Growing Up Grown Ups Still Growing. A Message To Our Future

Monday, August 29, 2011

When I was 17 I wanted to be John Olerud. To 98 percent of people reading this blog the name John Olerud is not going to mean anything to you. John Olerud was a professional baseball player who played the majority of his career for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and Seattle Mariners. I was first made aware of him by my younger brother who, in a big F-U to the Subramanian clan, decided that at age 8 his favorite team was going to be the Toronto Blue Jays and not any of the New York based teams that we grew up with. That preceded the time he hit me upside the head with a replica New York Yankees mini bat at home. He was really taking this anti-America thing to new heights. My brother collected every John Olerud baseball card from 1989-1993 and put them together in a collage d'Olerud. If Dexter was real life, not a fictional TV show, and around in 1993 my brother would have been murdered. His crime? Weirdness.

On the bright side those cards are now worth a collective $1.61.

In December of 1996 John Olerud was traded to the New York Mets which also happened to be my favorite team. In a fit of rage my brother demanded that I trade him my "Dookie" Green Day cassette tape for his John Olerud love chest of baseball cards. I declined. This was based on the fact that I knew that a cassette tape version of Green Day's most wonderful album would be worth a boatload in the future. And I was right. A copy of "Dookie" on Ebay goes for a robust $4.99. And you can buy it right now. Suck on it, futures market.

There were many reasons I started liking John Olerud. He took some ridicule because he wore a helmet in the field (due to a brain aneurysm and not because he was mentally disabled or ate too many dandelions as a kid), but he never got mad. He had a sweet swing, fielded his position (1st base) impeccably, and rode the 7 train to Mets' games instead of driving which I thought was the coolest thing ever. Public transportation even when you make millions?!? IS THIS REAL LIFE?! But the biggest reason is that he was really nice. He never argued with umpires even when they were blatantly wrong and always respected everyone. Not to mention he was pretty good at baseball and when I was 17 I was convinced that I would one day be in the Major Leagues and have all the baseball groupies one man could handle. As of today I cannot tell you the amount of baseball groupies I've slept with because it would be inappropriate to make that public.

Rhymes with Robert DeNiro.

The other day someone brought up role models in a conversation and asked me if I had one. After making the requisite Paul Rudd/ Seann William Scott pop culture reference, I was stuck. Mainly because that kid McLovin was in another movie where he played a huge nerd. How many times can that happen to someone? Michael Cera tells you to get lost kind sir. I guess you could say John Olerud was my role model. In reality, there was no way I was going to be John Olerud since he was white, left handed, 6'3", and really good at baseball. I had only one of those four things going for me. The white thing. Wait, I’m being told I'm not white. Thanks DAD! I did look up to him, though, and tried to do all the same things he did. Instead of a spoiled brat playing baseball I became more respectful. I became more John Olerud.

Spoiler alert. Still not white.

But it made me wonder if you even know who your role models are when you’re younger. Charles Barkley once famously said, "I am not a role model" and people yelled at him because he could dunk a basketball and they could not. I'm sure other people yelled at him for other things, but that's what I was yelling about. When you're 5'8 and half and dreaming of dunking a basketball seeing someone else do it is very traumatic. It makes you resort to things like lowering your family's basketball hoop to 8 feet so you can throw down a sick reverse two hand jam while your friends rate you. Not that anyone I know did that. More than 5 times.

Role models should be people you want to be when you get older. Most people say your parents should be your role models, but my dad smoked cigarettes and once said, "There is a time for laughing. Now is not the time to have the time to laugh." I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. I didn't want to grow up smoking cigarettes and ruining the English language so I looked elsewhere. I did take a lot of traits from my dad, but I never considered him a role model. In 2008 there was a survey done by British schoolteachers about role models. Most of the kids wanted to be two people.

David and Victoria Beckham.

Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with that? I’m sure they are two lovely people, but what do we really know about them? David Beckham can kick a soccer ball around and Victoria Beckham can, uh, get pregnant? Why are kids looking up to them? We don’t really even know them or if they’re good parents or if they are two people you should be aspiring to be. I’m sure being as rich as them would be great, but I would like to be as rich as OJ circa 1992 too and that didn’t work out too well for anyone except for Court TV.

If and when I have kids I would hope they would pick me as their role model. I hope they would look at me and say, “I want to be like my dad because he is awesome and one time he let me get sprinkles on my ice cream cone and mom doesn’t let me do that because mom never wants us to have any fun since she took away my hovercraft!” Take that future wife! In your face! If my hypothetical kids pick David Beckham in a survey I’ll be distraught because David Beckham will be in his 50s and still relevant.

I picked John Olerud as my role model when I was 17 because he could hit a baseball pretty far and was nice on TV, but what did I know about him? We should only pick our role models in hindsight. Looking back on it my role model was a combination of people. John Olerud plus my dad plus Chris Rock’s standup act. I think my dad would be happy to know he shares being my role model with Chris Rock’s humor and John Olerud’s athleticism.

I’ll trade my brother for that collage now.


Two is Better Than One Unless You Have Twins and Only Bought One Crib

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(Editors Note: I couldn’t figure out how to tie these two topics together so I gave up. My mom always said, it’s not giving up if you can’t do it. Thanks Mom! So instead of one big nonsensical blog post there are two mini nonsensical ones here that make one really long post. In conclusion, reading is fun. With an emphasis on, uh, I guess fun.)

1.Ryan Gosling seems like an ok person. Yesterday the women of the Internet were all flushed with dengue fever or some sort of malady where they had to be hosed down because Mr. Gosling broke up a fight on the mean streets of Manhattan. The cries of "Oh, could he get any sexier?!?!" by women that will never get within 47 miles of him were heard throughout the land as he stopped two guys from fighting over art. Of course, they were fighting over art. An actor stopping a fight over art. How meta. Could it be any more perfect that Ryan Gosling is breaking up a fight between two guys scuffling over something they'll hang over their NYC fireplace and only point out to visitors and their parents? I'm sure after the fight subsided Gosling and the two guys sat on a Brooklyn stoop, debated the merits of the hand painted diagram in front of them while drinking Bartles and Jaymes and compared it to a New Yorker article they all read in the June 2007 edition. An all time classic edition!

Well played old chaps.

Let's be real for a second. Ryan Gosling is an attractive individual. If I didn't say that I would be considered a "hater" or drinking "haterade" or eating "Hatertots" or really replacing any word or phrase that ended in -ater and putting an "h" at the beginning. Bunch of A.C. Haters in here. I'm sure there are some women that don't find him attractive, but they are in the small minority. I know something about minorities so I feel ok saying this. We look awkward at Blink 182 shows. I'm not jealous of Ryan Gosling because he is considered good looking by 90 percent of the world's population. That whole previous last sentence was a lie. I am very jealous, but I wanted to seem humble and that I've come to grips I will never look like him. I haven't. Spoiler alert.

This one incident yesterday has somehow catapulted Ryan Gosling into a sexy stratosphere that, from where I'm sitting, only consists of George Clooney, John F. Kennedy, and Benjamin Franklin immediately after he invented bifocals. Bifocal groupies are crazy in the sack. Literally. They had sex in potato sacks back then. Not only does Ryan Gosling have the looks, is a good actor (he was excellent in an independent movie called Half Nelson. This just proves the theory if you play a teacher with a drug problem in an independent movie with the same name as an amateur wrestling move you will be a good actor. A formula we should all live by), and is now slowly accumulating secondary traits that make all women swoon. He is becoming a tour de force unseen since the last tour de force.

Hey Ryan, how about leaving some for us? No? Ok, carry on then.

Cyberspace blew up with that video. Women were throwing their panties at their computers which made work really uncomfortable yesterday. Look at that video again. It’s not like Ryan Gosling is the only one helping. Sure there’s a guy with an umbrella that may or may not be wearing heels attempting to help and failing, but at least he tried. Does he get no respect? But here comes Ryan Gosling to save the day. He was in The Notebook and now breaks up fights! HE IS SO PERFECT. Oh all of you other people helping, you can all suck it. What movies have you been in? Huh? That’s what I thought. Get off the tracks when the popularity train is coming through.

Ryan, I hope you enjoy your trip through all the women of the web. I only have one question. Need a wingman?

2. I don’t get laughing. I mean I get it in the sense I love to do it and if you can make me laugh I love being around you, but I don’t get the whole act of laughing. Why do we laugh at some of the things we do? When did laughing first start? Was there a caveman that let out a guffaw and was immediately decapitated by the talon of an eagle? I think the first person to laugh probably had it bad. He would sound like an alien, but since they didn’t know what aliens or even Steve Jobs was they probably thought the person was dying.

We all have different senses of humor. I laugh at Die Hard jokes. I laugh at videos where kids get hit in the head with basketballs. I laughed when my brother brought home a C from art class in high school and my parents thought that grade was so good they bought him new baseball equipment. Ok, I cried on that last one. But whatever. The point is we laugh at different stuff, but there’s one thing we all laugh at.

Other people laughing.

Why?!? Why do we laugh when other people laugh? It really makes no sense to do the same act another person is doing. Kids cry when other kids cry, but I mean, really? Kids are pretty dumb. We’re fully functioning adults. We shouldn’t be copying the emotions of other adults, but we still do. Take for example this video of my man crush Anderson Cooper. (Aside: Can you have a man crush on someone who potentially could have a crush on you back? Not saying Anderson Cooper would ever be into me, but he does like men so it’s a possibility. Is this just a regular crush then? What’s the difference between this and my crush on Michelle Trachtenberg? I guess because I wouldn’t ever hook up with Anderson Cooper so maybe I should just change it to “My best friend” Anderson Cooper. Facebook me Anderson!)

I watched that video and didn’t laugh at any of his puns until he started cracking up on air. I was only laughing because he was also laughing. I cannot think of anything that makes less sense except Flava Flav’s entire life. His laugh sounded like dreams and paper unicorns so that probably had something to do with it. I thought about why I was laughing and vowed to never laugh because someone laughed first. It was a great vow

Yesterday I was walking down the hallway and the mailman for our building stopped me and said, “I’m not used to seeing you walk down the hallway without a big pizza in your hand! (Insert loud laughing).” I laughed at his joke, but then I realized a few things. One, I’ve never walked down the hallway at work with a pizza. Two, Was he confusing me with an Indian pizza delivery guy? He saw me not more than one minute ago in my office. He knows I work in a non pizza delivery capacity. Three, It wasn’t funny. Nothing he said he was funny. Intrinsically, it was the least funny thing I’ve heard all year. Yet I still laughed since he laughed. It makes me wonder if all stand up comedians should laugh at all their own jokes. How could it fail?

Right Anderson Cooper?


Party People Are Just The Same As Regular People. Spoiler Alert.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I like parties. On the surface that is probably the least outlandish thing to say. I've found in my vast polling of the universe that most people do, in fact, like parties. The only people that don't like parties are the same people for some unconscionable reason also do not like cake. I can see not liking to go to parties since there can be too many people there invading your personal space, but not liking cake? Are you a person? I have yet to hear one valid reason for not liking cake in my entire life. Allergies, impending weight gain, cavities are not reasons for disliking spongy goodness all up in your mouth region. Someone once told me they didn't like cake "just because." JUST BECAUSE. "Just because" is something an 8 year old says when they are drawing pictures of horses on their brother's face and eating grass. If that's the only reason humanity can come up with not liking cake then I, for one, am disappointed with those Adam and Eve people for creating us.

Let them eat...and so on.

But back to the parties. The reason I like going to parties is based partly that I like socializing with people in a place where you can talk to them face to face and partly on the word "party." Anytime I see the word "party" anywhere I immediately assume it will be the greatest gathering of people since the 1987 backstage meeting between Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, 432 groupies with big hair, and a vat of hepatitis. Memories. There's a reason that the word "party" has been made into a bunch of songs with upbeat melodies and awesome drum solos. Starting with Sam Cooke's "We're Having a Party," and going all the way to this year's release by LMFAO "Party Rock Anthem", parties constitute having a good time and most likely "getting down with our bad selves." Sure there are a couple songs that bring down the whole party notion like "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to", but I never hear anyone singing that song at karaoke because that song is a bad time and is like saying something derogatory about Anderson Cooper.

All lies.

All vernacular and non cake eating people aside, the fact that you get to converse with an actual person in the flesh is the A1A Beachfront Avenue reason to go to a party. The mingling. The socializing. The awkward moment when someone brings up a pop culture reference you don't totally understand, but heard that one time so you play it off and say "Ha! I know how about that time (insert character of 80s comedy program you didn't see) breathed. That's right. He totally breathed on everyone! Glorious."

Since most of our conversations in the 2000s are done through a computer we're not getting the total person experience. Online we can wait a few seconds, search on wiki for something clever to say, translate it into Portuguese and, voila we're a charming person from across the pond. That's not real life. Real life is talking to an attractive woman and blurting out "Who gets elbow cancer?!?!" and having said woman say "I survived 3 bouts of elbow cancer you heartless heathen!" and then asking her where she got her alliteration skills.

So while I do like the gathering of people in one centralized place to celebrate an occasion of birth, joy, or parole, I don't like the part that leads up to it. Going to a party shouldn't be stressful. You RSVP on one of those Facebook events (R.I.P Evite. I loved your multitude of background options and themed invites. *sob) and you go. Badabing. Badaboom. Sometimes it's difficult to go to a party alone. You only know the host and you totally hooked up with a person on the invite when you were drunk off of $4 pear ciders. It happens, how were you to know that person would have any friends? At this point you might invite a friend to come along. Someone to talk to when the host is busy and/or you're hiding in a bush. This is perfectly fine. So you call your friend to ask them if they want to go. Then they say.

Who else is going to be there?

When did it become an acceptable practice to ask someone who else is going to be at a place you got invited to? Maybe it's an LA "thing", but I've heard this question way too many times count (see: over 6). Not only do you come off a high end jerk for asking about the other people there, you've totally denigrated the friend you've asked. Is the person that invited you not enough to talk to? Most of the time I become depressed when someone answers that way because it shows that I'm not good enough for them. If you ever meet a person with that response 97 percent of the time they throw in a "Are there going to be girls there" question for free.

It's the buy one get one free of douchebaggery. Worst purse manufacturer ever.

We live in a society where you would rather talk to the people that aren’t at the place you are than the people right in front of your face. Thank you text machines. Look how popular I am, people are trying to get into contact with me while at another establishment. Garcon, call TMZ and bring around the chopper. That’s why these people NEED to know who else will be there to see if it’s worth their time. That’s also why I’ve resorted to answering that question with a simple “Your Mom” rebuttal. Quick and painless. (Aside: At what point did “your mom” become an insult? You have to think in the early days if someone asked who else was invited to a function saying “your mom” would actually bring out a positive reaction. “Hey Ezekiel, who’s going to be at the penultimate supper tomorrow?” “Your mom.” “My mom? For real? That is wonderful! She makes a lovely banana bread and will probably clean all the dishes after. If any of us get dysentery she is a nurse and can keep us alive for all of eternity. Thanks for inviting her Ezekiel! You are a true mensch and a scholar!” The tide probably turned in 1951 when James Mcbee was invited to the National Comb makers Ball and didn’t know anyone. He was told his mom would be there. She never showed. And that’s how it all began.*)

We should all like going out and meeting new and old people. It doesn’t matter who else is there because you are free as something that is free. Don’t be that person that needs to know the other people there. Just go. Your friends will like you more. Or maybe less. I don’t know how good a friend you are.

But at least eat the cake.



Real Men of Genius. Or At Least Moderate Intellect

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My dad is a man's man. I really don't know what that phrase means, but I think it describes my dad pretty well. (Aside: Why is no one a woman's woman? If I had to guess a woman's woman would probably be Susan B. Anthony dealing with all that woman's rights tomfoolery. But what about her fashion sense? I don't think a true champion of women would be wearing bloomers all over the place. Someone get that lady a ride to Nordstrom and a gift card to the MAC store. Let's get with the times grandma! I'm being told she's not alive. Now I see why we don't use that phrase. Women's women are always dead.)

My dad does a lot of things that "men" are stereotyped to do in society. He used to smoke Marlboro Reds. He then collected the miles on the Marlboro packets and traded them in for the finest Marlboro bounties in all the land. Marlboro traveling bag, Marlboro hat, Marlboro shower caddy. My mom is a big fan (see: not a big fan) of her Marlboro tea cup set. Then he had a heart attack. He drinks Coors Light. He refuses to pay anyone to fix anything so he can fix it himself. He plays golf every Saturday. He bought a pickup truck. He always wears sweatshirts after January 1st. After reading all of these things I'm not sure if my dad is a man's man or Larry the Cable guy.

The flannel cut offs make it really close.

He's also a big proponent of never showing anyone weakness. I've only seen my dad cry once and that was at my grandma's funeral. When I saw him crying I didn't know what to do. It was like seeing Bigfoot or Bigfoot's brother if we knew what his brother looked like. I patted him on the shoulder and told him it would be ok. I'm no authority on crying since one time a tear fell from my eye when I realized I had misplaced the other half of my cupcake that I had saved for later. It was very emotional. IT WAS SO GOOD, YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND. I was 28.

When my brother and I were growing up playing baseball if we got hit with a pitch he would shake his head if we would rub it. "Run to first!", He would yell since he didn't want his kids being weak. All those times I wanted to yell back, "I want to see you get hit with a 65 mph pitch, which if you take into account reaction times feels like 91mph, in the patella tendon old man!" Then I realized that would not help me get any Little League groupies so I ran to first. When I was 13 I was playing basketball and faked an injury so I didn't have to play. My dad went on to give a speech about strength of character and adversity which would have been the greatest speech of his life had he not got so animated that he rear ended the car in front of us.

Vince Lombardi drove at 10 and 2.

Like any well adjusted American teen I didn't like my parents growing up, but as I got older I realized I had osmostisized (unconfirmed word) a lot of their values in me. I've been lucky in the sense that I've been playing sports for almost 25 years and never had a serious injury. This is where someone would say "knock on wood" or my mom would shout, "Why would you say that? You'll probably get hit with a rock today." I hate when you're playing basketball and some drops a rock on your face. Note: Never play with Wile E. Coyote again. I've had small injuries here and there such as someone stepping on my hand or bent back fingers playing baseball, but never have I "let them see me sweat."

Except if it's humid out.

This past week while playing basketball I jumped and inadvertently stepped on someone’s foot. My ankle rolled and immediately it was that burning feeling that I’ve been told you get when ligaments are stretched. Instead of taking a break and calling it a day, I laced up the sneakers tighter and played for another hour. When I got home and took my shoe off my ankle ballooned up. On Monday I couldn’t even put my shoes on so I’m sitting at work in a business casual outfit wearing my high top sneakers for support. Even Jerry Seinfeld is embarrassed.

What’s the deal with business casual?!?!

My dad was never a big proponent of sympathy. After he got knee surgery he didn’t want anyone to help him get around. When he was sitting in a hospital bed after a heart attack his first question was, “when can I play golf again?” He’s a stubborn man. I’ve inherited some of that same stubbornness. The last couple days I’ve been limping around the office and you can feel the looks people give you. They look at you different. When walking the hallways I can see other people try to decipher if I’m hurt or actually physically disabled. More people have held the door open for me in the last two days here than the previous 6 months.

I never understood why people in wheelchairs or on crutches would get offended when you try to help them. I’m just trying to be a human being! But the reality is that they don’t want to seem different than anyone else. We shouldn’t treat people different based on their shortcomings or things they can’t do which is easy to say, but hard to actually put into effect. We WANT to help out those we think can’t help themselves. I love that some of my friends are even willing to ask if I want them to do stuff for me. It shows they care, but I would never take them up on it. I guess this is part of being a man’s man.

If for some reason Webster’s dictionary had an entry for man’s man that included a picture (which is ridiculous, how many dictionaries have pictures in them? What is this? An Archie comic?) you will probably see Clint Eastwood or Robert Redford. BUT if you look up Indian man’s man under 5’7” you would most likely see Gandhi, then other famous people, but my dad would be somewhere in there around 12,575th.

He’ll be the one in the sweatshirt.


I Looked Into The Past And All I Got Was a Shirt That Said "Future"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"When I turn 27 I want to be married and have AT LEAST 2 kids." Those were words I wrote down senior year of high school on my first day of Economics class. Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually wrote down, "In 10 years I want to be married and have at least 2 kids," but I wasn't sure how good everyone was with math so I decided to do the addition for the audience. I'm friendly. My economics teacher had won the lottery (or so went the rumor) so he was really freewheeling it during those first few classes until he eventually left us for early retirement. Why are we writing life goals for our future down in economics class? It made no sense. Shouldn't he have been teaching us about stock portfolios, high yield bonds, and the best currency in the world, the American Dollar? USA! USA! (It was 1997 when we ruled everything). I'm guessing he was imagining himself in Costa Rica eating dolphins and hanging out with lady singers.

We all know someone like that.

When I was home about a month ago I was rifling through some old things and noticed that notebook where I had written down about where I wanted to be in 10 years. It was right next to my 8 little league participation trophies and one horse's ass trophy I received for finishing last in my bowling league when I was 16. What if some people like horses' asses? Joke's on you my friend. That's how I comfort myself. Some of the other things I wrote down seem outlandish in retrospect. I wanted to start a division 1 baseball team at Syracuse, buy my dream house and have enough money to buy my parents one too, have a butler (Mr. Belevedere was still very popular to me), and own my very own arcade with various pop a shot games, skee-ball, and that one where you hammer the squirrels that pop through the hole to relieve my daily stress from being awesome. Teenage ambition is great when it involves bashing fake animals right in the medulla oblongata.

Suck on it PETA!

I chuckled at all of those things, but when I came up on the "married with kids" portion I stopped. Is that really what I wanted at 17? I'm guessing a lot of it stemmed from my parents being young when they got married and my thinking that the American value system being such that you're not really anything until you fall in love and procreate. They say that every path leads a different way, but looking back at the ten years between 17 and 27 I can't think of any way I could have changed to reach that goal I wrote down in economics class. I retraced most of my steps in that time frame and they all lead me to the same place. Getting drunk, run off the beach by cops for attempting to skinny dip in the Pacific, and eating copious amounts of pita in 2006.

All roads lead to hummus.

At 27 I wasn't even close to being ready for marriage. Yet when I was 17 being married must have seemed awesome since I wrote it down and had to read it out loud to a class of high school kids. If you don't bring your A game to a class of 25 high school kids you may as well throw a tomato in your own face.

Even as I turned 30 last fall and will turn 31 this fall (gulp) I still don’t know how close I am to marriage. I think I’m a little closer since I’m not funneling beer bongs at Dockweiler Beach anymore. Or maybe that makes me farther away. I was never good at distances. I wear contacts. I’m pretty sure life isn’t a Romantic Comedy where I’m going to run into a revolving door, a woman will giggle at me then we’ll go to coffee and fall in madly in love with The Middle East playing in the background. So the only way to know for sure is to go on dates and the fun part about turning 30 as a man is that some odd way you seem more desirable even if you have a little less hair and lot more grays in your beard. The older I get the less I seem to get violently rejected by women and more easily put down. Like Old Yeller.

Ah, spoiler alert.

Therein lies the rub. The more dates I seem to be going on the more I vacillate (big word alert, buy a big word translator) between wanting to just have fun and wanting to find the “one.” Some people say that when you meet someone you know instantly you want to be with them. I’m not so sure I prescribe in that theory because I believe chemistry can be developed. Are there some instances when forces are so strong that chemistry is apparent? Of course, but there are plenty of other instances of great couples that didn’t even like each other the first time they met. Please don’t ask me to name one, my Internet Machine is broken (see: lazy).

Sometimes after a date I think about how great it would be to wake up with that person and in the next 12 hours I think how great it is to have the bed to myself. Then I think about how great it would be to have someone to watch TV with and then I think man I’m glad I don’t have to share my pizza for one. A few weeks ago I wrote down, “Next person I sleep with will be the last person I sleep with.” Not that I was going asexual, but more that she would be the “one”. No more dates. Sure that’s entirely possible, but I don’t know if I want it to be probable. Every day is a different thought; every day is a different future. When I was 17 I wanted to know what I had at 27. Now that I’m 30 I still don’t know.

Except I really want to meet some lady singers.


A Walk To Attempt To Recreate Certain Events

Monday, August 1, 2011

"I don't remember." Ever since I was a little boy with coke bottle glasses I haven't liked those 3 words in succession. It's not that I don't like those words individually in other phrases though. "I like ice cream." "Don't eat the yellow snow." "I will remember you, do remember me? doo,doo,doo,doo,do." DAMN YOU ADIA. Growing up I always assumed the act of remembering certain things wasn't a "can't", it was more of a "won't." To me memory was something everyone should be able to do. I knew that some people have memory loss or diseases relating to memory and that's forgivable, but if you were a healthy person and didn't remember something I assumed you were an awful person.

The reason I grew up thinking that is because I remember most everything. I may not remember the exact date something happened, but I can relate it to other things to get myself in the ballpark (cliche alert.) I'm no idiot savant, but if someone tells me something there's a 99 percent chance I will recall the conversation. I'm not talking about important things like life and death matters or true tales of woe, I'm talking about mundane throw away lines that no one should remember. I can easily remember names as long as they've been told to me once in a sober state. At the risk of making this a 1000 word #humblebrag I'll say this.

Having a good memory is terrible.

I know there will be people rolling their eyes at that and that's fine mainly because I can't see you and am picturing you naked laughing with snork juice coming out of your nose. Delicious. You rarely meet people that say "I have a good memory." Most people are more humble and say, "Sorry my memory is really bad, what was your name again?" No one really challenges that because the majority of people can't remember things that happened once. OR even twice. The weirdness begins when I say, "Oh, yeah I remember you. Hey Janet. You wore that yellow sundress and your brother bought you a present on your 7th birthday that you hated so you cried until your mom returned it then your brother stole your diary the next day." It's usually at this point I get kicked in the groin and called a creep.

Now I always wear a cup.

Because I tended to remember the majority of what people told me growing up, I assumed everyone was like that. I soon realized throughout high school and college that not only was no one like me, but I was the weirdo. My mom would always forget things I told her. My dad called me and still calls me by my brother's name on the phone. I'm glad I didn't have a sister. The few friends I did have would forget when I told them I liked a girl or, in the sadly frequent scenario, just forget to pick me up to go places all together.

As I got older it only got worse for me. I would tell someone something, I'd see them or talk to them the next week, and they would say, "I don't remember." I instantly became offended when people didn't recall certain things. How could you forget my birthday? That I was wearing a Woodbridge High School t shirt? The middle name of my 7th cousin removed on my mom's side? ARE YOU NOT HUMAN?!?! I had become what I always feared.

A woman.

Women are given this wrap of being the sex that badgers constantly about certain dates, occassions, and first times, but that was me. Not only would I be offended, I would get angry and not talk to people for days, weeks, or even months. It strained my relationship with my parents, my friends, and everyone I dated. I ended a long term relationship because she forgot my Halloween costume when we first met. (True story). To me not remembering became synonymous with not caring. I was at the point where I thought I was so much smarter than everyone else that I was on the top of Mount Olympus and everyone else was at the bottom of Mt. Olympus, whatever that area was called. Probably Bottompus.

Since I felt that way, I did what I thought I should do. I shut everybody out. Starting at around 24 until I was 28 I didn't tell anybody anything about me. I would go out make some jokes, have some friends, but no one would know any details of who I really was. You can't get offended when you really don't say anything. A couple years ago I realized that acting like that was getting me nowhere. I ended up meeting people that were open and honest. They let people in so they could be let into their lives. It was refreshing and strangely comforting. Being offended when people said 3 little words was ridiculous.

Unless it is "cake is gross." No YOU'RE GROSS.


In the past couple years I've admitted things that I never thought I would. I haven't jumped down anyone's throat if they don't remember something or forget to return a phone call. It's taken a lot of learning and a lot of patience, but as of this day I feel better. I rarely, if ever, get offended by anything that anyone does. The other day my friend in an e-mail wrote, "Don't be offended if..." I just chuckled. If she knew 23 year old me she would have reason to be worried. But 30 year old me scoffs at 23 year old me.

But I won't forget.


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