When Eve was a baby, I often thought ahead to her growing up and developing her own personality. I wondered what she would be like. Would she be like me? How so? Judging from the size of her waist in relation to the size of her butt, I could already tell she would have the same problems with jeans. But would she like the same things I did? Would she look at the world like I did? Would I finally, finally get my own mini-me?
Or would we be completely different? Would we forever shake our heads in bewilderment at each other? How often would I get a door slammed in my face?
I’m starting to get some of these questions answered because Evie’s personality can now be seen from space. In some ways she’s like me, in some ways not. For instance, I like pink and all, but jeez. Dial it back, sister. Your life does not need to look like the inside of a bottle of Pepto Bismol.
Anyway. As I said, I was excited to find out how my little girl would be like me. I thought it would be kind of neat. I was so precious. Folks, sometimes God has a sense of humor. You ask how your child will be like you. He rubs His hands together and giggle-whispers, “Like this…”
1. Evie and I take our waking slow. Three-toed sloths get going faster in the morning than we do. Saying we’re not morning people is like saying my dad is not a Democrat. Speaking of my father, bless his jump-up-in-morning-ready-to-carpe-the-damn-diem heart, his days of practically marionetting my half-asleep ass out of the house every morning are now being paid back in spades. I get it now, Daddy. Telling someone at least 15 times every morning to hurry up and eat, hurry up and get dressed, hurry up and get downstairs, hurry up and learn how to drive so I don’t have to go through this every day wears on your very soul.
2. I consider myself an intelligent person. I took advanced courses in high school. I graduated with honors from college. I know the difference between your and you’re. But…sometimes I’m just…stupid. Today I convinced myself it was Election Day. The date had a “November” in it and a “2”. Boom. Election Day. I showed up to my polling place, which was mysteriously deserted, only to be told they didn’t do early voting. Early voting? What? Mind blown. I stared at the lady behind the desk for a minute, and then walked out, befuddled. But. But. It’s November 2nd!
Look, here’s the thing. Sometimes my brain just decides things independent of what is reality. Today my brain decided that November 2nd is always Election Day. It’s not. Not even close. I remembered this soon after leaving my polling place and felt what? Stupid. Worse than that. Stoopid. Maybe voting shouldn’t be a thing I do after all.
Evie is whip smart. This is exactly the correct word. Her mind has the speed and crack of a whip. And yet. Sometimes…there is also stoopid. I asked Evie to bring me her empty fruit cup from dinner so I could throw it away.
“Evie, bring me your empty fruit cup, please.”
“Your fruit cup.”
“The thing your pears were in.”
“What are pears?”
Dear readers, we’re not really stupid. We just say and do stupid things. It’s not the same.
3. The number of times I have seen Jaws. The Godfather, The Exorcist, Annie Hall and Pulp Fiction is more than I will tell you. I like to watch movies. I like to watch the same movies over and over. And then watch them again. And the sad thing is, the above list is one I threw up to make myself seem cooler than I am. I have seen all those movies countless times, but I’ve also watched Shag, The Lost Boys, The Mirror Has Two Faces and Pretty Woman to freakin’ death.
Maybe it’s because I like to study subtlety and nuance. Maybe it’s because I like to appreciate what is good or revel in what is so bad it’s good. Maybe I find comfort in the familiar. Maybe it’s because one of my great ambitions in life is to speak entirely in movie quotes. Whatever’s the case, I’ve passed this on to my daughter.
Ask me how many times I’ve seen Barbie’s Fairytopia or Toy Story 3.
Many times. Many, many times.
I fear I’ve made it seem like Evie and I are only alike in ways that bounce some of my most annoying personality traits back in my very surprised face. But, fortunately, another of my annoying personality traits is a staunch optimism that borders on the pathological (See? I even said “fortunately”.)
So, thusly, what I have is someone who will never rush me in the morning, which I hate so very, very much. I also have someone who knows what it feels like to be stoopid-smart. Finally, I have someone who will always be up for another viewing of Raiders.
I couldn’t ask for more.