Inappropriate 13 year old comment of the day:
Sam: Guess what I’m gonna do sometime?
Me (thinking he’s probably going to say, ‘win the Nobel Peace Prize’ or finally ‘find those weapons of mass destruction'): What?
Sam: I’m going to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and in the middle of the night I’m gonna cover up the ‘Jackson’ on the sign and replace it with ‘butt’.
Me (tearing up): I am so proud right now.
Childhood is a funny thing. We forget a lot. My brother will say, “Remember when I came into your room and found you rolling around in your crib with your poop?” No, I tell him. I don't remember that at all. Which is funny because it was just week ago. Ba-da-boom! Actually, that might have been one those memories that got blocked. Thank God we have our siblings to remind us of the good old days.
That’s when I tell him my memory of when we used to take baths together and what he would do with the shampoo cap. Right back at ya, Dave.
I tend to remember stuff from those early days when it was attached to a deep emotion: sadness, fear, excitement, joy, anticipation, anger. Sometimes stuff happened that was really bad, but as a child, you didn’t realize the extent of how bad it was. In hindsight, I now know that some of my friends were being abused in awful ways. As a kid you just don’t know what it all means.
9 years old: I spent the night at Tracy’s house. In the middle of the night we heard yelling, screaming, things being thrown. I was afraid. My parents didn’t fight much, but when they did it was controlled and private. Minutes later, Tracy’s dad (who I always feared. He was 6’5” and loud and mean) came in and yanked her out of bed. He pushed her into the living room and told her to pick who was right in the argument, mom or dad. I remember her crying and refusing to choose (smart girl, Tracy). I was scared shitless. All.night.long. I never went to her house again. Except when her dad was gone.
9-11 years old: The “gang” from the neighborhood, a group of multi-aged kids from several streets nearby, joined up every summer night for rousing games of Ghost in the Graveyard and Capture the Flag. No shoes. Fireflies. Ice cream man. Falling into bed with grass stains on my knees and dirt under my nails. Perfection.
14 years old: Our dogs went missing. It wasn’t like Maggi, a lab mix, to stray from our house. It was early morning and I had to catch the bus for school. I called for her. I searched. I found her dead in a ditch. I laid on the ground and sobbed. I missed school. She had been poisoned by the Greek police who put down poison pellets that looked and smelled like dog food to kill off the strays in the area. That night, our poodle, Bulles (pronounced bull.ees. Means “mamma’s boy” in Greek), was on a walk with my dad. He picked up something in his mouth and within minutes was frothing at the mouth. We watched him die.
8 years old: Grandma and Grandpa would drive to Maryland from Ohio every fall. They stopped at a bakery along the way and bought the most delicious pastries – cheese, cherry, apple. We never got pastries in our house, especially not for breakfast. My parents favored dry, home made granola bars, unsweetened Cheerios and fruit leather. Pastries were like crack to me.
10 years old: I sat on my front porch coloring. We lived on a cul de sac. I noticed a dude on a motorcycle circling the street. Finally, he stopped in front of my house and started touching himself. Ewww. I was old enough to know this wasn’t right. I ran inside, he rode away. My dad and I jumped in the car to find him, but never did.
I did pushups at an early age. How else did you think I got those abs?:
I was always up for a party:
Some brotherly love. This is when we lived in Chicago. He embarrassed me so much with that talk of pooping in my crib, I had to hide my eyes:
Third grade. The age of denim jumpers, braids and middle parted hair. That turtleneck needed a necklace or something.
I pushed the limits from an early age. My poor friend. I made her do it. You can tell I’m really into it because I’m posing for the camera like, oh yeah, check it out. What was wrong with me? You may be wondering why I blocked it out. My body hasn’t changed tremendously since that time. It hit too close to home. And, in the interest of protecting my friend…I blocked hers out too. Butt…you get the idea.
First boyfriend, Casey. 5th grade. He was really into me. You can tell by the way he crosses his arms, rolls his tongue on the inside of his cheek (you know what that means). I only went for the guys who pressed their jeans. At least I had the “Farrah” hair going for me.
My modeling days. Short lived.
7th grade. I’m in the yellow dress. The other blond haired girl is Lisa, my best friend. We lost touch when she moved back to the USA from Greece that year. A few months ago she found me on Facebook. She is a runner. She will be running in Boston in 2011, too. Time for a 7th grade reunion at the start line. I might wear the dress so she’ll recognize me. I love social media.
Also 7th grade. I used to love that striped shirt. I also love the “duh” expression I’m making with my mouth. I needed a serious makeover. And braces. Feel free to show this to your awkward teenagers so they know there is hope.
This is fun. Exposing embarrassing pictures of yourself and taking a walk down memory lane.