Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Two wild and crazy girls.

Thank you, Buffi. Your suggestion worked, and I think my comments are back to normal now, whatever "normal" might be for me. I don't know if I've ever been normal, but at this point I don't really care any more. I mean, why bother now?

Yes. I will be the funky old woman in the nursing home who begs quarters for the pop machine and phone from everybody's guests, bothers her grandchildren at all hours of the day and night, and hits people with a big purse if they intrude into her personal space. Just like my grandmother.

My cousin C and I used to stay all night every weekend and every other chance we got, with our grandmother. She wasn't quite right, as they say, and she let us do pretty much whatever we wanted. It's a good thing we were good little girls, or we might have gotten into some trouble with all that freedom.

I wasn't allowed to watch scary movies at home, but Mamaw didn't care. C and I stayed up way, way late, watching Nightmare Theater, hosted by Sammy Terry. We would get so frightened, watching old horror and sci-fi movies from the fifties and sixties, that we would draw our feet up on the couch so the monsters under there couldn't grab us by the ankles and drag us under. We would get so scared, we couldn't go upstairs to bed, so we'd sleep on the sofa. We were under strict orders to go to Sunday School the next morning, but C seldom went. I, on the other hand, had a tattle-tale sister in my class, so I HAD to go, or be found out and possibly lose next weekend's Mamaw's house privileges. Lucky C. I used to listen to her stories of junior high, and changing classes every period, and having lots of different teachers, and I thought she was the coolest person in the world. I still do, actually. And I couldn't WAIT to get to junior high. (Once I got there, my attitude and opinion changed.)

After Nightmare Theater came the Channel Four sign-off, with Mahalia Jackson singing. C and I used to hate to hear that, so we'd make fun of it every time because it made Mamaw laugh, and when Mamaw started laughing, she'd sometimes recite the alphabet backwards for us. I thought that was really cool, too.

I didn't understand, back then, that Mamaw had suffered a stroke in her early forties, and that was why she was a little odd. I just thought she was Mamaw, addicted to her little radio and her "Over the Back Fence" program that C and I groaned over. Terrible old songs, boring old people talking, recipe exchanges, Swap Shop, and more boring old people talking. She loved it. C and I considered it our cue to leave the house and ride our bikes all over the north end of town, play on the school playground that was just down the street from Mamaw's house, or go down to Crowder's Drugstore to read the Superman comic books and buy SweeTarts.

I looked forward to weekends at Mamaw's house as though it was a huge big deal. Well, it WAS, to me. I loved hanging out with my cousin C (I still do!) and I loved the freedom, and I loved not being the oldest of four siblings. The only thing I hated was the Sunday School requirement, and I never would have kept it had it not been for the tattletale sister. She tagged along with us to Mamaw's house I think twice, but we tortured her so badly, she didn't come back.

Every kid has a right to an experience that isn't to be shared, and weekends at Mamaw's house was that experience for me.

C and I got into our uncle's stuff, too. We spray-painted everything, snooped through everything, opened everything (our uncle was getting mail from a nudist camp!!!!) He was off in Vietnam so he didn't know. We played his records and jumped on his bed and read his love letters and everything. We were awful. Tee hee. I still have my beautiful doll he brought back from Vietnam for me. To this day, whenever I hear Brenda Lee, I think of my uncle.

C, I know you'll be reading this. Feel free to add Mamaw's house stuff in the comments.

Oh yes. Near Halloween, we went Trick or Treating in Mamaw's neighborhood, too. Double treats. And for every meal, we made french fries.

French fries. I'd only ever had them in a restaurant, before. See how cool we were at Mamaw's house? At home C and I were both just one of several kids, but at Mamaw's house, we were two wild and crazy girls, with no supervision to speak of, and more freedom than either of us had ever had in our lives.

We survived. And we're better for it, too.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:20 AM | |


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