When I was a young guy, I had disagreements with my family members over a number of things, but as I look back, none of those disagreements were major.

I did not like eating either rhubarb or stewed corn, so even under family pressure to eat these items, I never put them on my plate, so in the eyes of the adults, I was neglecting to eat foods that were “good for me.”

My mother believed I could learn to play the piano, but after two lessons, I told her I didn’t have the talent to play and that I wanted to quit. She gave me a lecture about commitment and said I would continue the lessons until I could play fairly well.

After the fourth lesson, the teacher told my mother that I was musically handicapped, and that to continue the lessons would be a waste of time and money.

This was also the story when I took art lessons. I told my mother that I had no artistic ability, but once again I heard the commitment speech. After the fifth lesson, however, the teacher agreed with me and I dropped the class.

When I was in seventh grade, I thought I should be able to stay up until 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights, but I lost this argument and didn’t bring it up again until I was a freshman in high school. At that point, my mother agreed and even let me stay up until midnight on Fridays.

I thought I was being shorted on my allowance when I was in sixth grade. I received 50 cents per week, and I told the family that every kid I knew received at least a dollar. This, of course, was a lie, and my family knew it. I lost again.

When I turned 12, I cited the fact that it would now cost 50 cents admission to the Lake Theatre, and I wouldn’t be able to buy popcorn because I received fifty cents allowance.

This plea fell on deaf ears. In fact, I was told I shouldn’t go to the movies every weekend but instead I should save my money.

It wasn’t until I was 15 that my allowance was raised to $2 per week with the understanding that I would have an extra chore to do from time to time.

I was really happy when I turned 16 and got a part-time job that paid $20 per week.

My family didn’t like some of my friends, so we squabbled over that topic too. They said Charlie was a sneak, Richie was loony, and Eric was mean (true).

Actually, I didn’t like a few of their friends, either, but I kept quiet about that.

The last item of dissent dealt with clothing.

There was a dress code at the high school, and if I remember correctly, it stated that the boys were to wear chino pants, belts, shirts with collars and no gym shoes.

My mother thought this rule was wonderful, and I didn’t argue, but then my grandmother said I should wear a necktie to school every day.

This idea was dropped, but I did wear black (spit-shined) shoes with black laces and black socks every school day.

I survived, of course, and when I graduated from high school, I was accepted as a responsible member of the household and was treated as an adult.

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