Monday, May 6, 2013

skateboarding to class, Matthew's increase in height, Savior Twin Day (a new holiday slated for August 13) and Jared's healing tattoo

       This is the only form of "humor" that will actually get a laugh out of Jared's father. He sat all the way through Napoleon Dynamite which people my age don't actually admit is funny anymore, but only because the parents co-opted it and made it their personal funniest movie ever, so we had to pretend to fail to see the humor in it anymore, but even old people, especially old Mormon people, think Napoleon Dynamite is funny now, except for Jared's father. He also watched The Hangover without the corners of his mouth turning up ever so slightly.. This I would understand if he'd been watching it in the presence of any of his kids, because he might have thought it improper to admit in the presence of his offspring that he found borderine-offensive material amusing. If he were forced to watch Borat, i'm fairly certqin the man would go into cardiac arrest. Mark Russel, on the other hand, is funny to him to the extent that tears roll down his face as he laughs at one after another of Mark Russell's too clever jokes. Even my parents, and even Jared's grandparents, for that matter, find no humor in Mark Russell. It's possible to be so not funny that you are actually funny, and Mark Russell is proof of this.

I need to be asleep because I have a 9:00 a.m. class, which means if I'm not out the door at 8:20 at the very latest, I won't have time to park and make it to class. I do have my skateboard in my trunk, and skateboards are allowed in the bike lane as long as we yield to bicyclists, but the cyclists are not supposed to run us over. Bicyclists are legally allowed to run over pedestrians in the bike lanes, because it's like a freeway except that pedestrians have the right to cross as expeditiously as possible when it is safe to do so.  I've never witnessed a bicycle/pedestrian collision  and hope I never do. As long as pedestrians aren't stupid, it shouldn't happen, but still, I'd hate to see a cyclist so lacking in concern for another's well-being that he or she would collide with a pedestrian when it was in any way avoidable, including (gasp!) stopping one's bicycle.

I don't wear the protective gear my parents think I should be wearing when I skateboard to class, but it would take so much time to put it all on that I'd lose any advantage I had in skateboarding as opposed to walking to class. Furthermore, through the entire route to my first class, where I do my most intense skateboarding, there's a long grassy strip. I ride right next to it so that if I have to take a fall, I'm on grass. Chances are that I won't land on my head. With the risk of potential head and neck injuries being negligible on grass as long as I don't land on my head on grass with someone else on top of me, the other injury risks are minimal. A sprained ankle could happen, but the same injury or worse could occur walking down the stairs of the parking structure. Danger lurks everyone. Remember what Monk said about how this very Earth you love might just kill you.  The moral of this paragraph is that my parents are paranoid.

My younger brother (younger by less than a minute) is oh so proud of himself because he has reached the majestic height of six feet, two inches. My dad is 6"1'. My mom is 5'3". How did they produce an offspring who is 6'2"? The rest of my mom's family is taller than she is, but the tallest female is 5'6" and the tallest male is 5'11". On my dad's side, my Uncle Steve is 6' 3", but Uncle Michael has to stretch to be six feet. And their parents, in their prime, were 5'10" and 5'3" respectively. (They've shrunk practically to Oompah Loompah size now. Drink your milk, people.) The female offspring on that side are all pretty tall,  too -- ranging from 5'6" to 5'8".  Still, it doesn't add up. There's something strange going on here, and I intend to get to the bottom of it.

Matthew had to share my mother's uterus with me, so he didn't get the nutrition he would have gotten had he been a singleton. Still, he was the hog twin. Often there's one hog twin who takes more than his or her share and deprives his womb-mate of much-needed nutrition. (The root of it is greed. Some people begin displaying the trait of greed in utero, and it's usually a life-long characteristic unless intervention happens.) This can happen whether there are one or two placentas. Matthew and I had two placentas because we are fraternal or dizygotic twins (hint: if twins are of different genders, they're not identical; this may seem obvious, but some people get pretty far through life without knowing it), but our placentas sort of fused together, and he ate until he was full, then let me have what little was left over. (If Matthew had been a member of the Donner Party, he would have been a survivor no matter what he had to do to achieve that status.). He had mom's uterus to himself for roughly eight weeks, depending upon how soon my mother had her second ovulation after conceiving Matthew, so he had plenty of time to eat himself to virtual obesity before I even came along.

I love to remind Matthew that the reason our mother ovulated while she was pregnant was that her hormone levels were insufficient to sustain a pregnancy, and had I not been conceived, he would have been miscarried. I literally saved his life.

One would think he might show his gratitude on a more regular basis. There should be a special day -- almost like Mother's Day and Father's Day -- for siblings who saved their twins' lives in utero by being conceived and born. Hallmark,this is a great opportunity for you to sell more merchandise! I'll even pick a date for the holiday.  August 13 sounds good.  There don't seem to be any actual holidays in August, although, coincidentally, August 13 is the late Alfred Hitchcock's birthday.  Gift giving would be more or less mandatory (gift-giving is never 100% mandatory, but if one has a normal relationship with one's parents, it is considered something of a faux pas not to acknowledge Mother's Day or Father's Day; birthdays fall under the same category in most families) from the Beneficiary Twin to the Savior Twin. For the circle of family and friends,  it would be optional, but it would be well within the bounds of propriety for parents to give the Savior Twin a gift or two, or for the spouse, fiancee,  or serious girlfriend of the Beneficiary Twin to do the same. Get married or get a girlfriend, Matthew, and do it before August 13.  The more I think about this, the more convinced I  am of the greatness of this idea.

Jared's tattoo is apparently healing nicely and looking good as tattoos go. He's doing all the things the guy at the parlour told him to do to take care of it, whatever those things might be. I was never a major fan of tattoos, but I have to have a certain degree of appreciation when it's my name on the guy's bicep. So what's he going to do if we do not end up together when all is said and done?  He plans to go to medical school, too, but he'll be one year behind me even if he finishes college in three years as he plans to do. Chances are that we'll end up at different medical schools and that we'll each meet a whole lot of new people before we finish. I'm not committing to anything this far in advance, and I hope he's smart enough to feel the same way.

So once the threat of a mission has long passed -- and I don't really know precisely at what age that would be -- does he try to dig up the money to have the thing removed? I heard it's not cheap and also that it's painful.  Or, even if he doesn't end up with me, does he look for girls named Alexis to date so they won't be offended by the tattoo? With Jared's luck, the girl would probably end up spelling it "Alexys" or something similarly bizarre, still leaving a conflict. Perhaps it would be easier, though, to change one letter of the tattoo than to have the whole thing removed. Regardless, it's really not my problem. It's merely something about which I may speculate at times when I have nothing more pressing on which my mind must dwell.

Under the heading of gossip that's totally none of my business (a small distinction that's never stood in my way before) Jared's parents' marital relationship has gone from Antarctica-in-July-frigid to something more like Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in mid-March. Part of the problem is that Jared's mother has come to think that Jared getting a tattoo to avoid a serving  a mission is rolling-on-the-floor hilarious, while Jared's father is a phlegmatic sort who doesn't think anything is truly funny except knock-knock jokes and videotapes or CDs of this lame comedian named Mark Russell who used to play the piano while he made up really lame lyrics that only old Republicans thought were remotely amusing. Jared's father has the sense of humor of a man about thirty years older than his chronological age. Sometimes I wonder why Stephanie married him. Then I remember that they have six children, which both answers the question and renders further speculation on my part most improper.

# the non-artist still known as Alexis

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