Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Solar Panel

Growing up in with my family had many advantages. One of the most valuable (at least in my opinion) is the sense of humor that each of us inherited and thrived upon.  Our parents (mainly Dad) wouldn't hesitate to poke fun at us, especially at stupid things we did.  It was all done in jest and he made sure to tell us that it was all in good humor and that no malice was intended; plus Mom would always follow up with some form of "we love you just the way you are, but that was really funny" making sure that we didn’t feel ostracized.

Because of this profound upbringing we have all developed a sense of humor that allows us to laugh at our own faults, traits, and/or actions.  We can be kind of relentless towards each other, always with a smile and always with the intent to make the other laugh.  This can backfire.  I distinctly remember a time when we (I think just the four guys) were at a restaurant.  As usual jokes were flying back and forth and we were having a great time.  We also, as we often tended to do, attempted to bring the server into the conversation each time she came to the table.  She greeted us and was caught slightly off guard but the slightly off color implied joke (made by Dad) but took it in stride and went off to place our order. Her second visit resulted in a tag team of veiled comments, plenty of nudges, winks, and a lot of say no mores.  She very obviously couldn't tell if we were being serious or not and may or may not have left table in tears (we were too busy laughing  to notice much).  Keep in mind that we were not being mean or insulting, were we just poking fun and she got flustered.  Turned out it was her first week and she was still learning the ropes and wasn't expecting a bunch of double entendre and thinly veiled self deprecation.  She eventually got an apology and a fairly big tip. 

It wasn't until a few years later that I realized that this wasn't common for most families.  We were playing poker at my house and at the table was Dad, FCJ, myself, and a few others.  The insults started flying, particularly around my father's lack of height as well as the growing prominence of his bald spot. It got to the point where one of the other players finally came to his defense:  "Leave him alone.  You've been pestering him since he sat down." To which I replied: "It's ok, he's my Dad."  This was met with mixed results.  Some, the older few, thought I was being disrespectful  while the younger crowd though I was justified, especially when he started throwing insults back.

This is why I get a little sad when I see things like this:

The first thing that comes to mind it that I would love to share this with (purchase for) Dad, then I remember that I can't.


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