Tuesday, November 06, 2007

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I love my parents, I really do. But they don't have very healthy senses of humor. There was never a lot of laughter in my house and there still isn't. They just don't find a lot of life funny. I used to joke that they were both born 40 but now that I'm that age I realize they were just born serious. I have a very long list of subjects I keep from conversation or save for other company because my parents, well, they're both wound tight as a nuns butt.

I was a fairly good kid. I'm sure my mother would disagree (memories of her yelling "YOU WERE HELL TO RAISE dance in my head) but I didn't do some of the other things that the kids in our social circle did. I never crashed the family car into the golf course pond, I didn't have sex until after high school and I wasn't the one who got kicked out of highschool for smoking pot in the classroom while the mentally disturbed history teacher who wore his pants inside out on a regular basis was at the blackboard.

However, since I was raised by strict parents that weren't so much disciplinarians in the "you're grounded" sense rather than poo-poers of anything resembling crazy, fun or crazy fun I didn't get to do much unless I was sneaky about it. (I'm very good at sneaky.) But I was in trouble all the fucking time and on a very short leash so if I could go a little wild while avoiding a ration of shit at any cost I would.

I didn't know too many kids who were able to keep from rebelling in some way and I was no different. Hell, my "church group" was one of the rowdiest I hung with. In between singing Jesus Christ Superstar and hand-holding praying we were playing grab-ass in the choir robe closet. So it's not my fault that all my peer groups were demented.

I got away with so much stuff I can't believe it. And you might be saying, well no shit, we all got away with practically murder and our parents didn't find out. But the difference with me is that I can't confess any of my (mostly) harmless antics with my parents now that I'm a full-grown up 40 year-old adult because it would STILL MAKE THEM MAD!!

A half dozen or so years ago some of my family were together for some holiday and after dinner the subject of reports cards came up. I was an infrequent stellar student, mostly struggling or not caring and occasionally pulling out a top grade when I was interested in the subject matter or motivated by a truly good teacher. One particularly bad Spring semester in junior high I screwed the pooch but good and ended up with 4 out of my 7 grades big fat D's.

I was so terrified to show my stunning contribution towards my education to my parents that I sweated for weeks during the beginning of the summer, watching the mailbox like a hawk after a fat field mouse hoping to intercept the letter containing my biggest failure to date before my stay-at-home parents got it and I was forced to watch my father's head explode into a fine pink mist and my mother send me murderous glances until I was 27 from the shame of it all because really, what moron gets a D in Home Ec? ~raises hand~

As luck would have it my mother and father were both out of the house playing tennis or something and I had a rare afternoon alone free to watch Let's Make a Deal and raid my mothers Coffee Nips stash when I saw the mail truck pull up at the bottom of our long driveway. I shuffled my chubby ass down the hill as fast as I could go and retrieved the contents of the mailbox. With my hands shaking I rifled through the envelopes and that's when I saw my school logo.

Holy Balls. I couldn't believe my luck! I jumped around and wooted at the dog and hid that fucker in the deep recesses of my closet while my Xanadu album spun on the turntable at high volume, because this was indeed, Magic.

Then I worried for the next 10 years that one or both of my parents would suddenly be aware that there was a missing transcript somewhere and question me about it where I'd then have to come up with a lie so elaborate they'd send me off to mow all 3 acres our lawn just to get me out of their sight. I realized after it was too late to turn back that the agony of fretting about that damn report card wasn't worth the secret I was keeping from my parents.

Until that dinner. That casual conversation sitting around a table post feast when I stupidly thought enough time had passed and my mother and I were at the point in our relationship that I could confess silly school-age transgressions and I brought it up between laughter and story-telling and as I was giggling and smiling at my mother, divulging my long-ago deception, I saw the grin vanish from her face as she stiffened her spine, pursed her lips so tight her mouth nearly disappeared and hissed with the venom of 50 king cobras in heat;

"YOU. DID. WHAT?!?!?!"

My heart stopped, my eyes bulged and my face felt the sting of her verbal slap and I knew this was a place I could never take her. The past was alive and well and the carnage instant. I quickly put on the charm, playfully slapped her on the back, forced a backfire of fake laughter out of my face and said, "Noooooooooooooooo, Mom! I'm totally kidding. HA HA HA HA" and promptly poured her another glass of wine. And she bought it.

Shit. I'll never be able to tell my dad that the reason his truck smelled like curdled milk for 15 years every time it got above 79 degrees is from the time I swiped a full bottle of Kahlua from a friend's house and spilled the entire thing into the freshly laid carpet of the bed while I was making out with a freshman instead of being at the movies like I said I was.


BipolarLawyerCook said...

Oh dear. You're lucky to have made it out with a sense of humor.

AliBlahBlah said...

Wow, between your grab-ass in the closet and Fresh Hell's petting the kitty in church I'm beginning to regret quitting Sunday School aged 11....