Tail of the Weak is a series of insights and musical memories from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin, singer/songwriter and founder of the Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Tribute Festival, from Waycross, Georgia.
If you live long enough, I reckon you'll see and hear it all. Scientific progress is all well and good when it comes to saving lives; but, sometimes I do believe some of it might be a tad overthought.
Take the Middle Child Syndrome—the feeling of exclusion by middle children. They say the effect occurs because the first child is more apt to receive privileges and responsibilities, while the youngest in the family is more likely to receive indulgences—thus resulting in the middle child suffering from feelings of low self-esteem, jealousy, emptiness or inadequacy, unfriendliness, and shyness.
I'm a middle child myself; so, let me stop and take a guick self-study. I don't ever recall feeling terribly unimportant; and, I guess I've been jealous at times. Empty? Inadequate? Unfriendly? About as much as anybody I'd say; and, until I picked up a guitar and learned to play, yes, I was considerably shy in social situations—more so than some of my friends who were about as bashful as horseflies around a swimming pool.
No, I ain't buyin' into the middle child syndrome as it pertains to me. I was born in 1953 and raised up with much love and latitude following the birth of my older brother, Gary, in 1950. The reason I'm a middle child, though, hinges squarely on the arrival of my little sister, Deb, who was born January 7, 1960, when we were living in Tripoli, Libya as an Air Force family.
She was a beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby girl, who we loved and adored—and still do, even now—despite the fact that, when she was one, Gary and I would cajole and dote over her while she pulled on our ear lobes until they became infected. The Infected Earlobe Sibling Syndrome—now, there's one they need to look into.
What those scientists and psychologists failed to include in their synopsis was this middle child's trait of aggravating the living hell out of the older and younger siblings. Now, I ain't braggin'; but, I was damn good at that.
When I was around five—and Gary, eight—we were jumpin' up and down on the beds in our Tripoli bedroom when, for reasons I can't remember, I bit a chunk of skin out of Gary's back. I suppose you could classify that as unfriendly—and, this was way before The Walking Dead, with its flesh-eating zombies, started beaming through my bedroom television set.
Fast forward to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where my little sister Deb was trying her damnedest to impeach me for unrelented pestering; but, her five-year-old lips just couldn't pronounce the word “aggravate” plain enough. I can assure you, Mama figured out what she was struggling to say; and, I was handily reprimanded.
I'm positive there were many more circumstances I could draw on; but, my memory won't allow it. Maybe I've conveniently forgotten—or, just maybe there is some truth to that Middle Child Syndrome after all. That would certainly explain a lot of my actions.
Bless their hearts, Gary and Deb put up with my childish provocations; but, the good times far outweigh the bad. We don't get to visit as much as we should—even though we live in the same town—but, when we do, we always pick up right where we left off—full of brotherly and sisterly love and admiration for one another.
That's just how we were raised. I guess you could call it the Griffin Syndrome.
Happy Debday—with love—to my sweet, little sister.
8th Annual Swamptown Getdown Music and Arts Festival
March 9-10, 2018
Okefenokee Fairgrounds : Waycross, Georgia Advance Weekend Passes:
Memories straight from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin