt it too. The first time we kissed she dropped her keys. I’ll never let her live that down.
We were set up. Twice. The first time I gave her my number and she never called me back. She’ll never let me live that down.
People don’t write anymore, but Papa wrote me letters. One of them is framed on my bed stand right now. People should write more letters.
Happiness is my daughter looking me straight in the eye with her hands on my cheeks saying DAH-Deeeeeeeeee
Dinner time growing up was always the best
I want to tell my grand-kids about the 1996 world series, when my brother and I were 30 feet away from Charlie Hayes as he caught the last out. I still have a piece of the seat I broke in front of me when I jumped up to celebrate
When I was a kid the Yankees sucked. Dad used to take us to games; we’d watch them lose, then watch a drunken brawl or two in the stands, and we loved every second of it.
Papa taught me to have an appreciation for classical music, to have pride in my Italian heritage, and how to follow through with your elbow after you throw a punch to finish the guy off. That’s a man’s, man.
I hate being tickled. Even the soft gentle lover kind of tickle. Get in there and dig out a knot on my back, but don’t tickle me.
I was a phenomenal athlete in elementary school and middle school. I was also a head taller than everyone. Then they caught up, and I became mediocre.
Moments: it’s all about moments. A small touch, a scent, a touch. Moments, just little moments all strung together.
I try to be thoughtful, introspective and spiritual, however there have been a few instances (I can count them on one hand) when I know that my Sicilian ancestors had it right when they said “revenge is a dish best served cold”…
Lou Gehrig was great. The disease that carries his name is pure evil.
You scan you mind for something poignant to say to him after hearing he’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease named after a Yankee great, but all you can think about is when he leaned out the kitchen window and shouted to you while you were playing by the pond – “Chrissy, catch me a bull frog today, will ya”?
I think he’d rather struggle to walk up steps on his own than ask for assistance.
It f*cking sucks.
We’re not looking ahead as a family we’ve sort of silently decided to be right here with him, right now.
The best thing I’ve ever done? three words: Laura, Talia, Olivia
I was far away from the towers (33rd and Park Avenue). After the first tower collapsed I decided to walk home to my apartment on 96th street. The cops at grand central had bullhorns – “there’s a bomb in Grand Central, do NOT enter Grand Central” The streets were blocked off so I ducked into an ATM and there was a woman huddled in the corner with her son. I got up and decided to run. I didn’t want to die in an ATM. I ran as hard as I could, and I called my parents’ house while I was running. My Grandmother answered. I told her what was happening. I’m pretty sure I was crying. I remember yelling out loud as I ran “not yet, not yet, not yet”
The next year I moved to London and for the first time I decided I wanted to taste, breath, and gobble up every second of this precious life.
I used to talk too much about the women I was having sex with.
Yes, of course I always knew that I would have daughters, I just knew it.
I’ve sown my wild oats, for sure
If I were on TV when I was younger the experience would have been lost on me. I’m grateful that my daughter is more interested in playing with her toys and informing me she’s passed gas than watch me – it gives me the appropriate perspective to shut the f*ck up about being on TV.
The quietest guy in the room is usually the smartest, most powerful, and has the least to prove
Maybe that’s why I’ve never been the quietest guy in the room
Over and out.