One day I found out that my dad wasn’t my dad. I’ll let that one seep in a bit. Ready? First of all, I was not a victim. I did not happen upon someone’s old diary and find out that my mom had a side gig. I didn’t overhear my dad telling his buddy that I was a bastard. My sister never told me I was adopted when we were young. In fact, I probably told her she was adopted. Oh the irony. No, it’s better than all that. I made my sister take a DNA test with me. “Come on! It’ll be fun!” I told her. “I’m sure we’re sisters!” I said. And so we did. Spit in a tube that is. Separately, cause that’s how it works.
And it turned out that yes we’re sisters and no she was not adopted but we are in fact half sisters. That means that we don’t share the same two parents. I’m not going to lie to you, it was shocking and devastating and so weird that for the first few weeks I hardly trusted myself to speak. I was saying all sorts of weird things and questioning everything. Including my existence. Not in a suicidal kind of way but in a George Bailey ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ kind of way. Like what would everyone’s life been like if I’d never been born.
I can’t really explain. It’s kind of like child birth. You have to live it to get it. It’s a total mind messer-upper. And I can tell you that no one in my life really got it. And how many times can you say “Did I tell you that my dad wasn’t my dad?” until you start telling the cashier at Whole Foods and the guy at Lens Crafters and anyone else with a heart beat and a nose and mouth and then it gets old. So I had to find a way out of the ditch and I found Comedy Central. And I listened all day in the car. And then I used youtube in the house to replay my favorites. Every day. And it pulled me back out of the ditch. Because it reminded me to laugh and it reminded me that most everyone has a story although mine was a pretty good story that’s for sure.
Laughter can be the best medicine. Surely it’s not the only medicine but for me it’s the best way to see the light. I’m not a big drinker and I’m more likely to turn to espresso or a ride or a run when I’m sad or depressed or overwhelmed. But this time I needed more. I needed comedy. Because you see, comedians are often making us laugh from their own place of pain. They’re sharing and making us laugh as if to say “See, it’s really going to be alright.”
In case you’re curious, one day a long time ago, my dad called and said “I’m not your dad.” I didn’t investigate too deeply. You know what you know. You believe what you believe. Until one day you don’t. And then you start to ask questions. But the thing about it is is that if you ask the questions, you better be ready to hear the answer. Even if it’s not what you wanted to hear.