Being the last child can be quite strange. You’re the prodigal one, the one the family has to talk about, the one everyone is afraid will turn into a dead-beat hippie with dreadlocks who they will only hear from once in the next 15 years when I call to ask for bail.
I’m not that bad…
The text message I received that helped me realize I’m still the focus of my mother’s worries came after a stressful and painful day of shopping at the local Macy’s. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a perfect day to stay inside and watch hour upon hour of NFL football. But NO, I was forced to go shopping for the upcoming dance. Needless to say, I wasn’t very pleased.
After about an hour and a half of trying to attain my sisters ideal attire (think, Ralph Lauren catalog), I returned home, exhausted, angry, and not caring about the new clothes I’d purchased. Of course, a verbal skirmish ensued between my mother and I, credited to my grumpiness. I was peeved, she was peeved, and I fled to the basement to finally enjoy my Sunday.
And then: “Erik got a new bow tie for the dance. Looks very nice. Very Ralph Lauren.”
Yep, Mom sent a text to me, about me, intended for my sister.
“Oops. Good thing I didn’t say anything bad about you…”
Am I the one they secretly observe and talk about? Well, apparently. They still talk about me. This is just one of the many problems that comes with being the last child.