Browsing All posts tagged under »parents«

Related by Blood

May 17, 2014

83

When we were young, my cousins and I got together at least once a week. We all grew up in big, Italian-Catholic families that were in a constant state of competition — the fathers vying to see who could smoke the most cigarettes, and the mothers to see who could have the most babies. Holidays […]

If Not Now, Where?

January 14, 2014

71

My father often interpreted the misfortunes of others by saying that the person was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d explain that this could be a matter of either poor judgment or bad luck. “You could even be in the right place,” he’d say, “but at the wrong time.” I guess […]

Literally Confused

August 31, 2013

101

One day, when I was old enough to comprehend the words, but still young enough to be impressionable and immune to sarcasm, my mother made a startling announcement to me. “I don’t have eyes in the back of my head,” she said. She may have been washing the dishes at the time, or ironing shirts, […]

Life Isn’t Fair

September 6, 2012

103

My parents said a lot of things, and most of the time I had no idea what they meant. I was never sure if my inability to follow them was a reflection of my own ignorance, or if it was possible that what they were saying made no sense. “You can’t win for losing,” my […]

Ghosts of Christmas Past

December 23, 2011

126

One Christmas Eve in the early 1960s, my mother told me to go to bed, because Santa Claus wouldn’t come to homes where the children were still awake. This made sense to me. What made no sense, although I didn’t give it any thought at the time, was that the Christmas tree was set up […]

Chew On This

November 19, 2011

131

I’ve always wanted to be smart, I guess because I grew up in a time when smart people got some respect. Albert Einstein was considered the greatest genius anybody could imagine. He was so smart, he didn’t even have to comb his hair. In a room full of brilliant people, he still got to sit […]

Don’t Ask, Don’t Yell

September 30, 2011

934

As a young adult, I once heard someone say that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” This came as a great surprise to me, because not so many years earlier, stupid questions had been quite common. In fact, my parents had pretty much convinced me that I was a natural spring of inane […]