Happy Shave Your Beard Day!

Yessir it's another one of my random hidden links put in a bizarre place for no discernable reason! Whee!Now that I got that out of the way... (No, that's not me in the picture. Freaky though, huh?) I only maintain about 1/8" stubble (damn I'm rugged) so I couldn't really participate in the day's festivities in a literal sense. In lieu of scraping facial follicles, I offer up one of my private embarassing childhood moments. Don't ask me why, but I seem to find it cathartic to tell these to the entire world, allowing you to laugh at my expense and further hinder my prospects of running for public office. Please to enjoy.

I like to believe I'm a fairly intelligent and creative person.

Okay, I also like other people to believe it as well. In fact, I will admit on some level to needing others to believe it. I take obsessively take IQ tests. I pipe in (invited or otherwise) on trivial topics. I've even begun to score points vicariously through my genius daughter (*ahem* she is a prodigy.) I feed off of positive feedback in this area, to a certain degree. Insecure? When I consider my motivation as an adult for being a card-wielding member of Mensa, I confess that it is reminiscent of my childhood urge to be the first to raise my hand and smugly blurt out the answer. (Never mind the fact that other kids were never in "awe" of this behavior. More often than not, it inspired revulsion, not respect. After all, until you use your brain to win the jackpot on Jeopardy, no one likes a know-it-all.)

There. I came out and said it. That's my big character flaw. Well, maybe not THE character flaw. I know I have plenty more. I just don't feel like sharing those with you today. :)

Anyway, the reason I launched into this rant about my constant need for validation was to write about a particularly ridiculous example from my childhood. I can't be sure how old I was at the time, but I'm pretty sure it was around 5th grade. I wrote a poem on the Commodore 128. Errr... it wasn't an ode to the 128 (I wasn't that geeky), I just mean I composed it on the computer.

The poem was, no doubt, the mediocre ramblings of a pre-teen about darkness and the like. I printed it out and set it aside. When my father stumbled across it, he was curious about the content. In trying to recall the poem, I do remember it was titled, "The Void" and was fairly morose. Seeing the scene in my memory with the comprehension of a 33 year old father, I can see why he was asking. I didn't want to get into a psychoanalytical rap session with my dad so I blurted that it was for a school project and the topic was predetermined. I sincerely doubt he believed a word of it, but he let it go for the time being.

When I came home from school the next day, I returned to my poem with a marker and scribbled a sloppy A+ on the page and left it conspicuously in sight.

When my father saw it, he couldn't have possibly believed it was legitimate. In my attempts to avoid using my own handwriting for the "score", I used my left hand and wrote very slowly. The resulting A+ would have been plausible were it scribed by Stephen Hawking or my 2-year-old cousin. My dad simply smiled, rustled my hair, and said "great job, Justin!" He then stuck it on the refrigerator for my mom (and the world, it seems) to see.

Moments like these are like money in the piggy bank for fathers. The fact that my dad indulged his nihilistic and pathological boy rather than point out just how smart he was by seeing through the ruse just shows how emotionally intelligent he really could be for his loved ones.

I, on the other hand, was mortified. I exposed my darker broodings and then lied to cover them up! Now my weird visceral whinings were put on display to remind me of what I did. Who uses a computer to bare their soul to the world like that? (Pause for irony)

(I took the poem down before my mom came home.)

No comments: