I know for a fact my dad did hard time before I was born. And I don't mean a weekend in county for pissing out of his window into a Burger King drive-thru as one does when they turn 16 and get a car. I mean years in a high-security facility. No one has ever told me the whole story, I just know some of the newspaper details that I had to look up on my own because what he did made the damn newspapers. It involved a high-powered rifle and the downtown core of the town he lived in. I'm from some primo stock.
Growing up, my dad was accomplished at three things -- watching TV, napping in between bouts of watching TV, and lifting his leg to fart while watching TV. I never would have guessed he was a hardcore felon. Upon learning he was a hardcore felon there wasn't really anything to do or say, it just made me mistrust my entire childhood and wonder how many other lies were creeping just below the surface of everything I ever believed. You know, that old story.
Your parents absolutely did something stupid. They drank, they did drugs, they shot up a few cop cars, whatever it was. They did it and they've probably been strutting around acting all responsible ever since, when the truth is as grim and stupid as anyone else's.
They've Definitely Picked A Favorite
If you're not an only child, there came a time in your life when you concluded you were probably better than your siblings and you needed confirmation of this so you asked your parents who their favorite was. Most parents probably hit up the classic "I love you all the same" line, because how could any parent ever pick favorites amongst their precious little spawn? Make no mistake, they were lying their asses off.
Your parents had a favorite. Of course they had a favorite. Who loves any two things the same? What does that even mean? That's a bullshit thing to say. Only a kid who never requires any justification could ever fall for that. You love tacos more than burgers. You love your Keds more than old bread bags tied at your ankles, and by God you love the kid who doesn't suck more than the kid who kind of sucks.
Or the kid you contemplate dropping off in the woods to fend for themselves for a few weeks.
If you recognize your brother is an asshole, chances are your parents did, too. Where do you think adult assholes even come from? Was there any chance Donald Trump's mother went to bed every night without once thinking, "the fuck happened here?" Now it doesn't mean your fuck-up brother isn't well loved. Your folks may love your fuck-up brother so much they'd die for him, no questions asked. But maybe they'd die for you and leave more to you in the will, too.
By the same token, you may one day have come to the realization that your parents probably questioned, out loud, to each other and to friends, if your head was actually lodged inside your own ass. Probably more than once. Anyone who has kids now or has friends with kids has very likely noticed the degree with which parents will, all lovingly of course, just trash talk the hell out of their kids when they do something dumb. And why not? You've probably called your best friend a shithead at some point in your life because they acted all shitheady; it's no different when it comes to kids.
The hardest thing to realize about parents is that, if they weren't your parents, they'd be you. They'd be your friend, your coworker, the asshole who cut you off on the way to Applebee's or the asshole who suggested you eat at Applebee's. They didn't know anything more than you do for the most part, but they probably spent most of your life duping you into thinking they did because that's the privilege of being a parent -- totally bullshitting your kids in the hopes they turn out mostly okay.
For more check out 5 Things No One Tells You About the First Year of Parenthood and 7 Things 'Good Parents' Do (That Screw Up Kids For Life).
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