Friday, March 4, 2016

The Matzoh Ball Theory of Genetics

It's true what they say. The matzoh ball doesn't fall far from the pot. Some things are so genetically ingrained that there's no escaping the mishegas. You want an example? Relax, you. I'm getting there in my roundabout way. When I was a young SJG, the term "playdate" hadn't been invented. Friends came over to play. There was no dating involved. Dating came later, with future hubby, but that's another story. One day, my friend Marnie from up the street came over to play. Even though we had a nice backyard, it was more fun to run around my room, thumping and chasing, throwing things and hiding in closets -- the exact activities I used to beg my sons to stop doing before the ceiling caved in. But please don't tell them that. I'd like to preserve the false notion that I was a perfectly-behaved child who never made a peep.

And so, in the middle of all that noisy fun with Marnie, my daddy, who often worked from home -- who invented the call-and-response, "What can't I stand?" "Happy children!" -- charged into the room, red-faced and panicky. "What's WRONG?!" "Nothing, Daddy." Back then, I didn't know that WRONG, according to the one and only Ben Starr, meant broken bones, concussions, trips to the Emergency Room. You have to be a worry-prone parental figure to think that way. Which leads us to yesterday's phone call from the youngest, regarding the eldest:

"Hi, honey."
"Hi, Ma, did you talk to Bill?"
"No. What's WRONG?"
"Nothing, Ma. He got tickets to the Kings game. I won't be home till later."
"So nothing's WRONG?"
"Everything's good."
"Thank God. Have fun."

Like I said. The matzoh ball doesn't fall far from the pot.

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