The Bro

My kids are really funny.  I’m not sure where they get that. 

This morning, Michelle. hit my bed at about 8 am.  My arms were up over my head.  “Dad, your arms are flubbery.”  Being one who works out on a regular basis, I am bothered by that statement.  And that’s exactly why she said it.

I had a Social Studies teacher in 7th grade, second period, right after homeroom.  I remember two things about that class.  First, several girls in the class paid me $2 to ask another girl named Barbara to “go with me”.  I asked how long before I could break up.  They said I could dump her at 10 minute break which was right after third period.  I gladly obliged and left the school $2 richer. 

I also remember that the teacher, who was actually very skinny, had a great deal of skin hanging off her upper arms.  She often wore sleeveless dresses.  Her “flubber” jiggled as she wrote on the chalk board, it was mesmerizing – made it difficult for an ADHD boy to focus.  From that time forward, I was always concerned about my arms. 

Late at night is the time that I miss Lisa the most.  Once the kids are in bed, the house gets really quiet.  That was never an issue before; 10 – midnight was our time.  When Jesse is here, it’s not so quiet.  But he’s a young dude with a social life.  So last March I began a new routine:  late night push ups.  Last year I lost 20 pounds – grief and stress related.  I was down to a light 155.  I’ve worked hard to put the weight back on (Lisa would really be miffed at someone who had to work to put weight on).  My kids’ response from my hard work?  They tell me I have man boobs.  I’ve worked to explain the difference between man boobs and a muscular chest.  I even pulled up pictures on the internet:

(I found several really good pics of man boobs but just couldn’t bring myself to put them on this website.  We have some level of decency.  You can go to google and search for yourself.)



How did they respond to my explanation?  For my birthday, they made me a “Bro”.  A “Bro”, according to Kramer in the hit TV show Seinfeld, is a bra for a man. 

This “Bro” was made out of cardboard with two triangular cups covered with tin foil.  It was attached with lace and decorated with hearts and glitter.  I was amused…but not enthusiastic enough to put it on, even for a friendly picture.  When you live in this house, there is no telling where a photo of you might show up.

I think that laughter is a HUGE ingredient in healing.  Some may perceive it as irreverent.  I see it as survival.

Leave a comment


  1. As the middle child of three girls, I know how ruthless we can be…we just think we’re hilarious, especially when put together in the same room. Way to take it in stride dad. Your girls will love you the more for it (man boobs or no man boobs)

    • Patty Thomson

       /  February 16, 2011

      I won’t comment on the man boobs (I could, but I won’t). I will comment on the arms. As one who has pendulus upper arm skin, I will let you in on how I handle it. One Sunday I was doing music with the 3 year olds in Sunday School and one of the boys asked my what that was hanging from my arms. (I was wearing short sleeves, but it takes more than that to camoflauge) I said, “Those are my wings. I am turning into an angel.”!! His mother stopped me the next time we saw each other at church and shared her conversation that day on the way home. He: “Mama, Ms. Patty is an angel.” mom “yes honey, she is sweet isn’t she”. He: “No Mom, she is a REAL angel, she is growing real wings”!!! I would rather be remembered as an angel with real wings than just Ms. Patty with flapping flubber!!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 16, 2011


      • Patty Thomson

         /  February 17, 2011

        excuse me!!!! I guess my eyes are not what they used to be!!

  2. Aunt Susan

     /  February 16, 2011

    A church that I pass on the way to work each day had this up for a long time. I always thought of you when I saw it.
    Humor is the speed bump of life. God gave that to us to help with control our speed.

    love ya!

  3. Someone told me just last night – “Cry when you have to; laugh when you can.”

    For awhile I felt guilty about laughing, but then I realized that laughing doesn’t take away the pain and sadness. You just learn to laugh alongside it. And although I am still very conscious of my laughter–and it still sounds a bit weird to me–it feels good to laugh.

  4. evie lichti

     /  February 18, 2011

    “Danny” – Love your blog. Am sure it’s very cathartic for you, entertaining and informative for us as we continue to pray for you and wonder how you’re all doing. Keep it up! Love Evie


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