I’m becoming my parents. More and more every day. As a woman, I knew turning into my mother was inevitable, but my father?! The Fanny Packer?! Hell to the no! (Heh heh…I said Fanny…Packer. Get it? In retrospect, saying this about my father is beyond gross on several levels so…)
Both of my parents were wise. Both were giving. Both were given to temper. I think some of this comes from two people coexisting for 18 years. Even though I wouldn’t count them as one of the great love affairs of our time, they did have a certain level of respect for one another as partners, so the grew from each other in many ways. But then there are nuances that are specific to each of them that I have managed to absorb.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the evidence:
Exhibit A: The Squint (Daddy)
Ladybug: *to me as I look at the computer* Ooooh, I see why everyone says you look like Paw Paw.
Me: *horrified to the Universe* NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
My pops has this very distinctive squint. The only other person I’ve witnessed even come close to replicating it, is my aunt; and apparently, me. It’s a combination of raising his head, looking down, squinting so that his two front teeth are exposed and wrinkling his nose. Sort of like a middle-aged near-sighted bunny rabbit…with forehead wrinkles…and thick black hair…and enlarged pores-LOOK! The point is, someone snapped a picture of me doing this, and I wanted to die. At 34, the last thing you want to hear is that you look like a middle aged man.
Exhibit B: Literal translations of everything (Mama)
My mother enjoyed arts and music, but once things passed the realm of what she decided was “decent,” you could cancel Christmas. One of our most hilarious memories of our mother is when she was trying to be cool. Her idea of being cool was letting us listen to rap music. I was 11, and “Supersonic” came on. See, I loved to beat box, so Baby Dee was my hero, therefore, her verse was my favorite.
Me: *mimicking the radio, word for word* You see my beat box is fresh, it’ll blow ya mind/and if you don’t like my beat I’ll go DIG ON YO BEHIND! *proudly doing the snake*
Mama: *horrified* DIG IN YO BEHIND?! *click*
My ass was Supersonic no no more.
Fast forward to 2010. The radio is on, and Trey Songz’s “Bottoms Up” came on.
Finge: *mimicking the radio, word for word* Oooh, oh oh OHHHH! IT’S MISTA STEAL YO GIRL!
Me: *totally unamused* That’s how people get stabbed. *click*
Exhibit C: Calling the kid into the toilet (Mama)
I staved it off for YEARS, but I managed to have received that gene where I have to forget something each and every time I go to take a shower. Of course, once I’m in, I can’t leave until it’s mission accomplished. I may never get back in here. My son escapes this bit of indignity, but my poor daughter does not. To add insult to injury, I found myself yelling at her “DON’T LOOK!” One day she gave me the “BITCH? WHY? WOULD? I? EVER?” stare. I managed to stop saying that to her.
Exhibit D: Deep Sigh Followed By “Alright” then the explosion (Daddy)
You can literally tell my father anything. Anything. He’ll give a disappointed sigh, then seem non-plussed.
Me: Daddy, I just shaved my head, joined a cult and married the reincarnated spirit of Saddam Hussein.
Daddy: *Deep sigh* Alright Mel.
But once you get that alright, you better know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold em. ANY subsequent information you provide is liable to set off Mt. St. Pops. It’s typically the most innocuous thing in your laundry list of shenanigans.
Me: Yeah dad. We robbed a bank, sacrificed two virgins in pagan ritual and I shot a senior citizen for making fun of my blue socks.
Dad: BLUE SOCKS?! BLUE SOCKS?! Look, I didn’t work at the phone company for 30 years and sometimes take on two jobs for your ass to run around this city wearing blue socks. I really don’t know what to say about you. My GOODNESS! Blue socks *off the phone to the step0mom “yeah…BLUE! I know!”* So, you’re just a blue sock wearer huh? Hmph. I’m gonna have to call you back. I’ll call back you AND your blue socks.
I have become a delayed reaction person myself. My kids can tell me any bad thing they’ve done, but they’d better cut their losses.
Me: WHAT THE HELL YOU MEAN YOU RAN OUT OF PAPER?! So I go to work for you to not bring paper to class. You just want to be a paperless student? Just…borrowing paper from everybody you see, huh?
Son: But…the principal is in the trunk though. This doesn’t bother you? Because I’m pretty sure it really should…
Me: Well, does she have your paper?!
It makes no sense. I’m working on it.
I always knew about the curse, “I hope you get one just like you.” Apparently the unsaid portion of that is, “And you’ll be just like me.” I thought it would really bother me. I thought it would make me feel old, and tired, and maybe just a little defeated with the knowledge that I in fact do have to deal with myself as a child. Then I remember that they handed me the blueprint.
Truth be told, I’m not so sure I mind this metamorphosis at all.