Tuesday, June 25, 2002

The Olsenborns

I was talking to my sister (who we will call Katie) this weekend on the phone. She was lamenting a bit about how our even younger sister (who we will call Jamie) "gets away with everything." I laughed, of course, because I'm the oldest. I was the kid who got slapped and had my mouth washed out with soap for asking the question "Mommie, what does 'fuck' mean?" Granted, I thought this would get a huge laugh because I had just got done asking "What does 'fart' mean?" and that got a pretty big laugh. Surely "fuck" was worth at least as big of a laugh.

So I described to Katie how she in fact got away with shit that if it were me I would have had both hands and my tongue cut off. The oldest kid always has it the hardest, because the parents are new at the game, and they don't know what they should and should not flip out over. For instance, if I had "borrowed" one of my parents cars when I was fourteen much like my sister Katie did and went out for a joyride, I think they might have locked me in the basement. Forever. Katie would get grounded for a month. In which time she'd wait until Mom and Dad would leave the house on errands/shopping/whathaveyou and she'd take the other car. This happened even after she got her license and was grounded from her own car. Needless to say, she's actually an excellent driver from all of the experience.

So anyway, we're on the phone having a good laugh about all of this, when I hear Katie say "ass" on the phone. No big deal. She's an adult now. But I hear my Dad yell something in the background. What's this I ask?

"Oh, Dad's just 'mad' because I'm using his word again."

Huh? His word?

"Yeah, we all have assigned swear words."

This is just beyond outrageously unfair at this point. Just until last year or so, my Mom didn't even like it when I, a grown man of thirty, would swear on the phone.

"We all have our own swear words. Mine is 'fuck.' Mom's is 'shit.' And Dad's is 'ass.'"

What about Jamie?

"She's not old enough to have a word yet."

Of course Katie stole my word. Actually, my word right now tends to be "horseshit" or "cocksmoker." The funny thing is that this all sounds very white trash, which my family is anything but. They actually live in a house almost as big as the Osborn's (not quite as lavish, anyway). Dad drives a Beemer, Mom drives a Beemer. (I drive a Honda Civic, so don't start with the "you poor baby" bit!).

At any rate, it all seemed so Osbornian to me (if "Osbornian" indeed qualifies as a word), and I never saw The Osbornes (sp?) as even anything remotely like my family.

I guess there's a little dysfunctional in all of us. Or at least just me, anyway.

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