As I was driving down the road with Gracie and Matthew the other day, we somehow got on the topic of Grace's employment opportunities. She told me that she plans on being a mom's helper for a friend of ours all summer long. I advised her that this was fine, but next summer, she will be getting a real job. She tried to convince me that being a mom's helper was a real job.
I explained to her that it is not a real job, it is something you do in addition to having a real job. In fact, most people call what you are doing babysitting. In fact, you have cleverly labeled your work as being a "mom's helper," but from the sounds of it, you are babysitting for kids WHILE THEIR MOTHER IS HOME! The poor mother has to make an extra helping of mac and cheese for you while you watch Phineas and Ferb with her kids, for crying out loud. You do that "job" at our house for free.
Grace explained that I had it all wrong and she proudly pointed out that she thinks she will make close to $500 before the summer is over. I pointed out that if she got a real job, she could make that much money every two weeks. This news struck her as being impossible. Her reaction made me think that she thinks that I don't even make $500 every two weeks. So I did the math for her... If you make $10 an hour and work forty hours a week, you make $400 a week. After they take out your taxes, etc, you will make more than $500 every two weeks.
Grace's jaw dropped, I thought in reaction to the fact that she could make that much money. I quickly learned that her reaction had nothing to do with money. Who would work eight hours a day? she asked incredulously.
Oh, she is definitely getting a real job next summer.
It was at this point in our discussion that I advised Grace that she had just given me my topic for this week's FGF. She suggested that I write about a different topic. I agreed, as Gracie has been the featured family member in many of my recent FGFs. However, she needed to come up with a funnier topic. She immediately blurted out that I should write about my sister Michel.
Okay…... forget about what I just wrote about Grace.
My sister Michel is coming to town this week for my nephew's wedding. You remember Michel. She nearly killed my father while nursing him when he was on his death bed.
Michel and I are bookends of six siblings. She is twelve years my senior, so my parents were cranking out kids at a rate of about one every two years. As a child I recall that she was a great big sister… if you consider tormenting your baby brother as being a great big sister. Don't believe me? At each period of my childhood, she left emotional scars that would have destroyed a lesser man.
When I was two, my use of a bottle embarrassed Michel so much that she constantly hid my bottle. Oftentimes, we found it in the trash.
Ages 2-6, she told me that I was adopted from the Indians. It was obviously true because any time I got on her nerves, she would get on the phone and speak with the Indians and tell them that they could come and get me at any time. Fortunately they never did.
I will admit that being part Indian could have its advantages… if I ever apply for a Harvard teaching job, or if I ever decide to run for office, I can tout my Indian heritage. On a side note, could you imagine how silly academics and politicians would look if they claimed to be part Indian based on what other family members told them. Glad to say that that would never happen!
Anyway, when I was seven, after I slayed Michel's boyfriend with a series of killer knock-knock jokes and clever why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road scenarios, she dragged me out of the room and lectured me, complete with finger in the face. Why, you ask? Because I happened to call the guy the name of the other guy she was dating at the time. Was it my fault she was a two-timing floozie?
Then, when I was eighteen -- eighteen years, not months -- she asked me about my new cassette that I had just bought. Oh, that's Michael Jackson's new Thriller album, I excitedly replied. Then, to my shock and horror, she proceeded to destroy it, unravelling it into a heaping pile of magnetic tape, claiming that Jackson's music was not Godly.
I had three thoughts at the time. First, I'm eighteen. I am aware that his music is not Godly BUT I MADE THE ADULT DECISION TO BUY IT ANYWAY……WITH MY OWN MONEY. Second, this is the reaction I get from a bottle stealing, Indian threatening, two timing floozie! And third, #@$>*&^@$#$%$.
Michel did manage to marry one of those two boyfriends. Although I like my brother-in-law (lawyer), the other guy might have been a better choice (golf pro).
She went on to have four wonderful daughters and one diabolical, Scrabble-cheating son. She took her experiences and killer sistering skills and used them to be an effective parent.
She solved the bottle problem by deciding to breast feed her kids up until the age of about four. Maybe not four, but old enough for them to ask for a night cap before bed. And she dealt with the Indian issue head on by planning to live in a teepee when she first got married. This is completely true because I recall my dad muttering to himself that no daughter of his was going to live in a teepee.
But I will say that her relationship with her kids is based on love and trust. Unless, of course, there is a reason for her to be sneaky.
For example, when her youngest daughter's friend posted crude messages on her Facebook, she made her daughter delete her Facebook page. After a few weeks, she allowed her daughter get a new Facebook page. But Michel attempted to secretly monitor her daughter's Facebook by pretending to be someone else. She cleverly gave herself the made up name of "Michela." You may not understand what she did, so I will try to explain it to you in very simple terms. She added an "a" at the end of her name.
Who could possibly crack this secret code and discover her secret nom de plume? But wait, she got even sneakier… she listed her hometown, her birthday and her personal contact information. Not even the boys at NSA could unravel this mystery.
After about eight seconds on Facebook, one of her other daughters posted this question on Michela's new page, Is that you, mom? Are you my mother? Without engaging any Facebook privacy control settings, Michela replied for the whole world wide web to see, Yes, but I'm trying to go incognito, so don't tell anyone.
I would request that you please keep this information to yourself. I would hate for my niece to find out that her mother was spying on her. On the other hand, if she were to uncover this espionage, and decide to confront my sister, my niece would never stand a chance. Michel is one tough broad.
The other day, she went over to a friend's house. When she went through the door, she was greeted by the friend's guard dog. Wouldn't you know it, that dog bit her right on her rear end. Michel reported that she stayed calm and told the owner that her dog was biting her in the rear. Apparently, that mutt was attached pretty good. Horrified by this potentially disastrous attack, I asked if the dog broke her skin. Of course not, I have buns of steel.
I am happy to report that Michel was okay… but apparently, the dog cracked two teeth.
We are looking forward to seeing Michel and her kids. Despite what you may have read about her, she is a great big sister. We love when she is in town, and we love spending time with her. I am blessed to have her in my life.
And I am so thankful that the Indians never came back to get me.
Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So… I married a funny guy!