Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Six Weird Things from My Childhood

I am so sick of myself - my career-related angst, my "oh, what is the world coming to?" angst and my "Kids. I don't know what's wrong with these kids today," angst.

So, I have decided that I will do something else - something remotely resembling fun. I will be the ultimate nerd and tag myself. Fraulein N.'s meme, Six Weird Things from My Childhood, was (I thought) both thought provoking and hilarious. I will try to be one or the other. (I'm too mentally unstable right now to shoot for both.)

1. The warming of the cold sheets. No, this is not a creepy story. Mostly, it's just about how a big sister (and sometimes spoiled princess) can get her family members to do her bidding. We grew up in a place where we had some mighty cold winters. I claimed that during the months of January and February, my sheets were SO cold it was literally, truly impossible for me to sleep on them. So I made my younger brother (who is nearly FIVE years younger than me!) use my hair dryer to warm up my sheets while I brushed my teeth, washed my face, did the whole getting-ready-for-bed routine. I can still conjure up that mental image: Little brother in his PJs, dutifully standing at the foot of my bed, his little face screwed up in concentration while he fiercely gripped my hairdryer, pointing it at my green, yellow and orange butterfly sheets. Why does he still speak to me?

2. The "dog trainer" game. In addition to being the oldest in my immediate family, I am also the oldest of the local cousins on my mom's side. There were 5 of us, and we often played together after school during the week. Somehow, someone (could it be me? God, I hope not. I swear, I'm not THAT much of a controlling egomaniac) came up with the "Dog trainer" game. We all loved dogs in that bunch. We all had "favorite" dogs. Normal kids have favorite cartoon characters. We had favorite dogs. And they weren't even famous dogs. The other four kids would be dogs (and sometimes there were serious arguments involved! "No, I want to be the next-door neighbor's Dachshund, Penny," "No, you got to be Penny LAST time. No fair!") and I would be the dog trainer. We could play this for hours. Mostly this involved them sitting in "cages" (just cushions on the couch - no real cages were involved, I swear) and barking. And I would say, "Penny, stop it! No barking, Penny!" Why did we think this was fun, exactly?

3. The show of shows. I used to put on endless plays and shows, as did most kids (Aside: I'm always so irritated when I read interviews with movie and television stars and they say, "Oh, my mom KNEW I was going to be famous. She just KNEW it. She said from the time I could talk, I was putting on shows and dancing and singing and stuff." Hey - egomaniacal moron - ALL kids do that. It's called being a kid!) and I remember once putting on a "show" for my dad and my brother that involved me playing two roles. I would stand on one side of the room and say in a high, falsetto voice, "But I can't pay the rent" and then I would jump to the other side of the room and say in a really deep voice, "But you MUST pay the rent!" and repeat. Seriously? This two line play went on for about 20 minutes. How am I still alive?

4. Playing doctor. But not in "that" way! My grandmother was an extremely talented seamstress and had a guest bedroom that was also "the sewing room." My brother, cousins and I would play doctor back there, using her sewing tools. LOTS of "shots" were given with pins and needles! Lots of poking each other's nostrils with crochet hooks. Lots of binding each other's fingers with the measuring tape to see how tight we could get the tape and exactly how blue each person's fingers might turn. Maybe we weren't playing doctor so much as we were playing evil, sadomasochistic scientist! How did no one lose an eye?

5. Vivid dreams. I used to have extremely vivid dreams when I was younger. One night, I think I was about 6, I had a dream that I was visited by my fairy godmother. (Oh, yeah. I had one. She was way cool.) She said, "When you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is go downstairs, don't say anything to anyone, go sit under the kitchen table, close your eyes, cross your arms and say really loud, 'I'm ready for my surprise!' and then your mother will give you The Barbie Dreamhouse." I woke up in the morning, followed my instructions to the letter and was really surprised to hear my mom say (she was on the phone), "Okay, Sue, I gotta go. Clearly the kid's lost it."

6. Just Evil. Somewhere between ages 7 and 8, I used a Magic Marker to draw a HUGE (and somewhat realistic, if you ask me) replica of Big Bird on my 3-year-old brother's chubby little leg. He was obsessed with birds. He loved them. If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would say, "A bird." (Is it scary or just cool that he is now a pilot?) After I drew the world's biggest Magic Marker tattoo on his leg, I told him this meant that now, he too, would be like Big Bird. He could fly. (How dumb of me. Honestly, did anyone ever see Big Bird fly? He was so not aerodynamically sound!) So if he wanted to jump off the front porch, that would be okay . . . because, well, you know. He could fly. I have blocked out most of what happened next. And again, I ask, why does my brother still speak to me?

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8 Comments:

Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

I think your little brother loves you bunces more than you may ever know!! I see this in my son also when he does stuff for his bug sister. I'll ask him what he's up to and he says, blah, blah, blah, and i ask why, he says, " cause sis wanted me to." I just shake my head and walk away. remeber he's 13, and bigger than her, so it's gotta be for love cause he ain't scared of her. And you!! TeacherLady the control freak!! OMG "Dog Trainer" I can't speak for the other kids but , come on admit it now, you loved the POWER!!!

June 09, 2006 5:15 PM  
Blogger zygote daddy said...

Wow TL... I never took you for an evil oldest sibling! :)

As a middle child with a (formerly) evil older brother, I can't really explain why your brother still speaks to you. But I still speak to my big bro, so either your brother and I don't know any better because we've had our self esteem beaten to smithereens, or we actually do love those who once tortured us. Or maybe we just love our sibs no matter what. Nah -- must be something wrong with us.

Maybe it's like family Stockholm syndrome or something...

June 10, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Fat Head said...

Oh my gob! You must have had some fun as a kid! Totally good humor.

June 10, 2006 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Dog trainer! That is too f*ing funny. Oh ha ha!

June 11, 2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

I love that you made your bro warm your sheets for you. If I would've told my brother to do that he probably would've set the bed on fire for me. Great memory, you've got though, TL! I think I might tag myself and play this game today, too!

June 12, 2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Schietto Sister said...

Absolutely halarious. I love the part about your one girl show! When I want my sheets warmed, I let Buddy and Darling fall asleep in my bed.

June 13, 2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

OMG, your poor little brother. And yet ... if I thought I could get away with it, I'd have tried to do a lot more evil things to my brother too.

June 14, 2006 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Vic said...

I can't stop laughing. I am surprised you are still alive too.

June 21, 2006 8:48 PM  

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