About halfway through last quarter, one of my roommates forgot her student ID when we went to dinner. She had to go back to the dorm and get it, we missed our bus, and ended up having dinner about 45 minutes later than planned. It was actually pretty hilarious.
Unfortunately for my roommate, we’re probably never going to let it go, because I was raised to abide by one rule. We are Schollaerts, and we do not forget.
Let me give you some examples.
As you may know if you either A) read my introductory blog post or B) know me in real life (which let’s be honest is most, if not all of you), I lived in Tennessee for a few years. That is, from the ages five to seven. My sister Becca is two years older than me, so she would’ve been about eight years old when the following story took place. She is now 21. This will become important in a minute.
My mom was a member of the Memphis Symphony Chorus, so once a week she would go to practice and my dad would take me and Becca out to dinner. This particular evening we found ourselves at the local watering hole Applebee’s, where we decided to be daring and sit at a high top table. For a six year old, this was a pretty big deal, because I wasn’t used to seeing the world from such a high vantage point. Looking back, it’s honestly kind of amazing I could get into the chair at all.
While I was aglow in the false sense of being tall, the novelty unfortunately wore off pretty quickly for Becca. I know this because at one point in the meal, she dropped her fork and failed to remember that she was several feet (or inches, I don’t actually have a working understanding of just how high high top tables are) farther from the ground than usual. Consequently, when she reached down to pick up her fallen utensil, she tumbled out of the chair and onto the floor. Hilarity ensued.
Now ordinarily, we as a family could get some pretty good milage out of this for a few weeks, maybe a month, and then let it go and move on to the next embarrassing moment. But we Schollaerts are not ordinary, and we brought it up for years. Remember when I said Becca is now 21? The infamous Applebee’s high top table came up at dinner last week, 13 years after the fact. And rest assured, we will be referencing it in another 13 years, and another 13 after that. It’s just the Schollaert way.
In case you’re wondering, no, it’s not just limited to my immediate family. I know this because once in first grade, I had to draw portraits of my grandparents for Grandparents Day. This is the masterpiece I came up with for my Grandpa Schollaert:
You may or may not notice that my grandpa’s head turned out kind of. . . pointy. Grandpa certainly did. And mocked it for no less than a decade. Whenever my grandparents send a card, he includes a cute little doodle with the note, and for years, that doodle featured a character with a ridiculously tall forehead that came to a perfect point. Honestly, if/when he sees this post, it might start up again. I’d frankly be a little disappointed if he didn’t.
I would like to stress the point that we are equal opportunity mockers. Mom usually gets off comparatively easy because she’s the mom and it feels kind of wrong to tease someone who had her stomach sliced open after nine months of me sitting on her bladder and doesn’t hold it against me. However, she did once make copies of her driver’s license and credit card before a trip and left them on the printer. She had the copies at the airport, but not the originals, and it does come up every time anyone takes a trip.
My dad, though also a great parent, does not get the mom advantage and consequently finds himself on the same level on the rest of us. My favorite story to bug him about unfortunately has a very small window of applicability, since it took place on the beach and we live in the opposite of a beach. So we really only get to bring it up on the beach or during Shark Week.
See, a few years ago we were on a family vacation in Florida. My dad loves the beach and he loves fishing, so it’s no surprise that he was, on this particular day, fishing on the beach. More specifically, he had waded out into the ocean to about waist level water. If you’re familiar with the gulf coast, you might know that there’s a relative abundance of manatees, so if you saw a dark mass maybe 30 feet away from you in the ocean, you would likely reasonably conclude, “Oh look, a manatee.”
This is not the conclusion that Dad reached. Instead, he saw a shape in manatee-infested waters and screamed, “SHARK!” before frantically running back to shore, to the amusement of, I have to assume, every soul on that beach. Fast forward five years, and he is still subject to the occasional game of “Manatee or Shark?”
I imagine at this point it probably seems like my family is pretty ruthless and unsupportive. This is not the case. We just love to laugh, and we don’t mind being laughed at because we know we’ll have the chance to laugh at each other in the future. (Also we don’t raise sissies who can’t take a joke.)
So to my roommate Ashley, you’re smart and organized and there’s a reason we call you Coach. Unfortunately, you were also the first of us to forget your student ID and we will never forget that. Don’t worry though- it’s only a matter of time before I do something more embarrassing for you all to remind me of forever.
This month, by Rachel Schollaert hosting a Go Fund Me for UNL STAC that you can access here: https://www.gofundme.com/aucvgytg
For more information on STAC, visit their Facebook page at UNL Students Together Against Cancer and/or read this blog post.