Sunday, December 20, 2009

Family Ties

Here's the problem with growing up in a large family: while everyone within your family might be able to remember who you are (and we'll just ignore the fact that I was called Karen-Theresa for about three years by my mother), people outside your family often lump you together.

That might work in your favor if you're Jojo the Enforcer, and you coast by for three years in German class without doing any work because Frau Letang can't imagine a sister of her favorite student ever being so lazy.

On the other hand, it's not such a great thing if you're me and your algebra teacher had just had Mike and Eric (never the hardest working students in any class). Based on my last name, I got to sit in the front and center of the class, and the first thing she did every morning was glance down to see if I'd done my homework.

Worse yet was when people tried to differentiate us. (Granted, our parents didn't come up with the most original names in the world. In fact, when I moved to Concord, strangers would see my name and ask me if I had a sister named Karen (which I do, but she was going to UCLA at the time). I finally realized that there was someone with the exact same name who had graduated from the high school across the street from my apartment.)

Mike was lucky, because he was the oldest. Then there was Eric (the "smart but lazy" one) and Jeff (the "overachiever"). So... by overachiever they meant he was dumb but not lazy? In what universe does that work out? I was the one with the "bad attitude". Or possibly I was a bad attitude. I'm not sure.

It could be worse though. We could have been famous and have people writing about us like the Jonas brothers. Everyone knows that there are three: the talented one, the cute one, and the ugly one. The ugly one (that would be Kevin, for those keeping track, and he's not hideously ugly, just sort of geeky looking) got married this weekend, which is what got me started thinking about this. Maybe he'll get lucky now and get called the "married Jonas".

Whatever. I'm going to take my bad attitude and go finish my potato-leek soup.


Eric said...

So... by overachiever they meant he was dumb but not lazy? In what universe does that work out?

Never. I think the proper way to put it is "good at playing dumb and breaking plates".

JJ said...

So there are 6 of you total?

My family isn't that big, and my dad still had trouble determining who is whom. I was routinely called various names, and he could not remember how old I was. Not sure if this is better or worse...

Technically, I was the "dumb one" in my family since I went to state schools. I laugh at this since my brother, the "smart one" who went to Yale, is unemployed and living at home.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Eric: Don't forget, he broke glasses, too. And ran over the extension cord with the edger.

JJ: While I want to make fun of your brother... he's not working and someone else is paying his rent. Maybe you are the dumb one? (Okay, not really.)