July 19, 2011 by David Gillaspie
It Starts Early (edited after being told on)
0. Are you the right gender? Check early pictures to see if you’re wearing the right clothes. If you’re a guy and your baby pictures look like a girl, relax. General Douglas MacArther wore a dress and long hair as a child. It was the fashion, and it didn’t hurt him.
Besides, if you grow up confused, you’re not giving your family good reason to hate you enough. They’ll either try and fix the cross-dresser, or recylce old skirts and dresses.
1. If someone in your family weighs over three hundred pounds and you don’t, they hate you. They think you’re sickly, that you have no appetite, and you’re afraid to face the truth. Turn down a bag of pork renderings and you’ve got an enemy for life.
2. If you’ve ever tried to help a family member lose weight, and they didn’t, it’s your fault and they hate you. Why? You weren’t there for them at 3:30 in the morning when they sleep-walked to the freezer and sleep-ate a quart of Double Chocolate Good And Nutty followed by a column of Oreos.
Don’t ask how they opened the containers and packaging in their sleep. They already hate you for not being there when they needed you, it’ll only get worse if they think you don’t believe their sleep-skills.
3. If you always show up for family events, they’ll hate you. If a niece has a ball game and you show up, it denies them the joy of thinking you had better things to do. Participating in your siblings’ kids’ lives doesn’t mean they’ll invite you to their weddings later. They know you’ll show up.
4. If you graduate from college, they’ll hate you. It’s the same if you don’t. Worst of all is when you don’t graduate on time. Take fourteen years to earn a four-year degree and they’ll hate you for not getting it in three. Don’t expect words like ‘way to hang in there’ or ‘how did you do this working full time, raising a family, and buying a house.’
Your family will blame you for graduating from college instead of congratulating you. A college degree for the non-traditional student is more a stain of failure than a celebration of fortitude. It’s proof that you couldn’t stick it in the first four years.
5. If you live in a town with more than two stop lights, they’ll hate you. What do you expect, city slicker. Your town has stop lights and people stop. If you ever find yourself in a car with a family member behind someone at a stop light, be ready to hear “I don’t know how you deal with this traffic. How can you live in such a rat hole.”
6. If your girlfriend or wife comes from someplace other than your high school, they’ll hate you. The local girls weren’t good enough? You think you’re better than them? It’s worse if you wait until you graduate from high school to get married.
If you play the field for a week between your graduation party and your engagement party, you’ll wear the scar for life. Having more than one girlfriend in a lifetime is a reason for an intervention and a trip to sex addict re-hab.
7. If you’re the only one of your siblings with military experience, they’ll hate you. Did you go to a war zone? No? Did you kill anyone? No? Then what’s the difference between the military and Boy Scouts, they’ll think.
Is the Army harder than bow hunting an elk and carrying it out of a canyon? Didn’t think so. Is getting jacked-up in the pugil stick ring harder than living in an icebox? Probably not. If you stayed in for your entire enlistment time and got out with an Honorable Discharge, you’re a quitter. If you make it a career, then you’re a loser who is afraid of the real world.
Why is this list only seven entries long instead of seventeen or twenty seven? Because seven is enough to make you wonder if you’re doing your share for family unity. Do you mend fences? Do you stay in touch? Do you follow through on promises? If you do, then you’re doing your part.
The old laws of physics says you can’t go two directions at once. The new laws say the same thing. If you have a family, then do the right thing and power through.
Don’t be afraid of showing a little kindness along the way, they’ll really hate that.