Waiting in line at the Kimbell Art Museum on Sunday, I had plenty of time to think about life and the art of not letting it pass you by.
This was the final day of "The Age of Impressionism," and judging by the big, buzzing crowd, you'd have thought Madonna or Rihanna were playing here, not Monet and Renoir. The collection of classic paintings had been on view in Fort Worth since March 11, but like all the other procrastinators now checking their watches and craning their necks to see how close they were getting to the ticket counter, I had made the cardinal sin of taking the Kimbell for granted. My sins were even more unforgivable when you consider I was invited to a press preview and missed that, too.
But as I shuffled along at a snail's pace, jockeying for position in the galleries with my fellow last-minute art-lovers, I was struck by the irony of this day, Father's Day.
A few hours earlier, I'd come home from a morning tennis match hoping my wife and 8-year-old son would be ready to wow me with a few surprises -- maybe brunch, a new golf shirt or a homemade card. My son was on the way out the door, heading to the pool with a friend. My wife was heading back to bed, still battling a sinus headache.
And I was left feeling like the guy in the sitcom who starts walking toward the stage to collect his "Father of the Year" prize, only to discover that his name was never called.
I sunk into the couch and did some undignified sulking. Then I picked myself up, dusted myself off and went to the Kimbell. If my family wasn't going to celebrate me on Father's Day, I'd take matters into my own hands.
While I waited in line, still stewing about being overlooked, I thought about all the things that I take for granted on a regular basis. The biggies, like family, friends, my health, my job. And the little ones, like free parking or an 80-degree day in the dead of summer.
Despite our best intentions, carpe diem declarations and country songs that advise us to "live like you were dying," most of us are simply too human to stop and smell the roses. Or appreciate the art.
I'd just returned from a weeklong visit to Fresno, and the city, while similar in size to Fort Worth, has nothing even approaching the cultural offerings we have here. It also doesn't have professional sports teams to follow like we do in DFW, or world-class restaurants. I know all these things. It's just hard to keep them in mind when I'm wallowing in the day-to-day.
In a perfect world or a Disney movie, I suppose we'd all sign a blood oath to stop taking all that we have for granted. We'd magically begin to appreciate all the wonders in our back yard, like the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Cowboys or Pop's Burgers, just to name a few. Fathers, sons and spouses would all find more time for each other, and I'd make it to every Kimbell exhibit on opening week.
Human nature says otherwise, though.
A few hours later, when I got home, my spirits were lifted when my son presented me with a Father's Day card he'd made and a Partridge Family T-shirt my wife had bought a week earlier. They took me out for dinner at The Tavern, where we shared a juicy steak and ribs and watched the final few holes of the U.S Open golf tournament. My son provided running commentary, and we laughed.
Life was good. And I wished I could freeze that moment in time. Or in a portrait -- one I'd pull out the next time I started taking all the terrific things around me for granted.