Monday, July 24, 2006

I've been tagged.

I’ve been tagged by the fantastic Rock Star Mommy, so here it is. Be warned!

What I’ve Been Obsessed With In My Life

Toddlerhood (up to five years old)

Ding Dong School. I was REALLY little and I would have done anything Miss Francis told me to do. Sometimes she would say, “Please go get your Mommy because I want to talk to her for a minute” and I did. She told me it was naptime so I took a nap.

Captain Kangaroo. Does anyone else remember Tom Terrific, and Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog? Did anyone else sit entranced as the Captain read to us about Georgie the little ghost, whose life was changed because the old man repaired the loose, creaky board? I never cared for Bunny Rabbit or Mr. Moose (NOT a puppet fan!!!!!) but Mr. Green Jeans was cool.

A Child’s Garden of Verses. Ours was illustrated by Tasha Tudor, and I used to lay my head down on those pictures and wish myself into that garden. I just knew there were fairies in there, if only I could open that intriguing gate.

I looked for fairies everywhere. Under rocks, behind trees, in clumps of flowers. . . .The neighbors probably thought I was nuts.

My tricycle. I used to turn it upside down and pedal with my hands and pretend I was the ice cream man. (I have no idea where that one came from.)

The Mickey Mouse Club. The real one, with Doreen and Darlene and Cheryl and Lonnie and Karen and Cubby and Annette and Sharon and Tommy and Bobby, and Spin and Marty, and Corky & White Shadow, and the Hardy Boys. . . . I sat in my tiny rocking chair with my Mouseketeer hat on my head and my little Mouseketeer guitar in my lap and my Mouseketeer dolly by my side, hypnotized with delight. “Today is Tuesday, you know what that means. . . . .” And I did.

My Polly Crocket pants. You know, Davy’s wife? Those things were so cool. . . .

Pop-beads. I adored them.

Cinderella. Snow White. Peter Pan. Old Yeller. Bambi

. . . and my parents watching Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Ed Sullivan.

Childhood (5-9)

Riding my bicycle up and down the sidewalk, and longing for the day when I would be allowed to cross the street with it or even, gasp, ride it IN the street like the big kids did.

Playing kickpen in the HUGE back yard next door. Eating concord grapes from their arbor. Playing imprisoned princess in their empty geode-lined dead-fountained little garden pond. Sitting INSIDE a huge clump of hydrangea bushes to get some privacy for reading.

The Happy Hollisters. Elizabeth Enright. Understood Betsy. Little Women. Heidi. Countless others. . . . .

Saturday morning cartoons. The brilliance of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Climbing the apple trees.

DC comics. And so it began, an obsession that still reoccurs occasionally. If DC hadn’t fired all the GOOD artists and writers, and hired artists who couldn’t draw and the writers who could think of nothing but stupid plots, I’d probably still be standing in the grocery store reading.

The Legion of Super-Heroes. I wanted to be one of them so badly, I dreamed about it at night, I daydreamed in school, I still do. I have Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad action figures on their own shelf of honor in my kitchen, as we speak. Oh, surely if a power as inane as Bouncing Boy’s or Triplicate Girl’s merited membership, there must be SOMETHING special I could do, to get in. . . .

Pre-teen (9-12)

Nancy Drew. Judy Bolton. Christine Noble Govan and Emmy West. Young Visitors to Mars. Book after book about the planets. I discovered biographies. Mad Magazine.

I began to read books that someone had forbidden. Not porn, but those books on the 'censored' list that schools used to give us.

More DC comics.

Still on my bike, but this time, in the STREET.

The public library, twice a week.

Season ticket to the city pool. Woo hoo!

I write. I love it. It frees something inside my heart.

First experience with a cruel teacher. I’ve never recovered.

I stopped writing.

Orchestra. The school released us two hours early and let us walk to the high school about eight blocks away for orchestra. Can you even imagine doing that now?

First experience with an idiot teacher. Still blows my mind.

Sleeping Beauty. Parent Trap. Pollyanna. Mary Poppins. Sound of Music.

Lost in Space, every Wednesday night. I was always sad on Thursday because it meant I had to wait an entire week to see it again. I wanted to be Marta Kristen.

Saved up and bought “Meet The Beatles.” Changed my life. Became obsessed with music, even while hating my piano lessons.

Early teens (13-16)

Discovered romance novels and 'teen' books. Still obsessed. Majored in it. Had a hard time realizing that it wasn't that way in real life.

First boyfriend. He acted nothing like the boys in my books. First heartbreak. Then he came back and I broke his.

Cute boy moves in across the street. We “date.” I become a voyeur as our front porch looked directly into his bedroom. Saw nothing but kept hoping.

First dance. First kiss.

First time to date boy with car.

Dancing almost every weekend at the Armory, and in the gym after every home game. Live band, made up of classmates. We didn’t know if they were good or not; it didn’t matter. If I had to miss a dance weekend, I became unglued.

Got my first job: S.S. Kresge’s. Dad was so proud of me, he stood outside and watched me through the plate glass windows. The cash register was so hard to punch, my fingers bled. Became obsessed with the idea that everyone should work and earn their own money.

First experience with peer-group jealousy and heartbreak: got uninvited to a huge cool party because the boy the hostess had her sights on sat by me at lunch. That was all, he sat by me, in the empty chair. I think she still hates me. Became obsessed with 'fairness.'

DC comics and Legion of Super-Heroes fantasies still going strong.

I begin to write again. I show no one.

Went to downtown theater almost weekly with friends. It didn't really matter much what was playing; almost everything was 'G' or nearly so, back then.

Discovered Grecco’s Pizza.

Slumber parties galore. Remember those awful Chef Boy-ar-Dee pizza mixes?

Became (somewhat) interested in fashion and what the others were wearing. Started growing my hair long.

Bought a guitar from the Montgomery Ward catalog. It was nineteen dollars, and it came with a 45 record called “How To Play The Guitar.” I still have both.

Late Teens (16-20)

Got driver’s license.

Got second job as legal secretary for county prosecuting attorney. Learned perhaps more than a kid should know.

I started dating his brother.

Became obsessed with Michael Rennie. (go figure.) But honestly, “Klatuu, barata, nikto!!!! I couldn’t resist.

Began thinking of Sean Connery as someone other than the cute guy in "Darby O’Gill and the Little People." Saw all of his 007 movies with my friends, but I didn't like them. I liked him, though.

Dated Chris all junior year, his senior year. He graduated and went to Purdue and I never saw him again.

Continued to write.

Became obsessed with Broadway musicals. Fell madly in love with older classmate who starred in our school’s version of ‘Oklahoma.’

Desperately wanted to look older. Wore the same sweater/skirt combination at least twice a week because I thought it added a few years.

Another bad teacher. I stopped writing again. He convinced me that I had nothing to say. He taught senior comp. He KNEW, didn't he? He used to give me D--------------, and tell me that the only reason I didn't get an F on my essays was because he was such a nice guy.

Started buying albums seriously.

Discovered Phyllis Whitney’s mysteries. Continued to read constantly.

Love Story. The Graduate. M*A*S*H. Romeo and Juliet.

Early 20’s-Present Day

Boy, this one sure covers a lot of years!

Husband. Children. In-laws. Mortgage. Crushing debt.

Two college degrees. Multiple endorsements.

Public school. Community College.

Tons of: heartbreak, disillusionment, betrayal, lies, encouragement, love, trust, friendship, enlightenment, more debt, discovery, expectations, realizations, contempt, wonder, amazement, happiness, sadness, coping, worry, nightmares, head-shaking incredulity, smiles, weeping, pain, and contentment. . . .to be continued.

Empty nest. Independence. Must. Get. Kids. Into. This. House. Again.

No free time. Lots of free time.

Clothing covered with baby spitup. Clean clothes. Big deal? No.

Hamper full of smelly diapers. Hamper full of tent-sized t-shirts.

Unable to go anywhere without two babies. Able to go anywhere, alone.

Noisy house, ringing with music and laughter and giggles. Quiet house, driving me crazy because I prefer the chaos.

Fear. Panic. Credit cards cut into pieces.
Lovely people everywhere. Dreadful people everywhere.

Disillusionment with professional idol. Disillusionment with “friend.”

Learning that I am not the General Manager of the Universe, and I am not responsible for other people’s actions. Learning that the Truth will, indeed, set you free, even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Learning, too, that some people have quite a different viewpoint of truth. Pitying them.

Music. All around me, and all kinds. I must have music.

Realizing that we are every age we’ve ever been, and if we’re doing it right, we can reach inside and find our ten-year-old self, or our 31-year-old self, or our five-year-old self, and remember how it was. Trees have rings. So do we.

I write again. I plunge into the recesses of my mind and my memory and I write.

I have always written. Even when I stopped, I was still writing in my head. My teachers were wrong. I do have something to say. I write. It's my obsession.


Hmm, I didn’t really do this quite right. But I can’t change it now, it’s carved in stone.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:04 PM | |


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