Thursday, December 17, 2009
Ladies and Germs start your engines......
Must be all this nostalgia of bygone Christmases that is making my brain whir. Nah probably just the aging process. You know, short term memory shot to hell but what I wore on Easter in 1957 plain as day. By the way, it was an aqua colored dotted Swiss overdress over a cream satin dress my Mommy made me. No really.
By age 6 both of my siblings had moved out of the house. My sister and brother were respectively 11 and 12 years older than me. My sister had a baby in the spring just before my birthday so as a 6 year old I was a first time aunt. My niece and arch rival for all things in life, especially my Mom's attention and I actually grew up liking each other. She because she followed me around and did everything I did and me because I was cautioned on a number of occasions that if I was mean to "the baby" I would get nothing for Christmas. So now the stage is set.
On my 8th Christmas season, Cindy, my niece was 2 and into, well let's just say, EVERYTHING that I held sacred. She had climbed into the doll crib and broken out the bottom, had pulled the hair off of my favorite rag doll and then had the nerve to drool chocolatey scum on the doll's lovely face and the final straw was....are you ready for this. You will need to steady yourselves. The little twit tore up my autographed picture of Roy Rogers and Trigger. I know, catch your breath, calm yourselves and I will continue.
My sister, now the evil Mother of the drooler, once again cautioned me to not do anything to "the baby". Never mind that I was on the verge of having that little vein in the middle of your forehead named after a disaster film. I was sooooooooooo mad, I was soooooooooooooo hurt, basically, I was sooooooooooooo 8. So vengence was mine. Dash the Santa Claus thing, I was sure I could square it with the fat guy when I went to J C Penney's and sat on his lap and explained why I had to disfigure her, or worse. For a couple of days, I thought on how I was gonna get even with the blond curly headed darling of the family. I thought maybe a long trip in my radio flyer wagon to, oh I don't know, the next street. Or maybe I could get the boy next door to have his older brother take her for a ride in his hot rod.....yeah, that would cure the naughty right out of her.
The next time she was over, I was poised to do her wrong when I overheard my Mom saying that she was concerned that I might have gotten them too. Gotten what? What were they talking about? And then the evil fickle finger of fate pointed at me. That blond cutie had given me the German Measles. She and I were really sick and had to stay in the same darken room together for a week.
I'm here to tell you that as a small child, I just knew that I had caused all of the spots and sweats and bad dreams and awful medicine because of my "ugly thoughts" I had about her. After a week of being together, I was a changed child, I was going to be better. Obviously she changed too because she learned to bite during that time and I have the scar on my stomache to prove that she had very sharp angry teeth.
As adults we have laughed about our incarceration and the outcome many times. Santa still came and we all lived through it.
Funny what memories Christmas trees, Santa and a curly headed blond girl conjur up.