When I was in grammar school I always received excellent grades. However, on almost every report card I had a check in the “conduct” section next to the phrase “demonstrates a lack of self-control.” My grandmother Helen (who was a teacher at a different Catholic school) explained to me that it meant I talked too much. “If that’s the case” I told Gram, “then Monsignor Callahan demonstrates a lack of self-control every Sunday when I have to sit through his homily.” I said this for the benefit of my grandfather Frank, who laughed until Helen shot him a look and put him in the unfortunate position of having to yell at me while trying to suppress his glee at the same time. Pop and I got a fair amount of practice at this game when I chose him to be my confirmation sponsor so that I’d have someone close by to laugh at all my Catholic jokes.
But look, as far as my childhood went, the truth is I got teased a fair amount (for my rad dance moves and my theories on Beverly Hills, 90210*) and the only person who ever stood up for me was my ginger haired BFF for life Joy Oliver.** Considering I couldn’t go on YouTube*** and cry about my problems to the world and make a blonde pop singer affectionately call me a little monster**** I’d say I demonstrated a SUBSTANTIAL amount of self-control THANK YOU VERY MUCH SISTER JANICE LONGEST SERVING MISERABLE NUN IN THE HISTORY OF ST. ROSE OF LIMA PARISH. But I digress.
It always made me giggle when my Mom would attempt to scold me about my lack of self-control. It wasn’t very convincing, because it’s not like it was news to her that I talked too much. And frankly when he’s pulling good grades, who gives a shit if your kid is more verbose than the mediocre group of accidental Irish Catholic pregnancies he’s surrounded by?***** My lack of self-control was never a real issue.
John Francis is an excellent student but sometimes he demonstrates a lack of self-control.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if my mother had restricted my access to 90210 as a punishment perhaps I may have learned that self-control is important and I wouldn’t have to spend two hours in a gym every day working off a piece of pie.
*such as: why it was totally okay for Dylan to cheat on Brenda with Kelly Taylor…duh, Brenda was a BITCH and she went to Paris with Donna for the summer, what was Dylan supposed to do with Kelly, a bonfire, a pizza and Sophie B. Hawkins playing in the background??
**Once we got to high school Joy Oliver was almost always the cause of my conduct issues because she laughed at everything I said, and if the teacher separated us we would just write notes in big block letters and hold them up across the room in order to communicate
***The internet didn’t exist yet which is weird to think about…however I’m extremely grateful that there is no video evidence of some of the shirts I wore from Hot Topic
****Madonna was way too busy teaching the world how to Vogue, and trust me Little Monsters: people will still be “striking a pose” in 25 years. Putting their “paws” up? Not so much.
*****I have a higher opinion of myself than my Mom does, and no matter what my Grandmother tries to tell you I too was an accidental Catholic pregnancy
****** It was Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (From the Republic of Pie, evidence for all of you people that don’t believe in God, HELLO a Republic of Pie that He built around the corner from my house: God. is. REAL. Bless His name.) and it was fucking delicious