A few weeks ago, I bought a Cadillac. Nice car! Every bell and whistle! I’m very happy. On Easter Sunday, I went to our family gathering and my mother told me that my father was probably happy now that one of his sons finally got a Cadillac. Finally, after 54 years, I have my father’s approval.
Tonight, as I often do, I called my mother as I was driving home from work. She caught me up on her weekend, said that she was tired, talked about an upcoming wedding, Mothers’ Day, and her new computer. This led her to saying that she had read my blog. She told me that she didn’t realize that I used such showy words, like my father. She also said that she didn’t realize that my father was such a good speaker until she went to a meeting where he gave a talk. Less than a month after I bought a Cadillac and earned my father’s approval, my mother is comparing me to my father in a good way. Cool! I’m ready, Lord. Take me now!
Then she says, “… but you made a mistake. You used ‘there’ when you should have used ‘their’.” Thanks, Mom.
(At least she didn’t comment with the correction. “Ricky,…….there……their…..”)
OK, everything above is true and the end was a bit of a tease, but I really do want to thank my parents for giving me a good record collection. So many people grow up with: “Don’t talk to strangers.”, “Don’t make waves.”, “Be satisfied with what you have.” I grew up with, “We expect great things.”, “You can do anything. Anything!”, “Don’t worry about them, march to your own drummer.”
I remember being in elementary school and having all of my friends berating me because I said that Frank Sinatra was a better singer than the Beatles. My wife saw the Beatles “live” twice. She wishes she saw Frank “live” once. My wife might agree with me now, and even my friends might agree with me now, but let me tell you that it was pretty difficult being “different” in elementary school. I owe that strength to my parents.
OK, so is this just about how awesome my parents were, or is there some kind of lesson here? Here’s the lesson. We all have records in our head that were put there during childhood for our own protection. Two things: First, our parents had to put them there. It was their job. Second, we can’t stop them from playing. They’re automatic. Look both ways before you cross the street. Chew your food before swallowing. Use the bathroom before you go on a long trip. All very important. Also important are: Don’t talk to strangers. Not now! It’s not polite to talk about money. When I say “No”, I mean “No.” These can be killers when you’re trying to sell and there are hundreds of records and you can’t stop any of them from playing. Sometimes I pay attention to the records that my parents gave me. Sometimes I don’t. The trick is hearing the record and being able to say, “That doesn’t apply in this situation.”
If you don’t know what records are holding you back, a good place to start is to contact me and have yourself evaluated. If it turns out that you have a lot of work to do, don’t be upset, it just means that you had good parents who wanted you to be safe, secure and normal.
Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad! For making me the way that I am.