Monday, July 30, 2012
Growing up, I don’t think my family quite knew what to do with me. As much as I tried to conform and be like everybody else, I still had my own way of doing things. My mother fostered creativity in us, but I sometimes took it a step beyond. There was a look that Mom and Dad gave me when confronted with my methods. It was a combination of fear, confusion, and a bit of WTF. Around age nine, I made my dad a voodoo doll of the dog across the street. Snowflake, a white Husky, used to do his business on my dad’s beloved lawn, and chase our car down the street. I thought a voodoo doll might solve the problem. Besides, it was a much better Father’s Day present than a stupid ash tray or pipe cleaners. My dad thanked me, but I think I also got “the look”. I took Dad’s present idea to the next level and made a voodoo doll of my family. It was a generic human being, with interchangeable vests labeled with my family member’s names. In my defense, it seemed like a great idea to make one doll which could service many names. My sister, Kathy, was the first recipient to hang in the hall for everyone to see. Somehow, she was disturbed to see a “Kathy” doll stuck with pins. What a baby! I got “the look” big time. I may have also gotten grounded. In the eighth grade, we learned how to write Haiku poetry. I used to climb behind an armchair in our living room to write my poems. The first time my mom saw me climb from behind the armchair when she called me to dinner, I got “the look”. I never felt like I fit in with my family. They may have been unaware of that fact, but it’s hard to argue with “the look”. My parents are gone now, and my sisters live in other states. My husband has pretty much accepted me as I am. My kids don’t know any better. Hopefully, they will tell stories of their mom with fondness. As Popeye liked to say “I yam what I yam”. Now all I have to do is believe it, instead of giving myself “the look”.