Jeff | Uncategorized | Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Well, I guess we should start at the beginning. I grew up on a hundred acre dairy farm in Limehouse, Ontario. Despite growing up on a farm though, I never really spent a lot of time down in the barn. While my dad was milking cows, I was up in the house making birthday cards with unicorns on them with my mom. That’s a true story, I actually made my dad a birthday card with a damn unicorn on it. I suspect he told my cousins about the card, because they’ve been calling me gay ever since.

I joke about my cousins but the fact is we’re more like brothers than cousins. Luke, Trav and I have always been close and some of my fondest memories are of us playing with our wrestling buddies on a giant, old waterbed my dad converted in a wrestling ring. [Side note: I got my Hulk Hogan wrestling buddy the same Christmas I got a jackknife as a present from my dad. “Cool!” I shouted as I examined the knife. “I never said you could get him a fucking knife!” My mom shouted six seconds later after dragging my dad into the kitchen. “Oh he’ll be fine, Jule.” My dad replied. About thirty minutes later, my mom found me upstairs in my bedroom repeatedly stabbing Hulk Hogan in the chest. So long, jackknife.]

Despite being best friends with Luke and Trav, I didn’t get to see them a ton when I was growing up because there was always some sort of family drama going on. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters either, so I spent most of my time by myself, either throwing a tennis ball off the driving shed and trying to catch it or chopping down thistles or searching for four-leaf clovers and as I’m writing this I’m just now coming to the realization that I had an incredibly boring childhood. I really enjoyed being alone though, still do, (anyone who knows me will surely be shocked at that revelation) but I’d being lying if I said I didn’t often wish that I had a little brother or sister to play with and talk to. It also really upset me that I’d never get to be somebody’s uncle, even though I was always pretty sure that Luke’s kids would call me Uncle Jeff and that Trav’s kids would call me to act as a character witness.

Thankfully, that’s not an issue anymore. Now I’m going to be an actual uncle someday. Our next stop along memory lane revolves around the day I first got the news.

By 2001, thistle-chopping Jeff had morphed into High School Jeff, and let me tell you, this guy was a real piece of shit.

Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on myself, because in high school, I hadn’t yet discovered Accutane or comedy. I also had the fastest metabolism known to man and an afro that I was just sure would serve as my “Get Out of Virginity Free Card.” It didn’t. As a result, while most teenage boys were rounding second and heading for third, I was watching Wild On! on Star! because 40% of the episodes contained 3 seconds of nudity. [Side note: I eventually did get out of virginity - for free to you bastards. Sometimes you can see the smart-ass facebook comments before they even appear.] And boy was I ever pissed off about it. I’m serious, High School Jeff was nothing more than a 115 pound acne-riddled toilet brush of resentment. I honestly don’t know how I had any friends because all I ever did was burn the guys I hung out and give their girlfriends really cruel nicknames such as Chomper, The Dragon and Wilbur. Actually, once again as I’m writing this I’m coming to the realization that those nicknames were pretty funny. But absolutely uncalled for. But pretty funny.

As terrible as I was to my friends, I was twice as bad to my family. Luke and Trav got a reprieve but my mom, dad and stepdad Lenny did not. The worst instance coming when my mom told me that she was pregnant again after all these years and that I was finally going to have the brother or sister that I always wanted. “Great. Good for you.” I said, before sulking off into my room and most likely listening to Adam’s Song by Blink 182 for the six thousandth time.

High School Jeff – (to himself, pouty) “16 really did just hold such better days.”

A little bit later that night my stepdad decided to call his mom and let her know. I can vividly remember sitting at the kitchen table while my mom held my stepdad as he dialed. “Hi, Mom. I’ve got some news for you. Julie’s pregnant. We’re going to have a baby.” Lenny said. Apparently, his mom reacted differently than me, because pretty soon my mom and stepdad were laughing and hugging and crying their eyes out.

What happened then? Well in Whoville they say, High School Jeff’s small heart grew three sizes that day. As my mom and stepdad celebrated in the living room, I realized that my mom was going to get a chance to be the greatest mom in the world all over again and a big grin broke out on my face.

What I’m getting here is that Alison Marie Paige MacLeod has been making me smile since before she was even born. I was 18 years old when she came into this world, but let me tell you, she was well worth the wait. Here’s a note I gave her on her birthday this year.


Hey kid, I hope you enjoy your presents, but I just wanted to say thank you for all the gifts you’ve given me over the years. The gifts I’m talking about are the memories you’ve provided me with. Of course there are too many to list but I thought I’d do my best to share with you some of my favourites.

I remember the day you were born. And I remember being scared to hold you out of fear that I might drop you. I didn’t, but while watching that awful Smurfs movie with you I kept wishing I would have.

I remember you kicking me in the back harder than any 7-year-old girl should’ve been able to. And I remember telling you that you wouldn’t be practicing your karate on me anymore.

I remember taking you to the park and watching you walk right up to another kid and start playing with them as I hid behind a tree in the hopes that their parent wouldn’t try to talk to me. And I remember thinking “Oh thank God, she’s not like me.”

I remember you giving me a certificate that said “Best Brother on Earth” in 2009. And I remember asking you “What the hell took you so long?”

I remember you schooling me by about 400,000 points on Dance Central 2 as I fumbled and stumbled and panted and prayed that the Xbox would malfunction. And, once again, I remember thinking “Oh thank God, she’s not like me.”

And despite all of these great memories that you’ve given me, Ali, I know that the greatest ones are yet to come.

I can’t wait to remember the day you came home with your learner’s permit. And how I immediately asked you to give me a ride into town so I could catch the bus.

I can’t wait to remember your wedding day. And how you had to pay me $10,000 to emcee the reception.

I can’t wait to remember watching you transform from the “Best Little Sister On Earth” into the “Best Actress on Earth” or “Best Stand-Up Comedian on Earth” or “Best Teacher on Earth” or “Best Great Canadian Bagel Cashier on Earth” or whatever your heart desires.

I’ve told you this a million times, Ali, but you really are a good kid. You’re kind and you’re funny, you’re smart and you’re generous and I truly regret not being able to see you as much as I should. No matter where I am though, kid, whether I’m across the country or standing right next to you getting my butt kicked at Dance Central 2, I want you to remember this – I love you.

Try not to hate me too much during your teenage years.


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