Tag Archives: dark

A Pen Is A Pen Except When It’s Not.

2 Oct

Yesterday I stopped by my parents house to check on my Dad who is recovering from minor back surgery. My parents live about 3 blocks away from me, I see them every few days at least for a minute or two. Of course I found my Dad was already back to his usual workaholic self sitting at his desk staring at his 3 ginormous side by side computer monitors with an Italian Opera blasting in the background.

He immediately lights up when I walk into the room, as he usually does, which is a really nice quality to have in a Dad. He then hands me what looks like a large pen and says, “I bet you think that’s a pen don’t you?” if there is one thing I have learned from growing up with a father like mine it’s that whenever he gets that weird tone in his voice, it’s best to just back up a few feet. Over the years I have had gadgets explode in my face, bugs crawl out of nowhere, and had the living daylights scared out of me by this man. Even though he is highly educated and articulate I think he relishes in his crazy inventor status more than anything else.

So when he hands me the pen, that is obviously not a pen, I hand it back and took 4 steps back. He then began to explain to me that I really shouldn’t be walking the streets unarmed and defenseless. I can already see where this is going. “Dad, listen. If anything comes shooting out of that pen I am going to be really pissed off.” I tell him. He is now laughing hysterically, laughing so hard that I’m nervous he’s going to fall off his chair and re-injure his back.

At this point my brothers come in to see what all the hoopla is about. Things can only go downhill from here. They both know of my extreme fear of the dark. They love taunting me about T-A-R-A-N-T-U-L-A-S, and I am the only one out of the family that hasn’t been to the shooting range. I have a major fear of a hot shell casing hitting me in the face, which I don’t think is totally unreasonable.

The boys begin handing the non-pen pen back and forth, I’m now crouching down hiding behind the door. They are all laughing hysterically and a few things are becoming clear to me.

1. I really like having a Dad who’s slightly eccentric.
2. Not everyone has a Dad who can say he is a Dreamer, a Doer, a Believer and can make something out of nothing.
3. I love having brothers. Even when they mess with me, it makes me feel loved.
4. I hate weapons. Even weapons that are disguised as pens.
5. I hope the people I love see how I light up when they walk into a room.
6. It is never ok to use a Flowbee to cut all your 5 kids hair, even if you do have respect and admiration for the inventor.



Birth order blues

7 May

I’m afraid of the dark. Alright I am deeply terrified of the dark. My friend JL Says it’s because I’m part Canadian. I can’t really put my finger on the exact origin of the phobia, but its real and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I never walk into a pitch black room to find something that I left behind, I always turn the lights on before proceeding into the abyss. I never sleep in complete darkness without a substantial light source within reach. I never dangle my legs over the side of the bed, that’s just asking for trouble.

I can trace some of it back to my Dad who is famous for his “sound effects.” Apparently in Romania they were so deprived that they had nothing better to do other than to scare the shit out of each other. I can remember being about 4 years old and sitting on the toilet and hearing spooky wind noises coming from the doorway. As if a newly potty trained child isn’t jumpy enough, my father thought it would be a good practical joke to play on his youngster. There was also the time he snuck me on Space Mountain at Disneyland when I was about 3 years old and I vomited the rest of the day, as told to me by my Mother. Maybe it all started when he took my sisters and I camping and told us the story about the bear that chased him and my Mom at night into the lake and almost ripped them to shreds.

I called my Dad and asked him if he realized that all these exposures might be the reason I am scared of the dark to this day. I reminded him of these stories and countless other times he scared the daylights out of the 5 of us kids. He was laughing so hard on the other side of the phone he couldn’t even speak. It took a good few minutes for him to get a hold of himself. Finally he spoke: “Leslie, I did the best I could, I was trying to desensitize you so you would be strong. Sorry if I messed you up. You were our first after all.”

There you have it folks. I may have some quirks and fears, but I am the first born after all. When HB calls me in 30 years and asks me why she is the way she is I will tell her the exact same thing. Sorry hun, every parent messes up kid number one.


Where are you in your family’s birth order? Does it make a difference?

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