Monday, March 14, 2011

Let It Out

Good morning fuckers. This is a break from the perverted banter I so (in)famously write about. It's been about a month since I've gone serious on you people without being conscious of a word count, and right now I feel the need to let some stuff out - not the normal stuff I let out of my ass - so deal with it or don't read.

I had a rather surreal experience last night that's difficult to dislodge from the ol' noggin. Well, I guess my noggin isn't that old...I'm only 26. Whatever it's an expression - stop being such an asshole.

So yesterday was my father's birthday. My mother, sister and I bought him a DVD which was converted from old tapes of family gatherings. Birthdays, parties and just random shit.

Editor's Note: It's funny to see adults behave like adults do. What I mean by that is that my mother was filming my sister when the girl was two. As many two-year-olds do, she would remove her clothes at any given time. My mom, who was operating the camera, said to my sister, "Do you like to take off your clothes?" She responded, "Yes." My mom then said, "Do you like to do it for money?" Again she replied, "Yes." I think the nature/nurture debate is now settled. Wait, did I just call my sister a whore? She's gonna kick my ass.

Addendum to Editor's Note: My father pulled down his pants in two separate videos, had cigarettes stuffed up his nose in two separate videos, and was taking a shit in another video. None of this surprised me. What did surprise me was him taking a shot of liquor because he doesn't drink, but then while no one was "looking" he spit the shot out into his in-law's plant. That's better.

Not only did I see videos of deceased relatives whom I loved more than anything...I saw me: Five-year-old Dan running around doing his thing. As one grows up one hears stories about themself, but it's obviously completely different to see it on screen.

Editor's Note: I was really fucking adorable, not gonna lie. Whether or not I got better looking is entirely debatable.

Man I was such a nice kid. So naturally sweet and compassionate, full of hugs and simply wanting to play and love my family. It makes me wonder what has changed.

As you grow up you're bound to change, but it pains me to see some things I became after seeing the innocent young self I once was. Sure I'm still a nice guy, and sure I threw temper tantrums in the videos that I may or may not throw now, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that growing up kind of sucks - everyone gets older, but it's a shame that time often forces some of the past out from the front of our minds. That's why videos like these are essential to me.

I haven't changed in the sense that I love more than most, but I think now I don't act on it as much as I should. I understand that it's important to be selfish in a sense as we age, but there's so much that my young self would have been disappointed in. But what did he know? More than I gave him credit for, I think.

Now I'm not a very emotional person. The things that get my water working are corny things like a good song or a sad scene in an animated movie - genocide, funerals and stuff like that do not affect me like they do most.

But I don't see how you can't be strongly moved by seeing your dead family personified, only for a few moments. To see your great uncle reach to give his wife a kiss on her 80th birthday, flashing the numbers on his wrist that were engraved from suffering the Holocaust; to see your grandmother who you didn't realize you loved as much as you did until she was gone; to see yourself a mere five years young, raising a glass in a toast - surrounded by people who are no longer here - and saying, "I love you."

Sure I'm biased because it's my family, but I come from a foundation of extremely generous people - people who suffered hardships that many have, but came out of it with a sense of dignity and willingness to better the future of their children. I'm one of those children. I won't let them down.

Have I so far? Nope...not at all. The main reason for that is because they loved me because I'm "Daniel." Actions dictate a person, but no matter what I did as a kid their love for me never wavered. And I believe that if they were alive today, it still wouldn't. I come from a wise family - one with imperfections just like yours - and my family has my back, no matter what. And I have theirs. I am undoubtedly one of the luckiest people to have ever existed. Videos like the ones I'm referring to are imperative because they remind me so.

This is the first blog entry I've ever written that constricted my chest - that I think, "There is no way I can talk about what I'm writing." I'm glad I don't do this too's not my style.

And for you Ace, whose first reaction is to call me a "fag," just know that you were on these videos too. Tell your dad that he looks like a fucking doofus on a trampoline.


Rio said...

This post was serious to the core, Dan. Still enjoyed it though, I definitely get the nostalgia looking through old family pictures. Recently we had been scanning old pics to organize them in an external hard drive and it is shocking to look over them, with quotes like "why did you dress me like that?" and "oh great, i'm pulling my pants down in public again".

Ellen said...

I know it took a lot to write this, but I think that it was worth it. I always enjoy your stuff and this was a nice change of pace. You're still hilarious!!!

Kimmie said...

This post made my eyes sting a little. You're effin' hilarious, but it's nice to see this side of you. :)

Ms. Co-dependent said...

This post makes me sad...mostly because of the subject matter, but also because I don't have things like that. No one in my family had a video camera and old pictures are scattered amongst five aunts and uncles. My family isn't that close anymore and it makes me sad. I remember when I was young and we would go to my grandfather's every Sunday and play games with my whole family. I miss that. I'm glad you still have [something like] that.

Ms. Co-dependent said...

Also, whenever I hear/see the words "let it out," I'm reminded of the one penguin in Happy know, the Hispanic one voiced by Robin Williams. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go rent that movie right now. :^P

Penny Lane said...

While reading this post , I actually got a little teary-eyed, which doesn't happen much.

I understand what you are talking about. Especially about seeing the people you love and what they have gone through especially when they pass. I was raised in a family of Holocaust survivors. Growing up, I appreciated them to no end, but as I get older and they get older I find myself seeing right through them. I think it is because not many are left. In three months I lost my great uncle who I was extremely close too and my grandfather. Both survivors of tragedy. To have their lies end in the way that they did makes me angry, but looking back on their lives and the time they spend with me makes me proud.

We grow older but growing into a person only happens if you realize where you came from. To understand that things get lost and compromised but there is still a path that you have taken with people who have helped pave it.

theTsaritsa said...

I loved this post. Family is so important. You should write about this kind of thing more often.

Danaconda said...

Rio - That it was. Glad you can still enjoy it...I assure you it won't happen too often, haha.

Yeah, looking back is certainly a rude awakening...sometimes you like what you see, sometimes you don't. Either way it makes you better I think.

Ellen - I know it was worth it. I appreciate your approval with my change of pace, and my hilarity will commence shortly I hope.

Kimmie - And mine as well. I think this side of me is better used sporadically...stuff like this is not why I am read, but it's good to pull it out every once in a while. (That's what he said, haha). Besides, the whole point of a blog is to write what's on one's mind.

Ms. Co-dependent - The fact that you can be happy for me is a true testament to your personality. The memories that you have of those "better times" have clearly shaped you into a good person.

Not every family is ideal, but it's yours and must be accepted, not necessarily embraced. I don't judge those who choose not to participate with their family, because some are way more fucked up than others. I miss the times I referenced as well, but it's foolish to think they will last - simply appreciate what happened, and accept what is to come.

Oh, and "Happy Feet" kicked ass yo. I know exactly what you're talking about :)

Penny Lane - Hehe, well as stated above, the same doesn't normally happen to me either. I'll take this as a compliment.

I don't get angry when I think about what happened - though it is frustrating - mainly because it's a part of life and though this specific event affects us greatly, so many others go through it and continue to.

Having a big family means there's more to lose, and sometimes it's hard not to look at it that way. But there's much to learn and many memories to be had. Our path is certainly different from theirs, but we can't forget - and I know you don't - that ours was paved by them.

theTsaritsa - Thanks, but you may soon see that you'll miss my normal pervy self. You don't read me for pieces like these on a daily/weekly basis.

Family is important, but there are many definitions of what encompasses a family. Bloodline isn't always the case. Not everyone has that luxury, but they have others that are perhaps more a "family" than many.

Ace said...

You're a herb.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

I just wrote about seeing some old videos with an aunt who died when I was still pretty young.

You've captured the sense of it perfectly: surreal, emotional, strange. Easier to write about than speak about. I'm equal parts happy that I don't write about it all the time but sad that I don't remember these people and emotions enough.

I don't do well with serious emotions. Seriously, I suck at this. But my readers were very nice about letting me blab to them, and so as your reader, I'll tell you the same thing they told me: you write about whatever you want because you are a great writer.

We'll still be here when the poop jokes come back. I mean, I kind of wish they wouldn't, but whatever, I'll still be here. ;)


The Empress said...

What a beautiful post, especially the part where you are talking about the things that you noticed in the video. You should print off this post and share it with all of your family members that you can. Love is a wonderful thing and it should be shared, especially while we have the chance to do so.

Have a great week my friend!

Tall Brunette said...

I am a mix of touched and envious. I will never have this in my family. There are no videos that exist of me as a kid or of our family. There are very few photos. My mother tossed most of the ones I looked ugly or fat in. Same with my sister. That, consequently, was most of them. The last family photo that was taken,I had just learned to walk, my sister had a perm, and my mother used AquaNet. We are the opposite. We pretend to love each other, but we hate each other.

I love to read about these things. It hurts and feels good at the same time.
At the same time, I will never have this.

epitaphforaheart said...

This is a stunning piece, Dan. I read it last night, and I woke up this morning still mulling over it.

Growing up does suck and in a "too much teeth" sort of way- especially when you look back on all the ways you've changed and how some of what was so natural to you as a child, became something suppressed; something unwanted. It's a different kind of sad to have to acknowledge that.

"But I don't see how you can't be strongly moved by seeing your dead family personified, only for a few moments"

This hit me especially strongly because my family doesn't really do pictures or videos- well, not since my brother and I grew up anyway. I cherish the ones I have of us as children- they're the only ones left in between numerous moves and faded colours.

It's one of the reasons why I take so many pictures- I like capturing those moments, because I never know when it'll be all I have left of them.

My family has never been the kind of family that talks about feelings or emotions. We're do-ers. My father rings me from halfway across the world and asks me if I'm eating right. That's his code for checking if I'm OK. And it's funny, but the longer I live half-way across the world from my parents, the more I realise how much of who I am is because of them.

Again, this was a truly stellar post. xx

Kev D. said...

Awesome dude.

Also, "do you like to do it for money?"... fucking hilarious.

I cried during Mulan. I shit you you not.

Danaconda said...

Ace - Speaking from the guy who still has the video of us in "The Nutcracker" in second grade.

Lorraine - Yeah, it was really fucking weird. Apparently there's another one with myself running around naked in high heels...I was 15. Na I kid, I think I was 3. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for the comment. I gotta say that was the first time in a while I didn't want to write, but needed to write.

The Empress - Thanks, you too. I actually sent this to my mother, which is the first post I've ever let her read, for obvious reasons :)

Tall Brunette - I'm glad I can 'touch' you. It's important to have emotions brought out on a regular basis, and I'm happy it makes you feel good.

You say that you can never have this, yet in time you can shape a family of your own and set a better example. You learn from the mistakes of your elders and make yourself more knowledgeable on what you think a proper family should be. Either that, or you'll end up being just like them. That's your call. You know what I mean, right? How people say, "I'll never be like my mother," yet in a time of crisis they find that they do exactly what they had observed for so many years.

epitaphforaheart - Wow, a comment from R! Seldom yet greatly appreciated. The photos you take are so important and it's good that you realize it. I've never been a photo guy myself, but after seeing these videos I realize how imperative it truly is to stash these memories and bring them out when needed.

Haha, lots of people have difficulty with emotions, and like you said - that's your father's way of showing them. It's sweet, I think. Thank you for your kind and always-smart words.

Kev D. - Thanks brosky. Hehe, yeah we all have our moments. I've definitely gotten emotional over movies that most people haven't...makes us human I suppose.

Annah said...

I still think you're a sweetheart and one of the good guys. Regardless of all the nastiness you write about (which I love oh so much).

I was born in Cuba and of course there were no video cameras over there so the only memories I have of my childhood are pictures. Consider yourself lucky to have these memories, to have access to them, and most important of all, to have a family that loves you and you love in return. Waaaaaah. So sappy. I know.


Nicole said...

My parents were pretty bad about taking family videos, but we do have a lot of pictures. It's so easy to get lost in the boxes of old photos. One of the things that I have noticed is that the mood I go into it with sets the tone for the way I receive the photos. Meaning: if I start out in a certain mood, I end up either in tears or on the verge of tears because of this feeling of sadness that certain things have changed in a bad way - either changes in personalities or the loss of certain loved ones (I've got a pretty big family too so I'm familiar with that more people / more to lose phenomenon). On the other hand, there are days when it just makes me giggle because I can look back at those people and remember them in the best possible way, or because I can look at everyone when they were so small and see so much of the personality that they would grow to have.

In either case, you can't help but be somehow moved by spending an extended period of time in nostalgia-ville.

And I like sappy Dan. The only reason pervy Dan is so fun to read is because we all know that you're actually a really good guy.

Katsidhe said...

This post constricted my chest, too. In that place where I used to have one of those "heart" things.