Have any of you ever been embarrassed by your family? I’m reminded of this by encounters with current teenagers with whom I have had engaged in substantive and fulfilling conversations prior to entry into their years of double digits.

I was embarrassed way before my teen age years. Previous posts about my older brother should give the reader new to my blog, some explanatory background. I used to go through the neighborhood incognito so no one would recognize me.

Jack in disguise

Ironically, the first year of adulthood, in Jewish tradition coincides with the first year of teenager-hood. In my case, it was the year that I decided that nothing in the whole world was funny any more. My younger brother got me a 5-year subscription to MAD magazine. Since it was so dark and irreverent, I actually found it to be hilarious, in a hyper, manic kind of way that yielded nervous laughter, which could easily turn to unstoppable tears.

I suppose that time solved a lot of these issues. However, I still have that dark sense of humor. For instance, did you hear this one?  A baby seal walked into a club…

2 thoughts on “Disguise

  1. I think it’s pretty normal to be embarrassed by all your relatives, no matter who they are, at some point in your life 😉 Though, I thought it was quite funny for my brother to bite ferry staff, tip 4 star restaurant tables over, strip naked at someone’s wedding reception… After a while, nothing can embarrass you after a point ! Though, I don’t really remember being embarrassed by my brother, only when he would drop to the floor and scream in church because of the filthy looks people give you (so, other people’s reactions).. I can’t really remember! Was it what your brother did or was it from how he was different? I know that my friend has an older brother with autism and she is mortified by being seen with him in public, which I’ve never really understood, but then again, I’m the older sibling so maybe it’s different with ages.

    • Thanks, Hannah. Yikes, I don’t remember specifics of my brother’s antics. He did run around the neighborhood with no clothes on, and steal people’s food and yell in public, but I think I hardened myself against that. But honestly, it was so long ago for me. A childhood friend and neighbor growing up told me once that Mike came into his house once in the middle of the night and played on his piano. I see now that some of the embarrassment was because I was still trying to find my own identity. That is tough to do when forces beyond one’s control come in to the picture. That is the way it is for everyone I suppose. I can see the situation from the other side now, with teenagers in my family. It seems I am no longer an embarrassee, although I can’t understand why anyone would be embarrasses by me. My humor notwithstanding.

      I appreciate all your comments, Hannah, thanks again.


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