Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things I remember from my childhood

I grew up in Connecticut in a tiny house that was 980 square feet upstairs along with five people and one shower. Add to the mix three crazy kids, two parakeets, a busy dad and a weird, hippy mother, and, well, things get interesting. Here are a few random things I remember about growing up...

Only being allowed to wear shorts if it was 70 degrees outside.
Because my siblings and I were maniacs who wanted to wear shorts in the winter, my parents came up with a rule that we could only wear shorts if it was 70 degrees outside. Once spring arrived, I would run to my dresser, pull out my shorts, thrust them at my mother and demand that she tell me the temperature outside. "Um, 65 degrees," she'd lie. I would be devastated.

Praying for snow days.
It snowed a lot in CT, but that rarely meant we'd have a snow day. Whenever we'd wake up to a blanket of snow on the ground, we'd run into the kitchen, turn on the radio and listen for our school to be called during cancellation announcements. It was a tense, tense moment. Once, when it was obviously a snow day, I bypassed the radio, ran into my mom's room while she slept and yelled, "MOM, IS IT A SNOW DAY?" She responded (mumbling), "Does a bear poop in the woods?" I was silent. I think it does, but what do I know? I'm only 7 and I don't know any bears or live near any woods. What if they don't? Should I run and get my shorts on, just to be safe? Seeing my hesitation, my mom said, "Yes, honey, it's canceled." WOO HOO!

Letting our parakeets fly around the house.
We had two parakeets when we grew up and on the weekends, we would occasionally let them fly around the living room for 15 minutes for exercise. It was the most terrifying thing ever. I would hide under the coffee table because I didn't want those little fuckers landing on me.

Watching football every Sunday while eating nachos.
Every Sunday, my mom would make nachos and we'd all go downstairs into our finished basement to watch football in front of the fireplace. I had no idea what was going on, nor did I care. There were nachos to be eaten and that's all that mattered to me. (This is still my attitude towards football today. Sorry, Dad.)

Our "gym room."
On the other side of our basement was an area we called "the gym room." Because I was in gymnastics and had way too much energy, my parents put 3 old mattresses up in the basement corner -- two standing on their sides as cushions against the wall and one lying flat on the ground. They hung a knotted rope and a swinging bar-thing, and I would go down there, tie those two items together so they were out of my way and flip all over the place like a spaz. On a related note, my sister once climbed to the top of the rope and could not figure out how to get down. I laughed hysterically instead of getting her help, but eventually had to call my mom to come carry her down before the kid had a heart attack.

Getting lectured by my dad. Constantly.
This may surprise you, but I was a total shit growing up. I was really mouthy and obnoxious, so I was always getting in trouble and being told to go to my room. What I hated most about that was I knew that my dad would eventually come into my room and lecture me on the exact same topic, every single time. "Elle, you have to think before you speak." Think-before-you-speak speech was burned into my head from a young age. Sometimes I still forget to do that...

Riding in the "back back" of my mom's car.
My mom had a powder blue Mercury Sable station wagon whose trunk converted into extra seating -- seating that faced the opposite direction in which the car traveled. That's right. We were those freaky kids who would sometimes sit in the "back back" and stare at the drivers behind us as they uncomfortably looked everywhere but directly at us.

Ahh, family memories.

I'm not going home for Thanksgiving this year (heading to Cleveland -- and hanging out with Ang and Alexa while there), but that doesn't mean I won't be thinking about the fam. Now that my siblings and I no longer want to murder each other, it's actually fun being home... Miss you guys, and I'll see you around Christmas! (And my birthday... *cough* *cough*)


Alexa said...

1. i called the "back back" the "back back" as well.

2. i would never have been able to come to your house and play with parakeets flying around. i would have been petrified.

3. i'm excited to hang lady - bring on the cleve!

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

I always wanted to have a car with a back-back! I begged and begged, but no cigar.

And I, too, can recall many a "lecture" given to me by dad as a kid. I specifically remember the time when he taught me that "to assume makes an ass out of you and me". My father NEVER swears, so this horrified me. He must have been mega pissed.

Anonymous said...

We used to let our parakeet fly around for exercise on the weekends too. (Do parakeets NEED 15 minutes of flying exercise?) If we didn't let the bastard fly he would literally sit and whine every Sunday afternoon. Friggin birds.

Aunt Becky said...

My father would TRY and torture me with lectures, but it never had the intended affect. Meaning, I sat there like the little shit that I am (was) and rolled my eyes. It's a friggin' miracle I'm still alive.

surviving myself said...

Your gym room was like a mini "do it yourself" insane asylum, you realize that, right?

bodelou said...

you had the 70 degree rule and thought it sucked, try the 80 degree rule. yeah, thats right. it was terrible. my sister and i used to smuggle shorts to school because everyone knows that chicago doesnt hit 80 during the school months

The Alleged Ringleader said...

Oh I LOVED riding in the back back! My family had a station wagon with those rear facing seats as well! They were the BEST!

elle michelle said...

Alexa: I fail for not staying out later on Saturday.

Overcoat: I guess your parents are too classy for the "back back." ;-)

HP: Eff birds.

Aunt Becky: You, a shit?? Noooo.

Surviving Myself: Um, no I did not. I guess that's why we're friends, right? What would I do without you poking fun at my insanity?

Bodelou: 80?? No way. I thought 70 was pushing it, but you win.

Ringleader: Absolutely!!

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