Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Favorite Child
Come on people. Jeezum. Every family with more than one kid has the "he's/she's your favorite" crap well entrenched into the family dynamic. My oldest brother was my mother's favorite. She would try to disavow it, but the years of accumulated incidents and situations told a different story.
Being at least of average intelligence, once I figured out how to use my mom's favoritism for my oldest brother to my advantage, I was okay with it. I figured out that included in the Mom Package that comes with pregnancy, a huge amount of untapped guilt is included. And since I was the average weasly little brother, I would dip into that guilt whenever it suited my twisted little mind. Parental overcompensation can be a wonderful thing when one wants to go to the movies or score those new high top Chuck Taylors that were silently screaming my name over to Brooks Sports Shop.
Of course it never worked on Dad. My dad was the traditional old school dad. He seemed to have little regard for any of us until we showed some smarts. That is the impression he gave anyway. All I remember hearing from him my first 15 years on this planet was, "When are you going to smarten up?" Eventually he either decided I had indeed smartened up or he just gave up worrying about it and accepted me for the idiot I was. We got along great once I hit my 20s. Well, there was the drug bust and bailing me out of jail thing, but oddly he never said a harsh word. Weird.
So after this news piece was over I asked my wife, "Did your mom have a favorite?"
She looked thoughtful for a second and said, "Well, Nancy was my dad's favorite. It was hard to tell with Mom. If she had a favorite, she hid it well................It was odd though. After the 6 year marriage to Bob (her first husband)was over, she did tell me she had never liked him."
I looked at her. "Did she like me?"
"Well, I told her that if there was a next time, I expected her to tell me what she thought of whoever I was hooked up with............"
She let me twist in the wind wondering whether Grannie liked me or not. Grannie was everyone's favorite. One of those blessed people that seem to be friends with anyone she meets. The consummate grandmother. She cooked, cleaned and held a family together with sheer will while her husband drank away his paycheck. I desperately wanted to know she liked me. Because I came to love her.
Bobbi let me twist a while and then she smiled. "Yeah, she liked you..........Don't have a clue why."
The timer dinged, the tuna melts came out of the oven and we sat down to dinner.