Family, everybody has one. People who will more than likely embarrass you whenever they get the chance. I’m no exception. But instead of embarrassing me the traditional ways, like not telling you your girlfriend used to be a man, my family embarrasses me by something as simple as just raising me. And the thing is, they probably aren’t aware they’re doing it. And that’s what so sad, which is why I’m so screwed up.
I come from a small family…. my parents are midgets. Well, not really. But there are only three kids in the family. All boys. I’m the middle child. I didn’t get to be responsible, nor did I get treated like a baby. I did, however, get hand-me-downs. I hated these old, raggedy clothes. But I guess it’s better than getting hand-me-ups. I’d hate to be in a position where my mother says, “Jason, these Yoda underoos used to belong to your younger brother (Ron). See if they fit.”
That’s how it was when we were younger. I grew up with immigrant, Oriental parents, where although things may have seemed normal, they really weren’t. But to a child, I didn’t know. I believed every family dealt with the same things, like eating rice with every meal. We had a rice cooker on the counter. I thought that was normal in every household in America. That was until I started hanging out with people with different backgrounds, like white people. My white friends were amazed every time I asked them where their rice cooker was. And every so often, they would humor me and tell me it was by the Oriental rug.
But getting back to my parents…..
It’s amazing, all the kids are grown up, and I still don’t get to be responsible, nor do I get treated like a baby. But I still get hand-me-downs. Instead of clothes though, it’s parental advice. “Jason, your father and I were telling your older brother (Rich) to save money. You should do the same.”
My two brothers get to be responsible and treated like a baby, respectively. It’s probably because Rich has a wife and two kids. So the responsibility comes with the territory. But Ron, who’s in college now, still gets treated like a baby. It’s almost as if my mother doesn’t want to let go of her last child yet. She’s always saying, “Human beings are not like technology. You don’t just rush things.” I never understood what she meant until I dissected the statement. And now I agree with her, because if human beings were like technology, a baby would be born with a cordless umbilical cord.
My younger brother doesn’t get pampered or anything, I mean he is potty trained and all; rather he gets treated like a baby in other ways. Friends of my mother would ask about the kids.
“How is the youngest doing in college?” “He’s just great,” my mother would say. “How old is he now?” “He’s 2,400 months,” my mother would continue.
Isn’t it time to let go? I can’t stand it when people, mothers especially, do this. Who are they to push math problems onto you?
I have a friend who recently had a child. I asked her how old her baby is and she replied, “She’s 18 months.” Now I’m thinking, 12 months is one years old, so 18 months must be, 1 1/2 years old. Why can’t she just say that instead of 18 months?
If she asked me how long it took to drive to her house, I wouldn’t respond with, “It took 168 minutes.”
People who do this, especially women, want to justify algebra teachers’ reasoning when they say, “There will be instances in your adult life when you need to form an equation that begins with X equals.”
So by having a friend like this, the equation looks similar to: X = 18/12, X = 3/2 or X = 1 1/2. That’s what my life has come to when dealing with this woman, X X X X X X. And now that I think about it, if I ever married this woman, she would very quickly be… my ex. But knowing her, having flunked out of high-school, she wouldn’t know what X equaled.
With nothing changing in my two brothers’ lives, why should anything change in mine? This way of thinking I have adopted from being raised by my family puts me in very awkward situations. I just can’t live my life; grocery shopping, banking, doing laundry, etc. I have to put up with people looking at me funny, wondering how out-of-whack stories appear in my brain.
This leads to people now approaching me asking “Jason, where do you get the ideas from when you write humor?” And I tell them, from my family. But that’s not all. So, I will go through a typical day of my simple, yet fulfilling lifestyle. This, in order for me to make it through the bank in under one minute, because who knows, I may be robbing it.
First of all, I write 15-20 jokes every morning. Then, later that day I look at them again and determine which are still funny. I note them, then later that night I look again and determine which are still funny. People go through different moods and some may be less humorous as the caffeine or drugs sink in (so if you aren’t laughing at this, please read again hours later, or take more drugs).
Then, if I still laugh at one, I keep it, and the others I rewrite or put aside for another day. A comedian once told me, “Write down every idea that comes to mind because you never know.” He was right, when I get strapped for jokes, I open up my folder, usually filled with old wrinkled bar napkins, back of business cards, and matchbooks with lines that read, “midget, urinal, threesome.” Stuff like that. When I see that, something sparks my insane mind and jokes surface from ideas written in the 80’s. The only problem is, being old ideas, I’m forced to talk about Reaganomics and Bebe Buell. After that, I sit through an hour of yoga and meditation, followed by a rigorous exorcism to rid the many voices from my head. So you see, I’m actually really quite normal.
So that’s it. The entire process. What people think is embarrassing, to me it’s my life. Thanks mom and dad.