I mean, I'm not all that special. I have a home, a husband of nearly 20 years that I still rush home to see (when I have to actually go to the office), two cars, four dogs, a good credit rating, a great job and a solid career.
I've never been jailed - except for that brief period when my brother had stolen my identity and "I" spent three years in a Louisiana correctional facility.
I've never even been in court except when 1) I was a convenience store clerk busted in an underage beer selling 'sting' and lost my job after claiming 'no contest', and 2) when I challenged a speeding ticket and came prepared with flip charts, photographs, and radar calibration data - and the bastard cop never showed.
The dismissal of my speeding ticket was an extremely hollow victory.
And unlike my cousins, I've never:
- had multiple bastard children with people I met on the web, some with life threatening genetic mutations,
- been stalked with the intent to kill by a spouse,
- announced during a wedding reception that I had taken the bride's virginity,
- had my trailer burn to the ground, or
- bought hair extensions at the Dollar Store.
My mother taught us by action and by deed. She never said she didn't see differences in color between people - she just treated everybody exactly the same. She never taught a management class - but her employees always loved her and performed to the best of their ability to please her.
My father,on the other hand always rode the thin line between good sense and anarchy. He was a rebellious S.O.B. and - honestly - a thug, who taught me by the age of 6 how he used to pop the hubcaps off a car in under 10 seconds when he needed cigarette money. He also showed me how to smuggle a 6-pack of beer in a tuba, which came in extremely useful during my high school marching band years and garnered me many friends
But in terms of actual fatherly advice, he only ever gave me two things that have proven true - and that have helped to make me the person I am today:
- "Who cares how much education you have. Tell 'em you can do anything and study like hell the night before" (This works, by the way.), and
- "A pecker (dick or penis, for our foreign friends) has no conscience."