Nature or Nurture… and Junk
Have you ever wondered how I got to be this way?
Did my mother take a buttload of hallucinogenic drugs while pregnant with me?
Has she ever wanted to while having to deal with me over the years?
But, what made me… well, ME?
Lets look at some of the things I am — and have been — surrounded by:
This weekend I noticed a piece of paper taped to the kitchen cupboard at the family homestead. This is an area that serves as the house command and control center, and is typically festooned with post-its in a variety of colours.
On this piece of paper was written my father’s to do list.
Of course, it wasn’t actually started by him. You see, my mother is that special breed of bossypants that writes to do lists FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
The list went like this:
1) Clean shed and put away snowblower
2) Clean outside windows
3) Clean the yard
4) Clean laundry room
5) Fix kitchen chair
Then my father added an entry of his own…
6) Go fishing
However, my sister wasn’t satisfied with that and added a few of her own…
7) check pot fields
8) paint toe nails
9) dye hair
10) take hormone pills
The most troubling thing, to me, is that I didn’t think of adding to the list before she did.
Don’t feel bad for my father. He has been known to play a prank or two of his own.
For example, one Christmas when I was in high school, my girlfriend at the time was spending Christmas with us. We left her home alone with my dad for a half hour and he convinced her to help him change the tags on all of the gifts under the tree.
He giggled as we began opening and all got the wrong gifts. I got a pair of women’s gloves. My Dad LOVED it.
I don’t think the girlfriend ever spent another Christmas with us. Hmm.
Altering lists is an age-old tradition in our family. I used to do it all the time with grocery lists.
I’d add things like, “monistat,” “crate of prunes — big juicy ones!,” “flea powder,” or “the meaning of life.”
As punishment, my mother used to drag me, and whatever friend happened to be hanging out at the house, to the grocery store with her.
And as punishment for THAT, we would torture her by adding things to the cart when she wasn’t looking. Things like: the aforementioned prunes, beets, 14 frozen pizzas, and a large plastic children’s sled.
She did kind of get the final laugh on me with that though…
When I was in college, she came to the city to visit. She decided that she wanted to go to Cost Co. and that me and a buddy of mine had to go to lug crap around for her. We went. And we tossed extra crap in the cart on her. She caught most of it, but let the giant pillow-case sized bag of Hershey’s Hugs slide.
My buddy and I started eating those little chocolate bastards before we even got to the car. We ate them the entire drive back to the apartment.
And then for another three hours as we sat around.
We took pockets full to a hockey game that night. Before it even started, we were surrounded by huge piles of wrappers at our feet.
We were on such a sugar high, that when my school scored it’s first goal — and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared through the speakers — I almost hit the ceiling. That was just waaaay too much sugar. And, at one point, I swear that I could see through time.
I can’t even look at those candies now. And just typing this story made me twitch.
However, I don’t want you to think that I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t take anything serious. I know that there is a time and place for everything, you know?
For example, when I was a young Pete, I went to see an allergy doctor. My mother was sitting with me in the waiting room, while I filled out a questionnaire/form dealie. It was asking about all sorts of symptoms.
I looked up from the form and stared at my mother with a serious expression.
She looked back at me with concern on her face.
I looked down at the form and then at her again.
“What is it?,” she asked.
I looked down at it one more time, then back at her and asked,
“Do you recall me complaining about any problems with my ovaries recently?”