I’m not sure what the major glitch in my twisted skull is, but I always think people are kidding with me. My team of therapists think that it’s obviously a result of my being part of an insane family, but should I blame everything on them? My being fat and my balding scalp – it’s because of my family genes. My being short – you guessed it. But crazy is something I never thought I could attribute to them until recently. I didn’t actually inherit the insanity – it was instilled in me. In any given situation, my go-to response is to assume that people are just kidding around with me. I get that not everyone is asinine like me and jokes around all the time, but I really say and do some dumb things in response to seemingly normal situations. I know, I know, that isn’t a shock to anyone that regularly reads my stuff, but in hindsight – I’m kind of like 92.2% asshole….
When I was younger, I was very gullible and would take everything at face value and believe it 100% only to be fooled time and again which has now twisted my adult mind. My mother would take us out to eat and then pretend she didn’t have any money to pay the check. A reasonable response to a situation is not a big deal, but me at 10 years old was not reasonable. I would sweat profusely and freak out which left me traumatized. She liked to get me and my sister riled up and then laugh at how we would get. She’d literally leave the table and pretend to call someone on a payphone because it would make me so anxious. She’d would come back and tell us to leave the restaurant quickly so they didn’t notice (even though she had already paid the bill) looking over her shoulder to play it up the whole time. My sister fell for it the first time, but got smart to the game quick. One would think after the tenth time of it happening, I might have caught on or stopped going out to eat with her, but no – I wasn’t that quick on the uptake. I didn’t realize that we hadn’t skipped out without paying until we were almost home…This bulb was never shining at 100 watts if you know what I mean.
Leading up to my sixth grade graduation ceremony also was a stressed out time for me. In reality, all I had to do was stand there while they called my name, but in my little bubble of the world, it felt like I was playing a major role in the orchestration of this event. I had tried for a solo first and would have been happy to just have been in the chorus as they sang “We are the World” but the Choir Director and I had differing visions for what talent was and he opted out of having me perform in public…You know it’s bad when the hearing-impaired kid gets a solo and I was shut out of even a chorus role but I didn’t let it get me down.
As if that wasn’t enough drama, my mother toyed with me over the weeks leading up to the ceremony by telling me that she was going to wear a hat made entirely out of fruit. I would have looked back now and thought that it was hysterical, but to an anxious little boy that had just been told dead cats had more rhythm and harmony than him – that was the last thing that I needed. It was another event and another opportunity for me to sweat profusely through my little boy tee and dress shirts – a habit I somehow never outgrew as I got older, although now when I sweat through my shirts it looks like saran wrap around chopped meat. I fidgeted uncomfortably for that whole ceremony and ran out the door to avoid any pictures or chance of seeing my sister sitting with my mother looking like Carmen Miranda. Of course, she didn’t wear that hat and I should have caught on when she wasn’t wearing it on the car ride over, but I was picturing her opening the trunk as we arrived and me passing out right there. I’m not sure if I was just really gullible or just really stupid…
As a result of all these times I was fooled, I developed a knee-jerk response of never believing things that normal people would. I don’t have the sense or sensory response to tell when I should believe anyone, so now I just don’t believe anything. Here are a couple of examples:
I went to see my spiritual advisors one Sunday morning to seek out the guidance I so obviously need when I realized that Barbara wasn’t there and that Susan was busy. I don’t usually do this, but I decided to see someone other than my regulars. I realize that you might think it strange that I have not one, but two spiritual advisors – but a twisted mind like this needs more than one. These are not your run of the mill psychics like the one I met on the street that told me I had a spiritual parasite and I went back and paid her another $90.00 for research on the off chance that it was true. These are professionals and they’ve been on-point with me many times; if they say jump – I say how high. I never stray from them, but I went against my better judgment and thought maybe a change could be good and tried someone new. I’d never met her before and had no knowledge of her skills so I saw down and thought it would be as comforting as it regularly was.
I wasn’t even seated with her for more than a minute as she shuffled and laid out the tarot cards when she looked at me with a quizzical gaze. The first words out of her mouth were “You think they’re something medically wrong with you, but it’s nothing serious – are you in pain?” I replied “Well, it’s probably just a brain tumor, but I get headaches all the time…” She looked at me like I had two heads and said “That’s not funny to joke about – I have a brain tumor!” Knee-jerk response anyone? I replied as if it was an instinct “You’re such a liar…who has a brain tumor?”
She laid down the deck of cards from her hands, placed each palm slowly on the table, and said calmly “What kind of sick person would joke around about having a brain tumor if they didn’t really have one?” “I would” I said and then leaned over to the psychic seated at the table next to her and inquired “Does this lady really have a brain tumor or is she just messing with me?” Another look of puzzlement mixed with disgust as the other psychic said “Of course she does, who would make that up?” “I would” I repeated to another strange look from her. Needless to say, it was kind of hard to get a good reading after that and apparently it’s rude to fact-check an “alleged” ailment from one’s peers. We started on the wrong foot and I was terrified to say anything else to her so there was no turning back. Maybe she really did have a brain tumor but come on – I may be old-fashioned, but it’s not really considered “nice” to act like that.
When I was in college, I never knew anyone’s last name. Hell, I was lucky to know some of my friends’ first names. I won’t blow her spot by saying who it is, but one of my good friends used to hook up with a fraternity guy named Shit Stain. Take that in for a second. I’m not one to judge, but how exactly does a girl have sex with a guy named Shit Stain? “Give it to me Shit Stain…Me Love you long time Shit Stain…” it just doesn’t flow and imagine what those neighbors think. That’s not the point of this though – the point is that I didn’t know his real name until almost two years after Graduation when I randomly saw him and his mother at the mall by the Fat Camp. I was walking and saw them so I said “Hey Shit Stain” when I realized that I didn’t know his real name and probably shouldn’t have call him Shit Stain in front of his mother. She was like “What did you call my son? His name is John.” “It is? I had no idea” I told her. He was obviously embarrassed and then his mother was like “Why did he call you Shit Stain?” They walked away and I’m sure that car ride home was really fun. When I asked my friend if she knew that Shit Stain’s real name was John, she tried to act like she knew it all along. I’m still not convinced she knew before I told her, but like I said no judgments; some girls will let a guy named Shit Stain hit it and quit it….
So, as you can tell, not knowing people’s names was always a problem with me in college. One day I was on my way to audition for the show that the Theatre Department was putting on when I saw the Dean of the college sitting in the waiting area. “What’s that Fat Fuck Dean Marine doing here?” I said to a bunch of my friends who had shocked looks on their faces when I entered the auditorium. No one said a word; they just kept looking at each other like a deer in headlights. I asked again “No one knows what that Fat Fuck Dean Marine is doing here? Is she auditioning too” Another round of stares until Katie opened her mouth to speak. She looked kind of mad and with a nasty tone infused through her response, said “that’s my mother you’re talking about.” Of course I didn’t believe her. “That Fat Fuck is your mother? She shook her head in response, but I just couldn’t process it. “What are you talking about? That Fat Fuck is your mother? You’re such a liar!” “She is” she replied and I turned towards another friend John and said “Is that Fat Fuck Dean Marine her mother?” When he shook his head yes, not quite sure what to say “I turned back to her “That Fat Fuck is really your mother? I can’t believe it” She was pissed by this point and said “Stop saying that!” “I’m sorry I just cannot believe that Fat Fuck is your mother.” She walked away shaking her head and disgusted as the other people in the circle attacked me “What is wrong with you? You just called her mother a Fat Fuck like six times. She’s never going to forgive you – Why did you keep saying it after she said it was true?” Is that really her mother? I don’t believe it…I thought she was kidding. And she is a Fat Fuck – I can’t stand her…” Needless to say Katie and I weren’t buddies anymore after that – it’s kind of hard to get past calling someone’s mother a Fat Fuck…that cuts deep. And really, how was I supposed to know that Fat Fuck was her mother?
One would think I’d learn my lesson after all these years, but I am constantly opening my mouth while my foot is being strategically placed into it. Stupid is as stupid does, and I’m not that bright…