It’s my parent’s anniversary on Monday, which means they will have been married for twenty-four years. It’s fantastic, they’re in love, but most imporantly
guys can I borrow a couple bucks? they’ve been pretty exceptional parents.
Seriously, just a few. Like a few dollars? Maybe PayPal it or send it to my Chase, I kind of have a coffee drinking problem and I don’t know how to get rid of it. I have decided to stop drinking soda again, though, so don’t worry! Your money won’t be wasted there.
In honor of their bliss, I have written 24 things I like about them, things they have taught me, advice I liked and/or hated, and observations I have made about them while I’ve been busy growing up.
1. Chocolate milk is not an everyday drink. We only bought it on special occasions, like on a birthday or when cool people were sleeping over. It was a hard childhood.
2. When in doubt, stick an onion ring in your nose. Dad taught me that table manners don’t really matter, and it’s definitely more fun to pretend to be a raging bull eating steak. Or sticking baby carrots in the front of your mouth to play a seal in a one man dinner production of “Dad Seal”.
3. Butts are great to look at. Mom helped me realize this, and it’s probably one of my favorite things on this list. It’s not my fault I’m staring at your butt, fellas. It’s my Mom’s. After all, it is how she picked out my dad behind him on a pew in church.
4. Blanket forts make great dinner party spaces. My siblings and I must have made a million and one forts with our couches and bed sheets and pillows. We were allowed to eat dinner in it, too, and that was pretty cool.
5. Mom hates surprises, Dad loves them. Example: Mom does not like surprise birthday parties. Dad throws Mom surprise birthday parties all the time.
6. After meeting my parents, my friends say, “Wow, they really love you.” That’s pretty cool, huh? WELL IT IS. IT’S AWESOME. The first things my friends notice is that my parents LOVE me?! WHAT! How cool! Not, “Wow, your parents be mad cray yo! Yo dad put an onion ring IN HIS NOSE.”
7. Mom needs to be on a game show. She has the best luck of almost anyone I know. Like, if there is an entire arena full of chairs, and there is ONE prize envelope taped to only one of the chairs, that’s the chair my mom chooses (and it’s true. That happened.)
8. I was a very, very ugly newborn baby. I’m sorry, Mom and Dad, but this makes me angry. I am actually TERRIFIED of what my first child will look like. Remember how we didn’t see Suri for the first six months of her life? That’s because she was UGLY and Katie and Tom were scared of public opinions. My brother and sister turned out fine. I’m kind of angry about that too.
9. The most important thing about Christmas is Luke 2. It’s read absolutely every Christmas morning without fail. Presents are usually opened by Christmas Eve at the latest, because Dad and sis can’t handle the waiting of an extra twenty-four hours.
10. Dad makes the best eggs. He just does and you can’t tell me someone or some place does them better. Your point is moot, and to prove it, Dad will cook you up some the next time he sees you.
11. Dan and Debbie. I remember having birds as a kid, and I named them after my parents. I think one of them flew away because I don’t know? My real parents never flew though. That’s kind of lame.
12. The house is always open for company! This is hands down my favorite, because they taught me to always be friendly to anyone you meet. It’s served me well for most times (except the times I’ve probably been a jerk to people on the subway). It’s filtered in to my everyday life, always trying to help others. They have always helped others, even when they haven’t had much, and even when it annoyed my siblings and me. We had the house where every kid in town was comfortable hanging out at, the doors never locked, and always having an extra seat at the dinner table.
13. No curfew. I loved this, mostly because I never did anything in high school, and also because it allowed me to have sleepovers on a lot of school nights.
14. Henry and Henrietta. They give themselves weird nicknames, which is way better than, I don’t know, Pooky (BLEH).
15. Don’t wear too much eyeliner, you’ll look like a raccoon. You know when you’re fourteen, and applying eyeliner was like a toddler taking a marker to a clean white wall with extreme vigor? Well I never did that, because Mom was right, you DO look like a raccoon. I’ve never admired raccoons enough to look like them, so I’ve always been keen to the au natural look, which, I think, is easier on my face and easier on your eyes.
16. They will be the best grandparents. They tell me this. All. The. Time. And I believe it wholeheartedly! I’m also frightfully aware that the last person to ask me out was 5’2″ with a lazy eye. (And no, that’s not a joke.)
17. The mute buttons on their phones work really well. I know I talk a lot, and I guess they do, too, since they usually PUT ME ON MUTE so they can go about their business while I’m rambling.
18. Dad called Bob Seger “Tom Seger” one time. It was at a doctor’s appointment, and he was trying to impress the nurse by telling her he used to be a DJ. He was naming off his favorite singers and bands, and going on about this “Tom Seger”. I still laugh any time I remember this story, and I will absolutely never let him forget it.
19. Believe in people’s dreams and stuff. My parents used to drive me an hour and a half to Milwaukee so I could go to John Casablanca’s. If you don’t know what that is, JC is an institution where they convince parents to pay hundreds of dollars because their children insist they want to be an actor when they grow up. JC kind of ended up being a fluke, but I do not remember one time when my parents have tried to dissuade me or pressure me in to doing something I didn’t want to do, and that’s pretty cool. I mean, for goodness sake, they drove seven hours to take me to an American Idol audition.
20. Diet soda is bad for you. The most rebellious act I played out in high school was drinking DIET SODA when I wasn’t around them. Not beer. DIET SODA. Because Mom was allergic to aspartame (an ingredient in diet pops), we never had it in the house. It’s also really really bad for you.
And it’s addicting and wonderful and soothing. My mom told me this way before I heard about the bad side affects of aspartame, so my mom was like Buzzfeed Breaking News before there was Buzzfeed Breaking News.
21. 30 Second Songs. We used to go on a lot of car trips growing up, and with three kids, my parents found the single best way to pass the time. We called it “30 Second Songs”, and the goal was simple- someone would throw you a word, and for 30 seconds, you had to sing about that word. That’s all it was. And we played it for hours.
22. You can be mad, but you don’t get to be bad. I have heard this oodles of times from Mom and Dad since I was little, and I love it. I even tell it to the kids I babysit! You can be upset about something, but that doesn’t mean you get to throw a hissy fit. For instance, say your four-year old sister won’t stop following you around, and so you throw your brush in anger at the bathroom mirror and crack it (7 years of bad luck? YOU HAVE NO IDEA.).
23. It’s OK to tell the doctor to shut up. Especially when they’re being mean to you in the emergency room, and you’re insisting that something is wrong. And they keep saying, no there isn’t! And then you have EMERGENCY SURGERY because they’re idiots. Mom and Dad know best!
24. They really, actually, truly love each other. Enough said.
There’s probably like, 4,502 more ditties I could put down, but these stuck out to me. I really, really love ’em and everything they do for others and for my siblings and me. So, Happy Anniversary you two lovebirds!