Self-deprecation and being the butt | Mark’s Remarks


My family should go on the road. Everyone’s a comedian.  I’m telling you all right now how mean my family is to me. On a daily basis. 

If I weren’t the thick-skinned, confident person I was, I would maybe get offended. But I soldier on.

I don’t have enough room to adequately describe or recount the many ways my family has mistreated me over the years.  I have enough evidence to fill pages of this newspaper.  And because I am a forgiving person, perhaps I can’t even remember some of the injustices my family has done to me. So, I will entertain you with only a few.

Recently, I ordered shoes from Amazon and was highly satisfied with the fit, style and comfort of the shoes. One of the pairs of shoes I ordered was a cool, comfortable shoe called a “driving shoe.”  

Now, I didn’t know what a driving shoe was when I ordered it, but I liked how it looked in the picture and I needed a brown pair of slip-on-loafer type shoe.  

A few weeks later, I received the shoes. The color of the shoes was a rather severe mustard color and I was admittedly a little shocked when I unwrapped them. But I slipped them on and the comfort outweighed the shock of the rather avant-garde color.  

And heck, I’m a unique-type person.  I’m OK with new styles and ideas.

My daughter told everyone she could that her dad had ordered a pair of orange shoes. I was walking into school one day and someone yelled “I like your orange shoes!” and then proceeded to cackle in a mocking way. My mother, the person I am supposed to depend on no matter what, asked my wife if I had “spray painted” a pair of old shoes.

I wear my mustard colored, comfortable shoes with pride and confidence and ignore the mocking jealousy of my impeccable style.

That same daughter and I were looking at a page from a school yearbook from the year 1974. I was in second grade and there I was at the bottom of the page in alphabetical order. I was telling my daughter about certain kids in the class; funny stories, who my buddies were, and which little girls I had crushes on. 

We were, as you may guess, attired in the clothing of the day – me wearing a maroon, short-sleeved and non-descript shirt that I considered “dressing up.” I also, cursed with a cowlick, had a swept-over part that barely covered my light bulbed shaped head and massive forehead. Most of us in the class were missing teeth. 

It was a right of passage. I looked a little like the flashbulb went off before I had a chance to look pleasant. 

So I can confess that I myself did not think the photo was terribly flattering. But I was 7 years old.

“Dad, you are the weirdest looking kid in this class.  Your head is huge and your shirt is not real fancy looking,” my critical daughter commented.  “And it looks like something pooped on your head.”  

My wife regularly carries on conversations with me while looking at my hair. She then tries to keep the conversation going while she musses it about, trying to fashion a hairstyle she approves of. Her goal is to cover my forehead – a forehead so large you could show home movies on it with a projector.

It never works and she slunks away, defeated.

After we had been dating a while, my wife said things like “I’m going to buy you new sweaters for Christmas” and “What makes you think those two colors go together?” I had fancied myself a sharp dresser until she came along.

Rodney Dangerfield has nothing on me. He ought to have lived in my house. If you don’t understand that reference, I’m sorry.

Yes, I deal with my mocking family on a daily basis. They have made me the butt of their jokes. I feel like the character Dorothy from The Golden Girls. A running joke on that show was how tall she was, how she didn’t have a date and how hard it was for her to appear attractive. One of my favorite lines she had was “After I have the surgery to remove the hump from my back, maybe I can get a date.”  

I feel ya, Dorothy.

My family laughs at my large feet, my strange, gnarled toes and my big nose. As I said, they laugh at my lack of hair or my hair style. They laugh at my white legs, my paunchy stomach, and the way I walk when I get up from a chair. They complain and chastise me for snoring. They make fun of my sometimes southern accent and some of the phraseology I use.

It’s neverending.  

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