JOHNNY COME LATELY
“What are ya? A Johnny-Come-Lately? Ya think the world started when you were born? That’s not new! I already knew about it.”
That is what my father used to say to me when I was a kid and ran to him all excited over something new I had just discovered. Oh how it crushed me! All my enthusiasm over the discovery destroyed just like that. Why couldn’t he pretend that he did not already know about my discoveries, and share in my joy?
Crushing my excitement was not enough for Dad. At family gatherings he would ridicule me.
“What a Johnny-Come-Lately Gary is! He thinks the world started when he was born. He gets excited about stuff that’s been around for years.”
He always said it loud enough for all to hear, and then he would laugh. Crushed again!
As I got older I would mention how I felt hurt over what he said to me, and how he embarrassed me at family functions.
“Oh stop your whining! Your problem is that you’re too sensitive,” he would say. “Suck it up! Be a man!”
In other words my feelings did not count. There was something wrong with me: I was too sensitive. There was nothing wrong with a father who constantly enjoyed putting his son down and laughing about it.
It has only been recently that I realized that there is nothing wrong with me because I feel deeply. In this respect, I am a Johnny-Come-Lately.