Critics won’t read it, but friends and family agree! Brad’s Blog is mildly amusing!!
Brad’s friend says!- “I smirked at that one part…”
Brad’s other friend comments!- “I almost finished reading one of them…”
Brad’s brother exclaims!- “Ha! Penislessness!”… which, when taken out of context, really doesn’t sound very flattering.
Brad’s mother says!- “It’s cute. Now go to your room, you’re grounded…”
Brad responds to his mother with!- “What do you mean, ‘I’m grounded’?!”
Brad’s mother responds back!- “We told you not to let anyone in the house while we were gone…”
Brad defends himself!- “Mom, I’m thirty-five years old. That happened in, like, 1984…”
Brad’s mom directs a perilous gaze!- “Do you want to make this worse?…”
Brad sheepishly surrenders!- “No…”
Mom conclusively remarks!- “Good. We’ll call you when it’s time for dinner…”
Brad’s father quips!- “And don’t put me in your blog…”
After reading the preceding sentence, Brad’s father says!- “I told you not to put me in your stupid blog. Now go to your room, you’re grounded. And quit typing everything we say.”
Sorry, that went a little further than I intended. The above silliness does, however, touch on something I will… touch.. on…(sigh).. later. Which is family dynamics. I had a few ideas for topics that I was considering this week, but after a pleasant get-together with my folks and brother this weekend, I got a new idea. Now, there is no way I can discuss my family’s dynamics in one blog post. That is something that may just come out over time, piece by piece. And some things I am certain not to divulge, as everyone does not need to know them. Plus I just found out that my mother reads my blog, and I don’t want her to kick my ass. Love you, Ma.
Family dynamics isn’t the main topic here, though. This post is about my need for attention. My parents brought up my blog during a conversation, and as we were talking, it became apparent to me that they actually liked it. With each positive comment they made, I felt a little warmer and fuzzier inside. Well.. warmer inside. Not fuzzier inside. That would be gross. Fuzzier outside, I suppose. Anyway, I guess you’re never too old for Momma’s approval. Before this weekend, I really didn’t know that they read it, and it occurred to me that I was kinda hoping that they weren’t. The reason for this goes way back to my childhood.. cue the wavy-fuzzying screen for the flash back.
As long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed attention. This has almost always come in the form of goofiness of some sort. My earliest memory of successful attention-snatching through goofy means was when I was about.. oh, six or so years old. I did a thing where when my folks had guests over, I’d go in my room, take off all my clothes, grab a blankie for a cape, and then jump out in the room where they were entertaining spread eagle while holding my blankie cape and yell “NAKED MAN!!!”… and then go back to my room and put my clothes back on. Apparently my mild-mannered alter ego was Clothed Boy. The stunt was often a hit. And the laughter was a high for me.
I guess part of the reason for my goofiness developing in that way was a mechanism for coping with the many bullies I have endured growing up (more on them in another post). But more so, I just grew up in a goofy family. We were emotional and expressive. You often didn’t know what you were gonna get. It was a house where two bad drawings into a game of Pictionary could lead to us screaming that we hate one another, followed by two
hours of airing out completely pent up frustrations, followed by one hour of making up and crying about how much we love each other. It was crazy, but it was fun! And there was always a lot of heart behind it. More times than not we were happy and we expressed things with humor. Just about all of my maternal relatives are like that.
Something I began to notice, however, is that my wit wasn’t quite as quick as other people in my family. I got a few good ones in there, from time to time, but usually something good wouldn’t come to me until long after a particular conversation was over. Sometimes I would even think of something late at night when I was in bed and think, “Damn! I wish I would have said that!” My uncle Randy and cousin Chad were probably the quickest wits. Always on spot and always hilarious. My bro and pop are excellent dead-panners. A total artform. My mom held her own and was always great with a silly face if nothing else came to mind. When I think of the quick wit of, say, Cousin Chad, I imagine a building yard in which there lie five to ten large cranes and a crew of a thousand men with power tools constructing a building and it being completed very quickly. When I imagine my own wit, I see a guy on some incomplete scaffolding with a tool belt, side-stepping slowly while lethargically hammering nails in a rickety structure that is unidentifiable.
My style was different. It required a little more time to think. It required sitting down with a pen and dazing at a wall while coming up with witticisms in some sort of semi-organized form. I wrote poems and limericks and little stories and other silly little stuff. I would come up with goofy skits with my brother that we would perform for my folks. We even made up a two-man band called the Ette Men, a name we borrowed from an episode of The Cosby Show. We sang stupid songs and we’d record whole movies that we dialogued onto cassette tapes to perform. I remember we did The Wizard of Oz and we made the tornado sound so real, it was awesome! Haha, it probably sounded terrible, but I remember it as awesome. Anyway, these things that Michael (my bro) and I did were always well-received. Unfortunately, Michael and I eventually underwent a power struggle for the band and went into a deep heroin-induced hiatus. The band never recovered.
The funny thing about this need for attention is that it always came with a minor twinge of guilt. I mean, being someone who needs attention comes off as kind of unseemly. It’s one thing to do it in your own home around your family, but to seek it in everyday public life is sort of sad, in a way. I can’t explain my need for attention. I don’t know why I like it, I just do. It’s like music by Mr. Mister. The individual components of Mr. Mister music suck. They look generic… They feature synthesizers as instruments… Their lyrics are overly analogous and whiney… And yet, I cannot deny that I enjoy listening to their
music. Then again, I like lots of sucky music. You know.. I always thought they should have made another album and called it Mr. Mister’s Mister. The album art would be of the lead singer behind a microphone that was misting water back on his face while his eyes are closed and his hair is blowing back and he has a contented, refreshed look on his face. Because that’s how their music makes me feel. Refreshed…… hmm.. It just occurred to me that that album art could come off as a little homoerotic. Wait… does Mr. Mister make me feel gay?! Hmm, perhaps it makes me feel refreshingly gay! I will have to listen to their music later and decide.
Anyway, sorry about that tangent…. Tangent Tears. “I cry when you’re not here… I keep crying tangent tears.. ooooo, ooohh…”.. Dammit, Mr. Mister, get out of my head!! I don’t want to be gay! That would really complicate my life right now!!
Sorry, where was I?.. blah blah blah, ‘need for attention’, oh yes. The guilt thing is also a staple of my family. I think it was. It definitely was for me. I felt guilt about stupid things. There was actually a period when I was a kid when I was so paranoid about God watching and listening to everything I did that every time I burped or farted I said
“EXCUSE ME” really loud and then followed it with multiple quieter “excuse mes” to make up for the thousands I must have passed as a baby before I could properly say the words “excuse me”. Eventually I realized I was a lunatic. My brother gave me hell about that for years. (More on my religious philosophies in another post… if I dare).
I always got the impression from my family that attention-seeking was not cool. My family, I felt, had a very thin, weird line between confidence and arrogance, and to show too much excitement about yourself was definitely not cool. Writing was a little bit of a loophole. I could get goofy attention without going out and doing a stupid dance for everyone. Or getting naked with a cape. My folks were always supportive of my writing and encouraged me to pursue it, but I really didn’t want it to be a job. I liked it too much to make it something I would hate. Deadlines.. Topics dictated to me.. Bosses ruining it.. These are all the things I hated about writing in school. Why would I want to make it a job? So I wrote stupid crap, when I had the time, where I could conveniently post it publicly. Loophole. Attention. Happiness. Guilt… Oh well, I guess that will never go away. Kind of sad, I suppose. But not as sad as how much time I put into that stupid geometry tangent tear joke. I am retarded.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my mother for verbally acknowledging her approval of this pathetically selfish endeavor. I love you. And I would like to thank Mr. Mister for taking over my crappy blog and for making me question my sexuality. I love you. … damn! Sigh… time to go have a talk with my wife.
For your listening pleasure… or displeasure, I give you Mr. Mister!