Saturday, December 8, 2012

Alexander The Not So Great

"Do you know how many people died in that???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Our second grade music teacher was spitting the words out of her mouth while turning a deep crimson red. She was trembling while trying desperately to find the strength not to strike out at the subject of her ire. My best buddy in school, Alex. You see, Alex was a very creative child who found it difficult to keep himself entertained with multiplication tables and memorizing spelling words. So when he was bored he would draw. All day long he'd doodle out scenes from the most popular movies of the day. Images of dragons being slain by heroic knights. And dead soldiers during WWII bleeding out on the battle field.

Wait, what????

Yeah, you see, on this fateful fall day Alex had drawn a scene with dead WWII soldiers screaming out "Oh, they got me!!!" while dropping to the ground with images of Swastikas all over the page. It happened to be what we were learning that week and he was just being topical. And the teacher happened to look down at what he was drawing. And she flipped her shit. I should mention that she was Jewish and didn't find Alex's artistic expression worthy of being hung on the wall of a French art museum. She let him have it and I don't think I have ever seen Alex so quiet and still the 6 years we were in school together. I also swear there was a little yellow puddle under his chair.

Alex was my first best friend growing up. We met in 1st grade and were thick as thieves from the beginning. I don't recall the first day we met or what we said to each other or even how/why we became friends. It was just too long ago. But we were inseparable. And no one made me laugh more day in and day out that he did. I cannot tell you how many times I got in trouble for laughing out loud because of something Alex leaned over and whispered to me almost as if he were daring me not to laugh. I'm sorry, but when your best friend in 5th grade refers to a girl getting her first "hot beef injection", you couldn't stop me from laughing if you put a gun to my head.

Alex didn't just make me laugh from telling jokes. He cracked me up because of some of the situations he got himself into. One a field trip one year at the zoo, he wandered over to the lama pen. He was petting one gently and seemed to be enthralled with this majestic creature when it suddenly sneezed all over his face and front of his shirt. Holy shit, we all howled as he stood there in shock as the lama snot dripped down his clothes.

We used to go to the Boys Club for our weekly gym class and swam every other week. One week Alex forgot his bathing suit. No biggie, he could just do gym class with the girls. Nope, the teacher had enough of this nonsense and made Alex swim in his underwear. Once again, hilarity ensued as poor Alex was doing the doggie paddle in his tighty-whities to the whistles and cat calls from the bleachers.

Alex taught me how to laugh at all the things happening around us. Even if that included laughing at ourselves. Ourselves and sneezing lamas swimming in their BVD's after their hot beef injections.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks For Nothing

That's right. Thanksgiving is just about upon us. The time of year we give thanks for what we have, not for lamenting on what we can never obtain. A time for reflecting on life's gifts and joys, and not focusing on the fact that the big-tit blonde who's been in the company for 8 months got the promotion you deserved after working your ass off for 7 years.

I was browsing some other blogs today and came across this one: http://www.offsprung.com/forum/topics/how-to-say-no

Reading how terribly intrusive and guilt lading this woman's mother is/has been all her life is maddening, to say the least. For fuck's sake, why can't people just stop being assholes to each other? Especially to the people they are supposed to love and support? I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to grow up with such bitter hatred and loathing coming from my parents. And the guilt thing? That's like nails on a chalkboard. There is nothing more douche-chill inducing than a person who blames their shitty life on everyone else around them, but themselves. Playing the victim card with a marked deck. Nuh, uh. Not to me, you won't. Shut your lint trap and fix your own life. Don't try to hover over mine and take a big shit on it. It's no wonder we don't have more serial killers in the world if this is how children are being raised. Listen up, kids. I have an important lesson to share. Are you thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, but having a tough time deciding? Be a therapist. Because it's painfully obvious that the world needs more of them. There sure as hell won't be a shortage of fucked up individuals anytime soon.

So, as I am reading this I began to put myself in her position. Not the giving birth part. Because, frankly I would look silly with my legs up in the air and pushing out something other than a fart. No, what I am referring to is being in the middle of such a life altering, beautiful experience only to have it ruined by this annoying yenta trying to be the center of attention and pouting like a 2 year old if she isn't. Because I would have a shit fit. A complete meltdown not seen since Chernobyl. I would have had NO problem kicking her out of the room. I would not hesitate. Thankfully, I never had to worry about that. Because my parents never stuck their noses in when I became an adult.

They said nothing. They enforced nothing. They projected guilt on nothing.

So, to Ma and Dad, I say thanks. Thanks for nothing. It has always been much appreciated.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's a girl!!!

Relax. I'm not having another child. You have to be having sex for that to happen. You also have to have a factory that wasn't shut down due to a going out of business sale. So, I don't qualify. No, what I am talking about today were the 3 words that changed my life. Exactly 13 years ago today my daughter was born. 13 years. One, three. 10 + 3. 13. Holy shit, where did the time go?

Everything about that day is still crystal clear. Having the Dr. tell us during the ex's morning check up to "Go home and pack your bags and meet me at the hospital. You're having that baby today." after an entire weekend of "false" labor pains (everyone else's words, not ours).

Driving about 20 miles an  hour and ending up picking the bumpiest road in New England and hearing through gritted teeth "Hurry up!! And stop hitting all the bumps!!"

Both of us falling asleep sometime in the afternoon in the room only to be awoken by a loud BANG!!!! and jumping awake. Turns out what we heard was the water breaking and the sound coming through on the monitor. Scared the hell out of me. I almost delivered a little bundle of joy out of my ass myself. And then we were off to the races. And don't get me started on the audience we had. "Call your mother QUICK. Tell her if she wants to be here for this, she needs get down here ASAP." My father was at work that night and my mother didn't drive at the time. My brother was home and so he was pegged to drive Miss Daisy to the hospital. And of course the ex's parents were both there. You now have me manning one leg, her mother the other, my mother at the side of the bed talking to her and the two stooges (my brother and her father) sitting at the little table in the far corner of the room staring out the window not able to look at anything or anyone. Poor bastards. The look of sheer terror on their faces was priceless. If only I had thought of it ahead of time I could have tossed a wet sponge over to them and yelled "Shit!! Quick, catch that!!!!". Hilarity would have ensued, I guarantee.

As I stood there holding her left calf in my hand I began to witness the most beautiful, amazing, magical, disgusting moment of my life. Good Lord, there is a reason why they never used to let men into the room during labor. It was like watching a horse blink it's eye (thank you Family Guy for the reference).

Then I heard those magical words "It's a girl!!!" and her mother shout "My Gabbi!!!!!" and I lost it. I cried like the fat kid at recess who dropped his Twinkies in the sand and watched the army of ants carry it away. 

When I finally held my daughter in my arms, she was wide eyed and full of wonder. She didn't make a sound. She just looked around the room and took it all in. And I cried. And held her tight. I whispered in  her ear that I would always take care of her and promised to never let her go.

And here we are, 13 years later and she still has her eyes wide open and looking around the room soaking it all in. Except she talks like a Speak and Spell with it's cord snapped off and you can't shut it off. So, I guess 1 one of  2 ain't bad.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo. Now let's go watch Family Guy so you can think of more sarcastic, cynical ways to piss off your mother.

Love,
Daddy