Recently I’ve noticed a great deal more anger online. I myself feel angry about many things that are going on in the world, so I decided to share a little something about myself in honor of the holidays and inspired by someone I love and respect.

I had lunch with my sister, wee cute niece, father, aunt and uncle the other day. The same uncle who fought back from the brink of death. Between many great conversations and laughs, my aunt said to me, “your cousin Jack wants to know why you never wear a NY Yankees hat while you are touring.” This question made complete sense to me as a born and raised New Yorker who, like my cousin, has been a Yankees fan since birth. I do wear a ball-cap quite frequently. Rarely on stage because I feel it can block out light on my face and I still have hair…even though it’s grey, it’s still there! On most occasions the second I get off stage the cap goes on, when traveling the cap goes on, and I do have my reasons for the ball-cap I choose.

I wear a few variations of an Orange Syracuse trucker hat. I never went to Syracuse University or lived in Syracuse, NY. All three of my sisters lived there at some point. One of my brother-in-laws got his law degree there and met my sister while she lived there. My other two brother-in-laws grew up there. I have been to countless games, holidays, parades, and festivals in Syracuse. Three of my nieces are being raised there. All four of my nephews, despite being raised in Connecticut, bleed Orange. There is not a member of my family that can get away with a Syracuse-attire-free Christmas. I’ve never shared this part (because I have no judgment for those who drink) but… my very last drink happen to be a pint of Guinness with my brother-in-law and sister after a Syracuse game at Madison Square Garden. We sat in a restaurant eating dinner and having drinks. At one point I looked around at the table and realized I could not be happier. It’s a great realization, to be happy and in the moment. I’m not always. But there was still something I disliked about myself. Then I took a gaze at my pint of Guinness and heard a voice in my head say “this is a fine way to end this part of my life… this will be my last pint.” No announcement, statement, declaration or program. That was 8 or 9 years ago. I don’t think my brother-in-law or sister even know any of this history of my not drinking. But it’s not the city, games, not drinking or school, it’s family. When I see the color orange (Syracuse), I think of my family.

I told my aunt I wear a Syracuse hat because I’m away from my family a great deal. Comedians travel for a living. That’s part of the job and it can get lonely out there. I wear the hat because it makes me feel close to my family when I’m not, think of them from afar, and always keeping them with me. Also orange is the color of optimism. My aunts reply… “Well, that’s actually very nice,” then she laughed.

May your own family provide as much happiness, care, strength and guidance inside of you this holiday season and many more to come.

Much Love, Peej

Gazientip, Turkey

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