Superman and Elvis Did Too


An Excerpt from Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, by Mitch Rosenzweig

I felt like Elvis, swiveling my hip into the slightly stuck front door; my hands were full in my superhuman feat of carrying 14 plastic grocery bags in from the car. Real men don't make two trips. As it swung in a bit too fast, I heard a satisfying "boing" and the door swung angrily back at me, knob into ribs. Ouch! Doorstop must have been loaded and waiting for the unsuspecting. Although it saved the wall from the hole-inserting doorknob, my ribs are a little offended from its anger. A softer rebound and a louder expletive and I was inside.

Of course, we all know the metaphors about doors and the future. One open, one shut, on the threshold, etcetera, etcetera...I confess that I have cheaply used them a few times. Yawn. But what about the lowly doorstop silently waiting for that flung door? No poems or prose written, it just sits there slightly screwed waiting for its opportunity to serve. I am sure that none even give it a second thought unless they have hound-dog hips and hit the door too hard.

But I am grateful for the doorstops in my world. Being a seeker and adventurer, I always fling open doors. Forget the timid peek, let's rock that door open and see what is on the other side. Screaming fans, adulation, love me tender? I am in! Well that is, until I go too hard or too fast and then it's nothing but heartbreak and bruised ribs.

Your doorstops are as important as your doors. They are there to stop you when you go too far and prevent you from doing too much damage. They serve to ground you when you go too fast and spring back with reality when you think you are Superman or Elvis. Yet, they don't inhibit your swinging groove and are totally invisible when you are moving at the right speed. I am grateful to my doorstops in life-mom, my family, and my faith for helping to slow me down when I go too fast. A little poke in the ribs reminds me that I am not Superman, just plain 'ole me.

But every once in a while I make the perfect entrance, and I can hear the loudspeaker announcing, "Elvis has entered the building."

In his new book Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, veteran clinical psychologist and social worker Mitch Rosenzweig attunes his therapeutic sensibilities to his daily landscape and uncovers life lessons for us all - treasures gained by observing the ordinary from an often amusing, and always positive, perspective. This rich collection of 200 brief essays penned from his personal and professional observations delights us and invites us to grow into better, more compassionate human beings. For more information, visit