I blame on my parents.
That's right, I said it.
At this very moment my dad is laughing.
Shall I explain?
Item 1 - Addiction. To Chocolate. This is clearly the fault of my parents, both of them. My dad loves all things chocolate - ice cream, m&m's, cookies. And my mom, although she might try to convince you she doesn't like it that much - well, my mom hides chocolate all over the place. Under the bed, in her dresser, in her purse, in her closet. I bet if you looked around you'd find some stash of chocolate right now. I used to live for Easter season. Mom always had a stash of Cadbury Eggs somewhere nearby. Always. She probably has a secret store of them this very moment.
Item 2 - Insomnia. This is also clearly the fault of my parents. You might wonder how two people that go to bed at 9 p.m. could be blamed for my insomnia. Well, you see, my parents go to bed at 9 p.m. By 8:30 they are fading faster than Sarah Palin's Republican support base, by 9 p.m. they are either asleep or really, really unhappy. When I was a teenager, this was great. I would stay up late reading, watching TV, sitting around, snacking - pretty much anything except sleeping. I am fully aware that when my older siblings were teenagers my parents weren't nearly so fast and loose. I'd like to publicly thank them for beating my parents down into complete exhaustion.
Item 3 - Impatience. Also the fault of my parents. For high school graduation they bought me a set of luggage. Nothing screams "We're proud of you, now get out!" like finely crafted luggage. At least it was my favorite color.
Item 4 - I talk too much. Also the fault of my parents. Some of you who know my mom might want to say it's all my mom's fault. She is the only person I know that can strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere at anytime. But, don't be fooled by my dad's more subtle style. It is common knowledge that there have been three great communication innovations: The telegraph, telephone and teleTom.
Item 5 - Faith. Clearly the fault of my parents. How is this a bad thing? Much as I'd like to just sleep in every Sunday, skip out on church callings and try out illegal substances, my parents have ingrained in me a faith that I always fall back on when my own faith is feeling a little shaky. Darn parents, showing me the straight and narrow. What were they thinking?
I could go on and on about all the ways my parents have screwed me up. But, you can see just what a great job they did making me...well, me.
This one time when I was a teenager, I had insomnia and so I crawled into my dad's recliner and drifted off to sleep sometime in the wee morning hours. I woke up to my dad's face, tender and curious. He was holding my hand and rubbing a gentle circle on my palm with his thumb. Never have I felt more loved.
Once when I was about 8 or 9, I had a bad dream and so I came into my parent's room and asked if I could get in bed with them. Without even an impatient sigh, my mother skooched over, made room for me, and spooned me close. Never have I felt more secure.
For some reason my parent's thought they should show me what a loving marriage looks like. For some reason my parent's thought they should help me pay for school when I couldn't afford it on my own. For some reason my parent's loaned me money and never complained when I was slow paying it back. For some reason my mother didn't kill me when I was a bratty teenager with a smart mouth. For some reason my dad always cheered my accomplishments and minimized my failures. For some reason my parent's have hugged me and kissed me and cried with me and shown me that parenting is more about love than rules, more about tenderness than discipline, more about faith than frustration.
Everything that's right with me, I blame on my parents.