Guest Post from my dad: “It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to”

In honor of my dad’s birthday today, I decided to give him the best present of all: an audience! Please enjoy his post about genetics, tags on baby clothes, ketchup packets, and the month of February. When he’s not guest blogging on my blog, Jonathan Lehrer can be found blogging at, working as the president of Jonathan Lehrer Communications, Inc., or updating his Facebook timeline so that his cover photo integrates with his profile picture.

When (more likely, IF) people wish me Happy B-Day today, the “b” might stand for blog. That’s because on the coincidence of my birthday and Lia’s blog-posting day, she asked me to be a guest blogger. That’s a little like asking your dad to handle communications with your friends for a day. Wait a minute, it’s PRECISELY like that. Just imagine saying this to the person who bought the first tank of gas for the car you learned to drive in:

“Hey, Dad, I can’t think of anything to post about, here’s my password, would you mind talking to all my friends from my user name?”

At the risk of never being invited back here again, let me begin by observing that there is some evidence that Lia is not actually related to the rest of our family.

  • She goes to bed early; I don’t.
  • She is obsessed with completing her work on time and meeting deadlines; the rest of us, not so much.
  • She doesn’t eat oranges or drink orange juice; the rest of us, wait, do I even need to complete that sentence?

But the proof that she shares genes with other members of our clan, at least with me, is simple:

Everything annoys her.

Moreover, it annoys me that she is sufficiently disciplined to write regularly about stuff that annoys her before I get a chance to write about the same stuff. Until today.

Historical note: Even as an infant, everything annoyed Lia. Her mom, Estee, and I recall realizing that Lia was bothered by the tags on those cute little sleepers new parents get as baby gifts. And even with the tags removed, Lia didn’t sleep normally until she was 5. (Thankfully for our family and the rest of the world, neither Estee nor Michael [Lia’s brother] seem to be overly bothered by anything.)

Today, even on this happy occasion, I am annoyed by:

Why are they so small and hard to open?

Little ketchup packets. A normal-sized portion of French fries requires at least four of them. I can’t open them without getting ketchup on my fingers. Little ketchup packets should be outlawed and Congress should require a normal bottle of ketchup in all rooms where food is consumed (in other words, all rooms).

Undersized napkins. Please! I’m eating a Chicago-style hot dog. It’s a mess. Give me a full-sized napkin. Give me two.

Feb-YOO-ary. What the heck is this? It’s my birthday month. Though it’s the shortest month (just another item on my “I never had the same privileges as other kids” list), it seems to take FOREVER because nobody knows how to pronounce it. When I was at WNUR, the Northwestern University campus radio station, we spent months practicing how to say “W” (double-you, not dubba-ya). Can’t today’s newscasters practice how to correctly pronounce my special month?

Interface insanity. Don’t like the Facebook interface, wait a few minutes, they’ll change something and it will seem new and unfamiliar again. Hate the new Gmail look? By tomorrow they’ll thrust something else on you that will make you crazy. Annoyed by Google+ taking over the world? Yeah, well good luck with that one.

Make me happy for my birthday. Join Lia and me and a plethora (that’s equal to 100 times a minyan) of other annoyed people who find the equivalent of itchy labels inside articles of clothing everywhere. What annoys you?


2 thoughts on “Guest Post from my dad: “It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to”

  1. Kudos to Hanes for listening to you guys, as they’re now printing the tag info directly on the material, and the tags in their underwear are gone!

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