Josh's mom is a solemn person. She has a serious earnestness (or maybe a earnest seriousness) about her. I like earnest and sincere people. In fact, I like to think that I am one. But my earnestness is of a more silly variety. I have a hard time talking to her sometimes. I make a silly joke, then she turns it into something very serious. I end up feeling sort of deflated and newly sad about something that I had previously been cheerful about. She probably thinks that I am incapable of taking anything seriously, and that is a fair complaint.
My favorite example of her gravity is a birthday letter she sent me a couple of years ago. For you young scrubs out there who have never written out a letter by hand, the result is that you can't go back and edit it. You're mostly just writing down your thoughts as they come. There were some birthday greetings, then some general news stuff, including a paragraph about a book that she was currently reading. This book was about the Holocaust. Ooooookay, a little grim. Her next statement was about how awful it was that some people went around saying the whole thing never happened. It was like she one-upped herself in grim. I've tried to think of something more depressing than Holocaust denialism, and I can't beat it. For a fun game, see what you can come up with!
This all brings me to about half an hour into 2012. I was sitting in a living room at a house that had cable. A few other squares and I were watching Ryan Seacrest's New Year's Rockin' Eve. I don't remember the conversation, only what I said next.
"That would be like Anne Frank being your mom." And then I sort of stopped in horror at what had just come out of my mouth. What I had meant was that it would be like having a prominent diarist as your mom. That was even what made sense in the context of the conversation, and the first diarist that I came up with was Ms. Frank. Even now, I can't come up with another example where everyone would know what I was talking about, so probably I should have just avoided making a joke about diarists at all. I realized too late was that my statement did not make sense, because Anne Frank did not get to be anyone's mom, what with the Holocaust and all. I tried to explain myself, and they understood, but still thought it was more fun to tease me about it. I made it a joke, because that is a skill that comes with never taking anything seriously. You're welcome, folks, I am the source of your very first conversation about the Holocaust in the new year. Cheers!
At that moment, while we were all laughing at me, I thought about telling them about the birthday letter. But then I realized that I would be responsible for the first conversation about Holocaust denialism in the new year, and I stopped. Phew!