Over time you learn how much your parents really DO know. Take, for instance, that the boyfriend you had in High School was really not in your league*. Or that you would eventually MISS the days when your only job was in the drive-thru at the Burger King**. Or "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you."***
Now, being a parent myself, it would be nice to get a jump start on this "You really DO know something" business, instead of waiting for my sweeties to turn 25 and make this revelation****. But, alas, my years of payback have come to roost for the long haul.
You see, in the Sackett/Huber family continuum, we don't try to learn from the lessons of our elders, we just let the mistakes slide into the next generation so we have someone to laugh at come family reunion time.
Take, for example, a certain woman***** who, as a child, destroyed her Mother's NEW DINING ROOM CHAIR. This, of course, devastated the Mother, who complained up the family chain to HER Mother. The pithy response: "I remember when you destroyed MY new furniture. I guess the chickens came home to roost!"
No pity, I tell you. No pity.
So, should I consider it unusual that I've been told, slightly more than once yet barely less than one million times, "Paybacks are Hell"?
Or been told the joke:
"A little boy asks his Mother 'where do gray hairs come from?'
Stealthy replying, the Mother says, 'I get a gray hair every time you misbehave.'
Without missing a beat, the little boy says, 'Then why does Grandma have snow white hair?'"******
I'm guessing I'm supposed to be THE MOTHER in this insipid little joke?
So, instead of getting hammered from both sides of the ancestral hierarchy, and in my quest to make it to the age when my sons KNOW I am as smart as I've suspected all along, I've decided to follow a few golden rules:
1. Don't look for pity from those who wiped your behind or from those whose bottoms you are currently tending to. Save your sob stories for margarita-drinking girlfriends who won't counter with a story about your horrendous childhood/teenage years or how mean you are for yelling after they touched the recently painted bathroom cabinets, then smeared them on their jammies/wall/door jam, when they were SUPPOSED TO BE IN BED.*******
2. Don't try to force your kids into thinking you are smart before your time. You are like a fine wine: if you try to get your kids to imbibe too early, there will be BITTERNESS and throw-up. If you patiently wait until you have reached your peak, there will be glowing reports of your wonderful ripeness. And way less vomit.
3. No matter what you do, remember and sing with gusto, Dory's best line in Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." With all the repitition, it will make those around you go stark raving mad. You, however, will be in complete control, whisked away to Doryland, with nary a sad or unhappy thought in your head. Just like Dory....
Oh, and consider investing in cases of Clairol's "6G Light Golden Brown". Then use with stunning frequency. It's a two-for-one defense against silly questions from children AND repetitive matriarchal jokes.
Now I'd say that's smart.
*"Idiots for $200, please, Alex. Yes, sir, that IS my name! My parents were RIGHT!"
**Yes, but I DON'T pine for the clingy brown and orange polyester pantsuits we were forced to wear. Unstylish in ANY era.
***Totally and unequivocally bogus on any continent and in any language. That crap HURT!
****Like some other pinhead I'm faintly acquainted with..attached to..OK, ME. Happy now?
*****Yes, blog readers, I was a hellion early on.
******Always followed by a side-splitting snort/laugh.
*******Bitter? Irritated? Who, me?