By Brett Buckner
It would seem an introduction is in order, this being my maiden verbal voyage for The Albany Journal.
Given my limited space, I’ll avoid the awkward first-date summary of my life (Hi, my name is Brett.
I’m a 37-year-old, freelance writer raised in Albany, now living in Columbus, Ga. I’m on medication for OCD. I like gardening and read only hardback books. I’m terrified of spiders, believe coffee tastes best in Styrofoam cups, have never seen an entire James Bond movie but can quote lines from the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Sounds like something off the Reject Pile of Match.com.
For the purposes of this particular space, suffice it to say that I’m a parent and this is a humor column – as if those two things weren’t Siamese twins, forever joined at the hip. Being a parent, for all its blessings and cursing, is hilarious. Though it often takes many years’ worth of perspective to truly appreciate the joke, which is why grandparents are always smiling. It’ll be my job to provide insight before Metamucil is on all our grocery lists.
A dark, macabre transformation takes place among otherwise sane people after witnessing the so-called “miracle of birth.” And as a personal aside, if more curious teenagers were forced to watch said miracle in all its HDTV, Blu-ray glory, unprotected sex and teen pregnancy would go the way of polio as an American epidemic.
Fact is, after finding out where babies come from, they might never have sex again.
But I digress …
Something happens to otherwise normal people after they’ve conspired to bring a child into this world. We lose all sense of decency and public decorum. Take me for example: I’m a college graduate, an award-winning journalist who maintains his lawn, pays bills on time and wears khaki pants with crisp pleats. I’m a grownup, yet I think nothing of standing in line at Wal-Mart and in the middle of a conversation with relative strangers, bend down and politely ask my 3-year-old if she needs to “go potty.” Then, without skipping a beat, I’ll pick up the conversation right where I left off.
Scenes like that are why teenagers hate their parents. They don’t know exactly what you did, they can’t remember that far back, but they know at one point in their formative years you humiliated them in public and no one came to the rescue.
Which is why, to save the $100-an-hour therapist couch fee, I shall rely on nicknames when sharing my everyday stories of parental madness. Plus kids love secret identities. I harbored fantasies of being a professional wrestler name Shasta McNasty into my 30s.
During this (hopefully) weekly journey of wit and wisdom, you’ll hear a lot about The Diva. She’s the 14-year-old emotional tornado whose moods not even Doppler Radar could predict. She’s smart, beautiful and diabolically logical.
Then there’s Jellybean (it’s what she looked like in the sonogram), a 3-year-old self-styled princess – complete with a crown she wears daily – whose passions include Buffy the Vampire Slayer and singing along to Glee. And of course, My Lovely Wife, who is the Krazy Glue that holds our family together. Last, and certainly least, there’s me. And I’ll be the Constant Cleaner, for reasons that’ll be painfully apparent (note the earlier OCD reference).
From here on out, what you’ll read is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as only I see it. But what’ll make these stories truly funny, is how my whacky family is just like yours.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.