A tourist flags down a New York taxi. He climbs in, and asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The cabby responds, “Practice man, practice!”
How did Archon get from the happy, smiling, enchanting little baby above, to be the Grumpy Old Dude he is today? It all starts with a good genetic background, goes through more than a half a century of formative social interaction, and is molded into place with constant, “Practice, man! Practice!”
It may have started here. This is my maternal grandfather and grandmother. I’ve always thought that his dour look came from being a dark Scottish Pict among the skirt-wearing, fair-skinned Highlanders. Recent DNA testing revealed that ¼ of my genetic makeup is from Ireland. I would imagine that thinking yourself a ‘good Scot’, or even a poor Scot, and finding that you’re descended from poteen-swilling, colleen-chasing, superstitious, banshee-herding idlers, would put a scowl on your face. I know it put one on mine….or was that already there?
This photo was taken in the mid-1930s, in the parkland adjacent to their home. If you can see in the upper, right-hand corner, two tall Poplar trees about a block away; this will be where my Mother returns from Detroit in a couple of years, and purchases her home and property. She met and married my father. He got a job and moved in with her, and about ten years after this shot, they produced me, in my Home Sweet Home.
When Mom returned from Detroit, she brought along with her, not only a divorce settlement, but a daughter from her first marriage. Shown here, she’s about 10, along with my Mom and Dad, about Christmas, 1944, clustered around the real center of attention, the recent arrival, that little Ray of Sunshine and Bundle of Joy, the Archon-in-Training ….pants.
Already sulky about losing a father in a divorce, her mood soon soured further when she found that she’d gained two new half-brothers in a remarriage. Her never-ending whining harshed my tiny mellow, and her shrill, constant complaints about, “Those boys! Those damned boys!” quickly got on my little nerves. I was well on my way to a world-class Old Grumpitude. Either that, or the fact that my Mother didn’t tie the laces on my little walking shoes and I tripped over them and fell on my handsome wee face. There’s always some reason to be grumpy– if you search hard enough.
This photo is of my Mom and Dad some 60 years after the one above. The reasons they’re happy and smiling, is that they’re both retired, I’m the one in the room taking the picture and my sisty ugler isn’t there.
I don’t really know why I continue to be such an old grump. I have you, my regular readers, and faithful followers. A young lady recently set a new personal record. She followed my blog – for the 20th time. She used to have her own blog-site, but shut it down. She follows me – and a day or two later, WordPress disconnects and un-follows her. She re-follows me – and a day later my stats fall again. We’ve done this dance now, twenty times. Now that’s dedication!
It’s probably been because I’ve been out for treks in the blogosphere, leaving grumpy footprints comments hither and yon, but there was a period following my Five Long Years post, where I gained 90 followers in 90 days. (Not including Rita Repetitive)
You’re probably wondering, ‘What can I do, to make Archon less grumpy?’ You’ve already done it. Visiting my site, reading, liking, commenting, all constitute Step 1 of my 12-step Grump-Addiction loss program. Now it’s up to me to take the other 11 small steps. I’ll get right on those – after I’ve had a snack and a nap. 😉