(If you have never read “Breakfast Smoothies” you might want to read the short introductory page. Explanations about the most blatant lies usually follow the essay.)
I was serving breakfast smoothies to my neighbors, Don and Bob.
“What is it this morning?” said Bob
Alicia just told me that she’s eliminating the yogurt from the smoothie because I should not have so much dairy.
My whole life, everyone thinks I need advice, I continued.
“What do you mean?” asked Don.
Well, when I was a kid, my father spent hours browbeating me on how to do things. His instructions were endless: do it this way, no, your holding it the wrong way, tighten up here…whatever.
My entire childhood, I spend listening to him tell me I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
And if he wasn’t telling me what I was doing wrong, there were the priests and nuns at church.
Then, when I got to school, it was the schoolyard bullies, the know-it-all in the classroom, the guys who were good at sports, or the teachers. Everyone wanted to tell me how I was supposed to be doing things.
“I guess I know what you mean,” said Bob. “I remember those days. Not with fondness. My ideas never seemed to count.”
“I even remember my dates telling me what to do,” Bob sighed, “and, how to do it.”
“And when,” he continued.
In the Navy, of course, it was worse. There was always a know-it-all around. Most of the time they were called Captain or Commander.
“Or Chief,” said Bob.
Or yeoman. Cripe!
When I got married and my father wasn’t around anymore to tell me what to do, my In-laws came around twice a year to suggest a paint job for the house, or some treatment for the lawn, or a better school system for the kids.
Now that I’m older, my own children seem to know it all and make fun of me at every opportunity: my technological ignorance, my social lack of grace, my inability to keep up with pop culture.
“Not the six year old,” said Don.
You will not believe it. I was mowing the yard for his father the other day and this little twirp comes over and tells me that I should be mowing diagonally. He’s never even touched a lawn mower in his life.
Then I picked up the four year old from day care and was driving him home. He says from his car seat in the back, “You know you really shouldn’t drive that close to the other car, Grandpa.”
Everybody seems to think that I need advice.
“I understand,” said Bob as he got up to leave.
“By the way, your pool is looking a little cloudy,” said Don.