“Grandpa wants to go live in Hawaii. Not Florida. Is he still a boomer?”
Yesterday I ventured out into the great outdoors — as opposed to the lesser outdoors between my front door and the top of the stairs, which I visit regularly while seeing my kid off to school.
There was a thing for my dad, and a lot of relatives showed up, including a few I had not even known existed whom I am related to in ways that remain as lost to me as their names.
There was a lady who was not actually a relative, but is nevertheless considered more of a relative than most blood relatives — who aren’t actually MY blood relatives because I am in fact adopted. (Also a Russian bot.) She fussed over me and held my water bottle, and for this service I shall remain eternally grateful.
There were cake pops, exactly two dozen of which I managed to take home with me because red velvet and white chocolate were being heavily discriminated against. (NOTE: The red velvets proved unworthy of rescue.)
There were also over a hundred people who were even less related to me than the cake pops and relatives. None of these people were Russian bots; all of them had gathered to honor my dad in ways I never would have imagined possible.
I learned yesterday that my dad is a hero — a legitimate American hero. The stories I heard about him were so incredible, I am still struggling to process it all.
Never in a million years would I have guessed the extent of what he’s managed to accomplish in his forty-two-plus year career; never would I have thought my dad capable of inspiring so many damned people.
What they’ve credited him with is truly astonishing.
To be told that my dad is mononymous within his field feels amazing, but also a little strange.
Still, it goes a long way toward explaining the behavior of people who used to come up to me and introduce themselves, then continue to stand there staring at me as if there were something remaining to be said. I used to think they were hitting on me, until I finally concluded that my dad simply favored hiring the socially awkward, possibly for reasons of national security.
I’m looking forward to reading the books they say will one day be written about him. The knowledge that my dad will someday be mentioned in the same breath as people I’ve only read about truly blows my mind.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a black man. I also wanted to be blind, because: Geordi LaForge.
When I was seven years old, I wanted to be a little boy. I called myself ‘Mark’, and my parents let me get a butch haircut and dress in flannel. (Don’t ask me to explain their reasoning.)
By age eight, I was some kind of genderless alien from the far reaches of our solar system. (Not joke; birthday cake read “Happy Birthday Zoing”.)
By age nine, I had transitioned back to female because I wanted to be a tattooed biker chick named Skull. But the only person who actually called me that was a second grader named T-Bone. (Also not joke.)
I eventually decided I wanted to be an Amazon. I just didn’t want to suffer the company of other females.
So if Cory Booker chooses to identify as Spartacus, Clarence Thomas needs to BACK THE FUCK OFF. 😤
“Some people think Peppermint Patty is a girl.”
Watching a video about mammals (01/10/18):
“Aaaah, Mommy! That sheep just POOPED OUT ANOTHER ONE!”
“How come everybody wants to mindhack Captain Picard?”
Playing with lego starships (04/06/18):
“Captain, there’s a space-time continuum!”
“Oh, no! Prepare to open fire!”
“So how come [relative] is getting a colonoscopy? He lose his keys or something?”
“I don’t think Grandma has any money. I think she depends on Grandpa. I think she’s using him to get groceries.”
TRANSLATION: “Grandma never carries cash, and Grandpa went grocery shopping last week because Grandma hurt her foot.”
“Don’t you lose your kidneys when you give birth? Or is it when you get married?”
“I’m not just good; I’m frickin’ good.”
“They should sell lives at the store. I’m talking about immortality, not slavery.”
Grandpa goes over a speed bump, instead of around it (08/23/18):
“And he faces it like a man!”
“Do you know what I’m gonna get you for your next birthday, Grandma? A life.”
“If I was a prisoner, I’d want to be alone in my bed.”
If my kid ever becomes one o’ them trans-sexshuals, or one o’ them homo-sexshuals, or a Democrat, it’ll be because I let him wear his hair down to his collar.
Which is almost enough to persuade me to let Grandpa take him for a haircut. (I’d never forgive myself if my child grew up to become a Democrat.)
It just hit me all of a sudden… •••• is the same age I was when I first discovered the glory of Howard Stern. Somewhere there are photographs of me wearing sunglasses and a long, curly black wig, my little fist clenching the neck of a rubber chicken. ••••’s grandfather took those pictures to show to people at work. At the time, I didn’t understand the significance of the rubber chicken.
And to think, last night I was giving the kid a hard time about liking Super Samarai Power Rangers. I told him that crap is one of the leading causes of brain damage in children under the age of ten. I don’t think he believed me, though it’s probably the truth.
Grandpa has been donating money to some Native American elementary school for years, and every Christmas without fail they send him some token of appreciation, handcrafted by the (ridiculously talented, Jesus Christ!) children, whom I of course long ago dubbed The Little Injuns That Could. (Grandpa says I’m an asshole.)
This year they sent Grandpa a dreamcatcher keychain, which he in turn gave to ••••. When •• showed it to me last night, I smiled and replied, “What a coincidence!” (vocab word), and I raised my shirt a bit to let him see that I happened to be wearing a dreamcatcher navel ring.
A few minutes later, I hear frustrated noises coming from the living room and walk in to discover my son attempting to hook the damned thing onto his own belly button, totally bewildered as to “WHY WON’T IT STAY??