Sunday, March 23, 2008


Tonight I was reminded that I am my father’s son. I was making my usual rounds through the museum merrily turning off lights like an Al Gore adept when I realized that I’ve annoyed nearly all the cleaning people by obliviously turning off the lights in the galleries they are cleaning at some point or other. I was reminded of how irritated I used to get when Dad would turn off the light switch at the top of the basement steps plunging my notes into darkness as I struggled to finish a history paper I had started too late. I’m just like him. I get so much satisfaction turning off the lights and saving energy.

Then again the other night when I was watching Noam Chomsky’s favorite economist Michael Albert chew his fingernails on stage after he explained his anti-socialism, anti-capitalism, pro-working people plan for the world, I thought of all the times I was so embarrassed by the way my dad would sometimes would whip out his handkerchief and clean his nose (while he was waiting to speak) in front of whatever church he was giving meeting at. I don’t do the nose cleaning so much I think, (although Jennifer might disagree), but I do sometimes chew my nails when my mind wanders and sometimes this is in front of other people who probably wonder what kind of farm I was raised on.

Well that’s the kind of person you produce when you home-school them. Poorly socialized kids like all those environmentally-aware children in California who stay home and read books filled with words they could never pronounce out-loud until their eyes are tired and their flashlight batteries die. Those are the kids that build little fantasy worlds in their backyards and entertain themselves for hours with internalized narratives of adventure and imagination mostly having to do with Indians or anything related to Jack London (Did White Fang turned me into a Marxist?). They might even ride their bikes 10 miles every afternoon so they can play a modified game of baseball with their equally homeschooled friends or walk over to their Amish neighbors to help them shuck up some cornstalks -- that is if their mom hasn’t assigned them to kitchen duty or garden tilling.

I never did play organized football though, and I mispronounced the word “archive” until I was in college.


Blogger Meredith said...

One of the tricks of success in life is to not get too discouraged about the small mistakes in life and be careful not to make the big mistakes.

For example, in my opinion, if you had decided not to marry Jennifer, that would have been a big mistake!

So, you just turn off all the lights, chew your fingers, mispronounce words and whatever other little mistakes you want to make and focus on keeping on making good decisions in the big things.

You are my favourite son-in-law!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Bubbsyte said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous millermama said...

I think I knew that a long time ago. Really what work did you do? Darren you lasy boy.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Geamy said...

"whatever church he was giving meeting at."

"Prepositions are not words I end sentences with." --Eugene Meltzner

5:53 AM  

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