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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

Yucking Yum (No Offense)

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

True story:

Brother: Hey, Eri want to sit in a special box and see Hamilton at the Kennedy Center?

Me: Have we met?


Last attempted foray into musical theater found me sitting out the second half (or whatever it's called) of 'The Book of Mormon'; hiding in the mercifully silent lobby of the same aforementioned DC venue while the rest of my sprawling family continued being sung at.

(I mean just say it for God's sake.)

Obviously, I was so characteristically discrete my brother failed to notice my absence. Thus the poorly directed invite. I mean otherwise it'd be like offering to meet me at a clam bake despite the fact that the smell of fish triggers dry heaves.

I don't know what my issue is per se but my dislike of a lot of popular things is of a long standing duration. Couple that with my proclivity towards honesty and I've maybe ruffled some feathers along the way.

Okay, maybe more than a few.

I've been doing it a long time. If I had a job I'd be looking at retirement.

When I was around 10, I was in the backseat of a car, giving my unadulterated opinion of something (The Mod Squad? Anchovies?) when my friend's mother fixed me in the rearview mirror and sneered, 'What do you like, Erika?'

Not you, I thought.

Truthfully, I was mortified. More than half a century later the rebuke can raise my body temperature when I think of it. It didn't really change my behavior though. I'm authentic. (Opinionated.) On the rare occasions that I withhold my reaction to something I know my face screams hostage video.

Recently, one of my offspring (you know who you are) accused me of being dogmatic on certain topics. (Politics.)

I nearly bit my tongue in half while trying to get my words out.

My forthright nature includes communication with my grandchildren. They've become huge fans of a show called Storybots which is, as far as I can tell, only a cacophony of shrieking under the guise of being educational. I've watched twice. Many of the animated characters remind me of Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo from Southpark.

(Harkening back to The Book of Mormon -- see what I did there?)

The two episodes I suffered through proffered explanations of DNA and How Cell Phones Work. They not only drained my already tenuous understanding of those topics in particular -- but also a substantial part of unrelated IQ floating around. As a result, I have let it be known to the Under-8 Set that while they are free to utilize their TV time however they want when we are together, I will no longer be joining them on the couch during that show.

They took it in stride. They're used to me.

ps Off the top of my head, here is a more complete list of opinions I'm entitled to:

Jazz (which, now that I think of it, is actually because it sounds like Storybots) makes my teeth hurt

Disney (World, Land and movies). Hard pass.

Massages (hands to yourself!)

Mani-pedis (the last dude who tried to paint my toenails kept telling me to relax. It was heinous.)

Air travel

And all things MAGA (duh).



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