To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Frontal Lobe

When I was a kid my older brother, Adam, used to taunt, torture, and tease me on a daily basis. These days, he only does it when I go visit him in Connecticut. There are two very vivid taunting memories from my childhood that stick out the most to me.

The first experience happened when I was 12. As a church group, we drove to the LDS temple in LA to participate in Baptisms for the dead, which most of you know, is an ordinance that LDS people often participate in to baptize, by proxy, for persons who have passed on and were never able to be baptized while they were alive. Anyway... my older brother REALLY wanted me to be in the car with him and his other teenage buddies, which was super awesome to me, because usually big brothers never want their little sisters around... except when they plan to torment their sister(s). And, this, you see, is when I should have known better. But, I travelled the 2 hours from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in a car full of 15- to 17-year-old boys, listening to how brave I was. As, clearly I was aware I was willing to actually physically push dead people under the water. He and his friends had me convinced (and bawling, tears streaming down my face) that I was going to ACTUALLY be performing the baptism on a dead person(s). Adam said some of the deceased didn't even get cleaned off first, bloody, guts spilling out, gun shot wounds, sometimes stiff. He told me sometimes the bodies break in half. I was 12. And, I was petrified. YET, when we got to the L.A. temple, I was all in, still willing to be baptized for the dead. So what if I was blubbering like a lunatic, I was still willing to perform the ordinance, because I was obedient (and also stranded in L.A.). Luckily, my brother was just the biggest punk there ever was! And, once I met up with my mom she assured me that my brother was a prankster and all I had to do was get myself baptized on behalf of the deceased. Ugh. So mean, right?!?

Well, only slightly less mean was his second trick. A trick that lasted (and continues to last) much much longer. Whenever I would ask Adam if I could play a game, or watch a movie, or go to an activity with him, he would ask me "how old are you these days?" And, no matter what my answer was, I was always just a year too young. For example, if I wanted to play Uno, he'd ask how old I was. "10? You're 10? That's too bad, you have to be 11 to play this game." Or if I wanted to watch TV with him he'd ask again... "14. I am sorry, you have to be 15 to watch the Simpsons." Mind you, after the age of about 8 (maybe even younger), I knew he was just making it up. But, still I was not permitted to play, watch or participate in many things if it was up to Adam, with the exception of being his tackle dummy whenever he learned a new wrestling move. Somehow, I was always miraculously old enough to have the banana splits performed on me daily (regardless of the number of times I assured my big brother "my legs don't go that way!!!")

Anyway, just the other day I was listening to this world renowned human psychologist speak about how the frontal lobe in the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. (Mind you, this is taken totally out of context. I was not just sitting around waiting to hear this. If I told you all that her testimony was in reference to the Casey Anthony trial, that might make a lot more sense to all of you who know me well). Her argument being that no person should be allowed to make emotional, behavioral or problem-solving decisions until the ripe age of 25.

Bam! How awesome it that knowledge for anyone over the age of 25! Lucky for me, I am in Young Womens. And, my roommate is (until September) still 24 years of age.

As you can imagine, I have thoroughly enjoyed telling the YW (and my roommate) that their frontal lobes are not yet fully formed and therefore, I am right and they are wrong.

It's the only time in my life that I've had any scientific (or any other) advantage that worked in my favor.

And, CLEARLY now I can see why this game was so much fun for my brother!


Kari said...

Oh man. I had to read that baptism part to my mom. So mean and so funny.

Jennica Miller said...

LOL! I loved the baptism story! Hadn't heard that one before! He's crazy. I totally had to lol when you mentioned banana splits! I totally remember that! He used to do that to you all the time! So funny... and a bit painful too! Funny.