The Grandfather Clause Lets All the Lames In

Published July 1, 2012 by Sandee

My friend says that he was grandfathered into all those house parties back in the day because of his cousin, who was very outgoing.  I laughed my ass off!  His cousin lived next door to me, and I got to tag along with her so I was ‘in’ too, by default.  He says he was lame in high school – he wasn’t.  If he was lame, I was lamer, socially awkward. Neither of us were the dynamic outgoing types.  I was introspective, neurotic and insecure.  Yay!  I’m not being down on myself – I just was so out of it and I knew it.  It threw me into a state of confusion.  I would think “These are the rules?  Holy shit – how’m I supposed to keep up with all this?”  You know teenagers with all their codes and rules.  So I was stunned quiet ‘till I discovered liquor.  I was a weirdo and a free spirit who didn’t have an outlet or other weirdos to hang out with.  I think my childhood disease had a lot to do with alienating me.  It fucked me up physically, took away my confidence.  My parents were so young and didn’t know how to handle it.  It would have been cool if I could have stayed weird but had the nerve to back it up.  But it’s useless to say, if only this was that way, or that was this way…  Today I don’t whine about how miserable I was.  It’s not like I’m so tough either – let’s just say I had help with that childhood trauma in my early twenties.  A group therapy type thing you know.

When I was 14 the brother of the alpha male of the wolf pack, the second     lieutenant — he fancied me, so that made me more noticed, I suppose.  ‘In’ by default?  Haha.  The funny thing is that I never really cared to be ‘in’.  Those kids who were more at ease, popular, they intrigued me of course, but I really would rather have been left alone.  My dad used to make me go out and play with the little kids.  “Sandee, it’s not healthy to stay in your room – what the fuck’s wrong with you!”  No, he didn’t say that last part.  All I wanted was to listen to AM radio on the window sill (all those Bread songs from the 70s), write stories, read and play with my dolls.  Why wouldn’t those damn kids yelling out the window for me to come out and play just leave me alone?!  They’re all the reason I became an alcoholic!  But seriously, [mocky voice] if I hadn’t had these experiences when I was a child I wouldn’t be the person I am today – blech.

16 comments on “The Grandfather Clause Lets All the Lames In

  • love it! yeah, all of us geeks were grandfathered in, wouldn’t be the people we are today…that’s the story we tell, LOL! I’m with you, tho’ never really cared to be ‘in’ and now, who the hell cares! We make our own ‘in’ group!

  • Lol, I could’ve been grandfathered into my brother’s world, ha.

    No one ever fancied me so I did pretty much just stay alone. I did want friends, though, just other geeky people like me, lol.

    • Yes, I relate to that. Wanting other friends like me. That was part of the problem. I got swept up sort of in a world where I didn’t belong, because I didn’t have the balls to break out at that time. My friend had me laughing so hard using the grandfather clause in this way. Lol!

  • I was a very weird, awkward and isolated child. We grew up in a little cow town, and the nearest neighbor with kids was over a mile a way. There was no playing with other kids, or socializing…There was no leaving the property….

    The “Bad” people might come and abduct us…

    Anyway… i just never learned how to interact… And I had my own sense of self (even back then) I didn’t care about being “in” – I just wanted to do my own thing…

    Although I always wondered what it would be like, if I had grown up in a neighborhood with kids, and had been allowed to go out and play…

    • Well, Tham — if you ever have a week to spare — I can tell you allllll about the ‘horrors’ of growing up in a neighborhood with plenty ‘o childrens! Ahahahahaaa!! One thing, it was a neighborhood with children of all different races — so I did have that experience.

    • I love this term now, ‘grandfathered’ — my friend had me laughing so hard at this! I tell you if it weren’t for my next door neighbor who was really popular — I probably wouldn’t have been invited to these parties. I don’t think you missed much!

  • I had a few childhood friends to play make-believe with, but I was one of those stay in and listen to music types, too. In high school, I had a nice circle of fellow weirdos to hang out with (and I met my best friend of the last 27 years). We’d do stuff like go see Rocky Horror, then end up at a Denny’s until the sun came up. My folks were okay with my missing curfew as long as I told them roughly when I’d be home.

    • You’re so lucky you had ‘like-minded’ people to hang with. Not that I didn’t like my friends growing up. The girl that lived next door to me, I love her to death and she’s still a good friend today. It sounds like you had a comfortable circle of friends and some good memories.

    • The grandfather clause exempts certain people from new restrictive laws because their ancestors, or grandfathers enjoyed the privileges of the old ones — I used it loosely, having borrowed the phrase from my buddy. In my story it means that my buddy, who says he was ‘lame’, was allowed to attend parties that he’d normally be shut out from, because of his popular cousin. Normally the teenaged ‘laws’ would shut him out. This is a really really poor analogy of the grandfather clause — lol! I just love the term ‘grandfathered in’. Maybe I can create a new usage for the term.

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