The Perennial Good Boy

28 May 2006
May 28, 2006
Illustration of me as an eight year old

I had always been a very good boy.

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning. My home office is a mess. And after hours of sorting, filing, and tossing my desk is now pristine again. But much still needs to be done before this job is complete. On the floor lay boxes my wife has filled over the years with my “stuff.” There is so much stuff it’s hard not to be overwhelmed.

The first box seems to be laden with things from the 2003 period of my life. You know how it is. Every night you come home and empty your pockets of the flotsam du jour. Receipts, pens, change, reminder notes –whatever– are automatically placed on top of the bedroom bureau. Three years later you discover your loving wife unceremoniously threw them into a box. They have been waiting for you to deal with on your own time. She doesn’t like me to leave these artifacts from my life on the dresser. She likes things nice and tidy. The time is now.

Most of these things are easy to dispense with. I quickly throw most of them in the trash or shredder. 2003 was a pretty good year but these documents no longer need to be saved for anyone’s posterity.

But what have we here? How did this note from my distant past get misfiled into this 21st century receptacle?

What was I thinking back then? As a child I was always a very good boy. The curse of the first born. With apologies to my sister, I was the easy kid. I did everything and believed everything my parents told me until my early 20s when rebellion finally kicked in.

The origins of this note are now mostly lost on me (I do remember Mrs. Mandel was my Cub Scout Den Mother). What would make this perennial model-of-a-son so angry he was ready to bolt? Apparently I didn’t always accept everything my parents doled out. This document proves I had my eight year old limits. Things back then weren’t as tidy as I seem to have remembered.

GOOD-BY and I mean it for a short time.

4 replies
  1. Donna says:

    Priceless. Thanks for the good laugh.
    I think all of us did this at one point or another. I remember getting the idea from comics and cartoons, where someone wraps up their toys in a bindle and carries it over their shoulder.
    What does “your x son” mean?

  2. Jeff says:

    It was my shorthand for “ex-” as in “not your son anymore.” I didn’t think I was one of the X-Men. ;-)

  3. Donna says:

    Oh, that is clever. I love the “don’t call the police” part. You must have been watching too much Dragnet.

  4. Jessica Doyle says:

    Oh what memories your post stirred in me; that of being an eight year old girl. I love finding little tidbits of the past forgotten, stuffed away in showboxes or attics. That’s 24 years ago now for me… thanks for making me smile and feel like a kid again today ;)
    cheers!

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