Tag Archives: childhood

Love story: or my lack of tits until age 20.

8 Dec

Fifth grade.

Stretch pants.  Side ponytail.  Bart Simpson t-shirt.

Seat next to me occupied by one boy.

The boy.

Blonde hair.  Dimples.  Guns & Roses tshirt.

Swoon.

Seat on other side of me occupied by another boy.

Specifically not the boy.

Jeans. Red t-shirt.  Plastic digital watch used to communicate with ‘spies’.

Wrinkle nose, roll eyes, try to ignore any and all sounds eminating from his desk.

Lean a little closer to the boy to ask a question.

Flip hair.  Twirl pencil.  Smile.

Something hits my face.

It has been launched from the other side.

And then again.

Bouncing off my cheek, a fruitsnack falls onto my desk.

Followed by inane giggling.

Blush away from the boy.

Turn to glare at the other boy.

He is sitting on his package of fruit snacks.

A look of sheer determination on his face.

Breath held, brow furrowed he focuses.

Then, a fart.

Onto a fruit snack.

A fruit snack he then tries to launch at my face.

A fart fruit.

The boy now checking out another girl.

She already has tits.

I don’t.

For the next ten years.

I will attract nothing.

But more fart fruit.

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Sex, aliens, and courage

29 Nov

When I was ten, my parents rented a sex-ed tape from the library and made me watch it with them on the couch.

With candy.

It’s no wonder I only eat popcorn at the movies these days.

By the end of the film, my eyes had turned to the size of dinner plates.  Convinced they were from another planet, I stared at my parents in sheer horror.  Exactly 63 minutes prior to sitting on that couch, they were the loving providers of shelter, food, and buckets of presents.  By the time my father turned off the television, they had morphed into creatures from another planet who were concerned with topics I wanted absolutely nothing to do with.

Ever.

The two of them stared at me after it ended, curiously watching my response as if I were a case study.  Nervously tapping her fingers, my mother asked if I had any questions.  My father tilted his head.

By this point I was convinced that these so-called humans in front of me were alien sleeper pods.  I had questions-but you can hardly ask aliens what they’ve done with your real parents.  My knees shaking, I walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

The voice of the narrator branded in my head as I tried desperately to forget the phrase: ‘the sperm now travels through the penis shaft’.

Taking a sip of water, I feigned calm in front of the aliens.  My hands trembled as I mumbled the sudden need for a bike ride, and meandered towards the garage in what I desperately hoped would be a convincing act of cool and collected.

Once my feet hit the pedals, my imagination exploded.

A combination of scenes from the video and all alien movie plots I had ever seen infiltrated my brain as I pushed my bike further from the house o-extra-terrestrial parents.

Vowing to erase the images from my mind, I pedaled out to the treehouse to re-evaluate my family situation.  One thing was clear, my parents had lost their minds.  Whether or not that had something to do with spacecraft was unclear.  Further investigation was necessary.

I vowed to shelter my brother from a similar fate.  Whispering to him after dinner that night, I told him never to watch anything Mom and Dad brought home from the video store.  Staring at me from behind the red curls framing his chubby face, kid-Ginger obediently nodded.

Figuring that he was safe for the time being, I then lined up my stuffed animals to hold an open forum.  Not one of them provided much insight except Snoopy.  Being the oldest of the bunch, he just stared at me with those innocent eyes, willing me to take charge of the situation.

I had to save the human race from the aliens who were forcing children to watch this video.  Purpose of said video was unclear to me, but I was sure it could lead to nothing but tears, destruction, and the complete annihilation of mankind.

Tucking Snoopy under my arm, I fell asleep determined to warn the students of my class in the morning.  This situation was serious.

The next day, my teacher showed the video to my classmates.

As they watched in frozen horror, our loving teacher turned it off at the end and asked if any of us had already seen the tape.

Bravely, facing alien destruction, I defiantly raised my hand.  This creature was not going to shock me, no sir.   I had already seen the horror, now was the time for confrontation.

All my classmates turned in my direction.  It was clear, my hand indicated authority.  I was now the leader of these innocent sheep being sent to slaughter.

“I already saw it.  I already know what you’re going to say”.

That ladies and gentlemen, is how I became the playground expert on sex education and alien invasion.  The rest of the day, I was a celebrity on the swings, hollering out instructions on how we must unite against the adults.  My classmates eagerly hopped on board with this plan.  I was the shephard, and by God-I would not let harm come to my flock.

This lasted one day.

The next morning Joey Hunter brought in a copy of his father’s Playboy.

Turns out, the aliens knew how to get the boys attention.

The Golden Corral, a boot mug, and my childhood dream

12 Nov

When I was four I wanted nothing more than to join the rodeo.  My grandfather took me to my first one in Eastern Washington, and from that day forth I ran around the backyard in a blue t-shirt bearing a cartoon bull crossed over with an x.

No-bull was my motto.

My grandfather at one point in his life had been a dentist, but had grown up on a farm, and in later years would breed ostrich.  With bow-legs, pointy boots, and a big roaring laugh-his very presence sparked my cowboy interest.  But it was the first trip to the rodeo that really sealed the obsession.

Sitting next to my broad shouldered gramps in the stadium, coke in one hand, hot dog in the other, I witnessed the event with complete fascination, and vowed to myself that one day-I too would be a great cowboy.

Lone ranger. Image of all things awesome.

It didn’t occur to me that I would make a better cowgirl.

After that trip to the rodeo, I set about lassoing various objects in the backyard with my jumprope.  The old stump next to the fence, my tricycle, and on occasion our snoozing german shephard all fell victim to my hand.  Sticking a long piece of grass out of the corner of my mouth, I tromped about the lawn riding imaginary horses, bulls, and tipping my baseball hat at passing wildlife (birds, flies, and once again-our dog).

One evening my grandfather showed up to take us out to dinner.  I was ecstatic because:

1. My grandfather was a real-life cowboy.  Perfect for studying so I too could master the art of bad-assery.

and

2. Eating out with Gramps meant I could order soda.  The forbidden fruit of my childhood, I would have sold my soul on any given day for a swig of Coke.

On this particular eve, I asked my him what his favorite restaurant was.  His response would rock my already cowboy-infested mind.

The Golden Corral.

Where real cowboys fill up.

The dark walls, the western theme, and the good-old fashion American cuisine made this establishment my grandfather’s favorite restaurant.  So of course, I was happy to pretend that I too, had spent my four years on Earth loving the Golden Corral.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the cowboy themed restaurant.  The emotion was hastened by an item that would become a part of my upbringing. An item filled to the brim with that delicious, sugary, caffeine-infested cola my young brain so desperately desired.  An item that was refillable, gloriously shiny, and best of all-mine to take home after the meal.  Let me introduce you ladies and gentlemen, to the boot mug.

Beverage receptacle of choice for the true cowboy.

For anyone unfamiliar with the joys of drinking out of a glass mug when your four year old mind has already convinced itself that you are a real-life cowboy; let me sum it up in one word:

Perfection.

Sitting there at the table, I could barely wait to get the mug home and drink everything I would EVER drink in my future out of this mug.  I vowed that all milk would miraculously taste better out of the boot, that juice would never be so glorious, that even water would somehow become exciting.  Picturing myself sitting on the lassoed stump in the backyard, backwards cap, no-bull -shirt, and mug in one hand-I was sure to send a cowboy message to the neighborhood.

Flies and birds beware, there was a new sheriff in town.

Begging my mom to clean it the next morning so I could use it, I quickly discovered the greatest feature of the boot mug.  I had failed to notice at the restaurant because I had been swigging my Coke from a straw.  The next day in the backyard however, the mug sang to me.  That’s right-it sang.

Well, burped really.

I discovered as I casually meandered the lawn in search of wandering cattle, tumbleweeds, and bad-guys; that when I drank from the side of the glass with the handle-the mug would loudly bubble.  Which, when I closed my eyes, could easily be interpreted for the sound of gunshots.

Instantly the boot-mug became my joyous dinnertime companion.

Bubbles of milk spattered my freckled face as I chugged for the satisfaction of hearing the pop.  Gasping for breath at the end of each swig, I’d giggle in delight as my parents sat sighing at the dining table.

It was the missing piece to my cowboy persona, and from then until six months later when my profession of choice changed (that’s another post), the boot mug was my best-bud.

I haven’t been to the Golden Corral in years, but for the sake of all young budding cowboys, I really hope they still give away the boot mug.  It is truly the accessory of choice for anyone willing to repeatedly lasso their tricycle.

Boxed wine, Doc Martins, Braces, and an RV

3 Jun

Hologram Doc Martins, yellow plaid pants, white wife beater, braces, acne, body resembling a twig, short boy hair cut my mother convinced me would be a good idea: welcome to my fourteenth year.

Twas the year a ouija board saved me from severe punishment.

Let me explain.

My friend Monica and I convinced her mother to let us throw a slumber party in the vacant RV sitting in their driveway.  Her mother thought we wanted to feel like we were camping, but in reality we had discovered the stash of boxed wine kept in the garage, and desired the proper venue to explore the joys of drinking alcoholic grape juice from a spout in peace.

Sophistication and class have clearly been with me from the onset of my adult personality-as nothing quite screams those traits like an RV and boxed wine.

In addition to acquiring the proper ‘hotspot’ for such a party-we also ached for a place we could invite the two boys across the street over so as to fully showcase our hip and all-knowing ways of the party scene.

They were skater boys.  One of them even had a tattoo, and the other one could play guitar WHILE flipping his long grunge-inspired locks out of those piercing blue eyes.  He was two years older, he was a bad-ass, and he and his friend were most definitely the objects of our affections.  Butterflies flew in my stomach the one and only time he had grinned and me and told me I had a cool name.

Monica and I were fairly certain that enough interaction with the two would eventually lead to true love. But first we had to prove our coolness in order to turn their pupils into tiny pink hearts whenever they gazed upon our subtle yet hip nature.

I’m fairly certain we paced in front of their open garage watching them tune guitars and smoke cigarettes for a good twenty minutes before gathering the courage to walk in and invite them to the party.  Monica did most of the talking, as I was too busy contemplating the oversized studded cuff on my wrist and blushing to manage more than a simple hello.  Though I did chime in to confirm that yes-there would be alcohol in the RV, and yes, she and I would like it if the two of them would show up at around midnight and give a little knock on the door.

I’m sure they thought I was mute, but I was so excited my palms were sweaty and I couldn’t believe that simply telling these two sixteen year old boys that we had boxed wine got them to smile at us like that.  Who knew that alcohol and girls were all boys needed?

There is a naivety to being fourteen that once lost, can never be regained.  But I digress.

At ten o’clock that evening Monica and I decided it would be safe to each have a glass of wine just to take the edge off.  While sipping the warm juice we also agreed to consult the ouija board on any and all love prospects that were likely to occur from inviting the rebel boys over for drinks.

Later on, the boys arrived, drinking occurred, and all eighty-five pounds of me passed out at the table.

The ouija board remained sitting on the formica table until seven oclock the next morning, when I woke up to the sight of Monica’s mother as she walked past the cheap window of the RV.  I could hear her shrill, excited voice chatting with what sounded like an army of suburban mothers and a herd of rumbling mini-van engines.

Unbeknown to us, she had decided to host a garage sale that morning.

Unbeknown to her, there were two very hungover teenage boys sleeping in the RV mere feet from her junk-sale.

Monica and the two boys were in the bed, hungover amidst the carnage of sleeping bags and spilled cheap wine.  I was just piecing together the deep conversation about song lyrics from the night before that I had so desperately tried to look cool in when the door to the RV swung open.  Standing there with one hand on her hip and a huge smile, Monica’s mother yelled out:

Good morning girls!! I need your help out here, busy morning with the sale and all.  Do you ladies want some break-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DOING IN HERE?!?!?! MONICA, WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU PLAYING WITH THE DEVIL IN HERE?!?! WE DO NOT USE THE OUIJA BOARD IN THIS HOUSEHOLD RYAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF HOME YOUR PARENTS ARE RUNNING, BUT WE ARE GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

The board had been the only thing her eyes had settled on, and to my complete and total relief she was so furious about it that she slammed the door in my face while sreaming: ‘MONICA, I NEED TO SEE YOU IN THE KITCHEN THIS INSTANT!!’

It was fortunate really, because while Monica dry-heaved waves of stale boxed wine in the kitchen as her mother ranted on about the devil’s magic, I was able to successfully usher the two boys out of the RV and back from the depths of grunge-guitarism from whence they came.

Standing in the RV after they left, I grabbed the ouija board, threw it in my backpack, laced up my Doc Martins, and waited at the sale for my own mother to come pick me up.

My mother didn’t care about the ouija board, but had Monica’s mother discovered the two hormones masquerading as boys in the bed-I am not sure I would have survived to see fifteen.

Scrappy-Doo, McGruff, and my brief career as a detective

12 May

Continue reading

woes of a clumsy ballerina

7 Apr

If you’ve never had massive amounts of bobby pins scraped against your gel-laden scalp while wearing a tutu then you’ve never lived.  If you haven’t, then consider me jealous of your childhood.

Mine as I’m sure you’ve gathered-involved ballet.

Seven years of it.  That’s a long span of public humiliation.  My mother was behind it.  She had this image of me as a graceful, thin, elegant blonde dancer.

I am many things, but dancer and elegant are not amongst the adjectives that first pop into mind when considering my own character.  Nevertheless, mothers are blind to certain realities, and so it was that I suffered through my slipper, tights, and leotard donning prison sentence.

The British Dance Academy was run by a herd of strict, sadistic ballet instructors.  Think Nurse Ratchet does dance.  If Iraq had called for a dance-off, these women could have ended the damn war by drafting in their troops.  Any child between the ages of six and eighteen who had passed the most recent bi-annual exam would have kicked the sand with their pointed toes in time to brise it back home for dinner.   I don’t think I would have made the draft, but that’s a direct consequence of my relationship with the exams.

They were horrible ordeals involving a panel of stone-wall faced women.  Each trembling ballerina was sent in solo, to perform her duties to the judges.  Being as graceful as an elephant, this was always a problem for me, but when I was nine-it was especially horrendous.

The night before my exam, I prepared my tights, slippers, leotard and went to grab my skirt out of my dance bag.  Only children between five and seven actually wore the tutus, once we reached eight-we were upgraded to satin wrap around skirts.

Which is where my demise occurred.

Somehow during the last rehearsal, I had mixed my skirt with another girls, a girl in my class who was far, far bigger than myself.  Her exam was not until a week after mine, and as I had put off preparing myself until the last minute, there was no time left to inform my mother of this mistake.  The skirt wrapped around my tummy with FAR too much extra fabric.  So I did what any girl would do.

I put on my MacGyver thinking cap, and went to work coming up with a plan that would allow me to wear her skirt and finish my exam without telling my mother of the problem.  I would fix it myself.

Which is why the following morning, I showed up to my ballet exam wearing a total of fifteen pair of cotton panties underneath my tights and leotard, which were underneath the sweatpants I wore over them on the car ride.

Hence, my mother could not see what her genius daughter was up to.

I strode into the examination room, faced the judges, and by all accounts looked like a girl in a diaper.

And then of course, I danced.

If youtube had existed back then, I am sure I would have become an instant sensation.  Luckily for me, I was sent out with strict instruction to relocate my own skirt, and a long-winded lecture explaining that my solution was preposterous, undignified, and a disgrace to the world of ballet.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure that with or without my extra undies, I was forever doomed to be a stain on the world of dance.