Gorillas, Nicknames, and Brownies Oh My!

Mary - Northfield, Vermont
Entered on May 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Gorillas, Nicknames, and Brownies Oh My!

I believe in family. But I guess its more than that, because as my professor said, who doesn’t believe in family? I believe in the little things that make each family unique. The uniqueness of mine has traumatized me at times, but I believe my family has made me who I am. For my thirteenth birthday, my friend and I decided to celebrate our birthdays together by having a huge party with all our friends. When it was time for cake and ice cream, there was a knock on the door and the next thing I knew a huge gorilla was singing Happy Birthday to us. It didn’t take me long to recognize the voice as my father’s and about that time, he began singing “Oh My Darlin’ Clementine” just to me, in front of everyone. As a thirteen-year-old, you can imagine how humiliating this was for me, and the teasing I got at school for the next week proved it.

A few years later, I was getting ready to go to a semiformal dance. The phone rang, and since I figured it was for me I tried to grab it, but my brother was too quick. After laughing at my dress and commenting that I smelled funny, he answered the phone. By the look on his face, I knew it was my date. “Yeah, hang on a sec,” he said into the phone, and then in an unnecessarily loud voice he screamed, “MURDAWG, it’s for you!” I completely detested this nickname. My brother knew it too, and always used it just to annoy me. Of course, my date heard it and thought it was hilarious. He called me that for the rest of the night and at school.

Now flash back a few years to the first time I had a boyfriend over to the house. This guy and I decided to innocently watch a movie, and of course, the entire time my mom found excuses to come in a check on us. I know she had better things to do, but she made brownies that day and kept walking in with plates of snacks. She always stayed there and chatted for a few minutes with him while I sat on the couch, completely embarrassed that my mom couldn’t leave us alone. However, I managed to survive.

Now that I’m away from my family at my first year of college, it has opened my eyes to how much of an impact my family has on me. With this new sight, I now believe in singing gorillas and in the teasing that results because it’s healthy. I believe that siblings make you patient and stronger in many ways, and I believe that there’s nothing better than my mom’s homemade brownies, in any situation. I have decided that the crazy, sometimes traumatizing, things my family has done to me over the years has made me who I am. I believe family is the most important part of growing up, and I believe everyone is unique because of the uniqueness of their families.