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Yeah, I Still Love 'Em This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

My mother has always prided herself on being a sadist. For as long as my memory holds, she has had the uncanny ability to pinpoint every embarrassing moment I’ve ever had and run with it. And it’s getting worse as her talent rubs off on the rest of my family. I am now the butt of all my family’s jokes, the village idiot, the D-List celebrity about to be roasted by their Kathy Griffin. This cannot be so, you must be thinking. Surely, these are just exaggerated claims made by a jaded teenager who believes, like many of her peers, that the world is against her. If only this were true. But alas, there are too many examples that clarify just how real my situation is.

Here’s the scene: it’s the night of my first high school basketball game as well as the family dinner for my fourteenth birthday. This game is especially exciting, for me at least, because not only is it my first high school game, but I’m starting for the varsity team as a freshman. It has been a long enough period of time between personal incidents of humiliation, the ones that my family lives for, so that my ego has swelled to an abnormally huge size. This arrogance is poorly hidden, and as I show off to all fifteen spectators, taking three-pointers, hitting reverse layups, I made a comment to my dad along the lines of, “We’re gonna kick their ass.”

What I had failed to remember, however, was the fact that ass-kicking would be impossible due to the fact that our team was terrible. The game proceeded to be that of what you might expect to see at the Harlem Globetrotters, with trick plays, advanced passing skills, and players who outsized every member of our own vertically-challenged team. And just as every Globetrotter game has a team that bumbles around to enhance the skills of the Globetrotters, we looked like five lost people who meandered onto a court with a bunch of giants, and found ourselves playing basketball.

Suffice it to say, the game did not go as planned. We lost fifty-two to twelve, and the first reaction I received afterwards was not a consolatory gesture of any sort, but of my own father’s barely-contained grin as he told me in a smarmy, obnoxious tone, “Well, I guess pride cometh before a fall, eh?” Thanks for the support, Dad.

I had nearly managed to forget about the disastrous events earlier that night when I came home to my mini-party, and as we celebrated, I made sure to keep the topic of conversation as far away from me as possible. However, once the dishes were cleared and the little ones off to play, there were suddenly four evil, twisted adults, who I called my relatives, who wanted nothing more then to make me squirm.

It started off innocently enough. There was some mild questioning about how my game went, and how I played, how my team looked, and so forth. I was just beginning to hope that this whole unfortunate situation could be bypassed when I inadvertently allowed the score to slip out. The turn of events that followed was to rapid to be either comprehended or averted, but the next thing I knew, my dad was telling me, completely dead-panned, that it was a good thing my team sucked, or else I wouldn’t get to play, and my aunt saying nothing, just laughing as the tears streamed down her cheeks.

Such is every occasion that follows one of my foibles with my family. They tell me I’m the most fun because I can take it, but I just think that everyone else has caught on that I am the obvious choice, due to the fact that I provide so many options to make fun of. I mean, who else could get their shoe stuck in an escalator and live to here about it? Hopefully, though, when I get to college I’ll only have to deal with my parents’ incessant poking fun the few times I’ll allow them to call me. Plus, I guess now I’ll have one excuse as to why I’ll be in therapy the next 40-odd years.





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