Friday, March 11, 2011
Every now and then, I like to check out the new Facebook fans of The Mother Load. Facebook is kind enough to show me a running list. It's one of my page Admin super powers. Sometimes, I click through to the profiles of my fans, check out their other interests, maybe look at a photo or two...you know, general stalking. You guys? You are one good looking group of people, I must say.
Today, as I was perusing the latest batch of fans, I was surprised and delighted to see my nephew, Ryan, just back from a two year mission for our church, had decided to "like" The Mother Load. I broke into a wide smile and thought, Aw! Ryan's a fan. How nice!
This was short lived. My feelings of delight quickly gave way to suspicion as I saw this gesture for what it was: a blatant and completely shameless attempt to buy my forgiveness. Realizing this, I got his new cell number from his mom, called him up, and told him that he was NOT forgiven. (I may or may not have also asked his permission to write this blog post and to steal a picture or two from his Facebook page. His quick and good-natured approval, while kind of him, did nothing to make a dent in the grudge I'm holding.)
See, Ryan was two years old when I met him, a bright and smiley kid who tiptoed everywhere he went and never forgot to ask God to "Please bless Barney and Friends" in his nightly prayers. I was 15, the new girl in town, and his mom was one of the leaders in my youth group at church. We realized we lived in the same neighborhood, and I was quickly integrated into the family as a babysitter/mother's helper/semi-permanent fixture.
Ryan wasn't a very hard kid to watch. He was, it must be said, just a little bit on the weird side, but he was towheaded, rosy cheeked, and funny, often entertaining me with acrobatics and made up songs. To be honest, he bore an uncanny resemblance to "Stuart" from Mad TV.
In case you, like Ryan, have no idea who Stuart is, I'm posting the video below. This.was.Ryan.
Yes, this is the boy I will never forgive. What could someone so innocent and cute, albeit a bit dorky, do to incur my lifelong wrath?
This is Ryan today:
Just look at him! Blond hair? GONE! Rosy cheeks? GONE! Attention seeking acrobatics? Nowhere to be found! He's not even STANDING ON HIS TOES!
In willful disregard of an edict I gave the boy when he was 9, and I realized that he was nearly as tall as I was, Ryan has grown up. I was very clear with him back in 1999 that he was getting too big and too old. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to grow up and that he'd better stop doing it RIGHT NOW.
Kids today. They never listen.
The next time I saw Ryan, he was 17 and had facial hair and a girlfriend. When I grilled him about his decision to grow up despite my instructions, he just laughed like he was in on some silly joke. I was not amused.
Realizing he must have decided that a former babysitter doesn't really have any authority over him, I did what any self respecting woman in my position would have done.
I married his uncle.
Surely, now that I was his aunt, I would have some say over whether or not he continued his relentless advance into adulthood.
Not cool, Ryan.
Thin ice, buddy. Really thin ice.
Ryan Christopher McLean, I am your aunt now, and you are in big trouble, young man. BIG trouble!
When I told Ryan about my idea for this column, he did what he always does when crazy Aunt Sarah talks. He chuckled conspiratorially, certain that my antics were all in good fun, feigning complete ignorance of how his actions have affected the woman who used to slave over his macaroni and cheese while his parents were out on the town.
Well, Ryan, I think I should let you in on why I've resisted your aging process for so long. It's simple, really. If you're getting older, then I must be getting older, and I am most certainly not getting older, so you have either sold your soul to a voodoo witch or broken the space/time continuum. Neither of these things are acceptable behavior, sir.
For instance, you are now 21 years old. If this is to be believed, then I must be 34. I'm sorry, Ryan, but that simply isn't possible. 34 year olds are only one year away from middle age, according to a news report I heard on the radio the other day. Do I look middle aged to you? (Note: The correct response is "No, Aunt Sarah. You don't look a day over 25!")
34 year olds are only one year away from marketing oblivion. Do you realize that once a person leaves the coveted 18-34 year old age bracket, they become invisible to advertisers of anything other than denture cream and Viagra? Is this the life you want for your aunt, Ryan? Is this the future to which you're willing to sentence me, the girl who pushed you on the swings and read you bedtime stories and fed you pork and beans and hot dogs? Are you really that cruel, Ryan?
A quick look at Ryan's Facebook page tells me that he's busy at work on a scholarship application, has a number of female admirers who are excited that he's home, and he's planning to invent a "fuel-less, self-sustaining, electro-magnetic jet-pack for astronauts to use in space." Apparently, he is that cruel.
New plan of attack: Get his younger sister to stop growing up. After all, I met her the day after she was born, and she still remembers when she used to call me "Reerah." I've probably got a bit more sway with her. Certainly, Jennifer won't let me down! I think I'll take a gander at her Facebook page. Looks like she and my other niece, Janelle, are discussing plans for college.