Seeing My Parents in Myself

Times I see my parents in myself:

  • Waking up at 3:30 a.m. (like now); getting up to read (like Dad) or write or just lying and thinking
  • Reading signs aloud as I ride down a street, like Mom used to do
  • Doing crossword puzzles like Dad, but it was Joel who passed down his predilection for puns
  • Sentimentality: crying over sad stories in the newspaper like Mom (funny, though, I don’t remember her getting very involved in movies)
  • Clipping newspaper and magazine articles and sending them to friends and family (the Internet makes this so much easier)
  • Talking to strangers in stores like Mom
  • Considering offering an irrelevant membership card when pressed for more identification (no, I’ve never actually done this, but before Sept. 11, I was tempted to).  Dad once presented his “Elvis Presley Fan Club membership card” until an interviewer decided she had enough info already. When a clerk once commented that Kirkpatrick was a “funny name,” Dad immediately retorted, “What’s so darn funny about it?” Made me realize how sensitive all people are about their names and getting them spelled correctly. We would get all kinds of variations, like Fitzpatrick or Kilpatrick—even Fitzgerald! Smiths just wouldn’t understand.
  • Second generation “Depression Psychology”:  saving freebies and making do with something marginal, rather than splurging on something new

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