Monday, September 21, 2009

Way back when.

When I was a kid I used to walk around and try to act like Sandy from Grease. I dressed in a pair of my mom’s wooden wedge heals that were the navy version of the exact shoes she wears at the end of the movie. I added black spandex pants and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader jacket and I was set to walk down the hall, throw down a Barbie shoe (in place of a cigarette, of course) and quip, “Tell me about it, stud.”

I invited a handful of girls over for my second grade birthday party to spend the night. We watched Grease. It was one of those awesome moments for my mom when she realized that she didn’t quite remember how mature Grease actually was. I think the piece d’ resistance was when a girl piped up later “I know what sex is.” Can’t you just picture my mom’s eyes bugging out from her head? I know I can.

When we were kids Val and I used to play library and grocery store a lot. For a long time I thought I wanted to get my masters in library science. I think I really just liked those stickers on the backs of the books in the 90’s – the one with the due dates. I would have given my right arm to get to have one of those little contraptions that dispersed the stickers.

Included in our repertoire of fun things to play was the game, Land Before Time. One of us would be Littlefoot and the other would be Cera… and we would butt heads. As in be on all fours and go towards each other from opposite sides of the room. I would pay money to watch that now, but that is not one of the moments captured on our home movies. We do, however, have a home movie of Valerie and I singing, "dancing", and over acting where Val is wearing a pink leotard with Land Before Time characters on the front. This almost makes up for it.

I’ve spent the last ten years dispelling the belief of my parent’s that I was really just a great kid. I was a good kid, just very sneaky. I didn’t do anything illegal, but I just did a lot of lying. I would hide my vitamins behind the TV, shove my carrots in the floor of the playhouse, and drink cokes (which was totally against the rules about 50 weeks out of the year) and then put the empty cans in special hiding places. Why those hiding places did not involve the trashcan I’m not certain. My mom would leave for the grocery store and give us firm instructions on how to use our time. Usually it involved cleaning our rooms, working on homework, or practicing an instrument. We would instead, watch TV. As soon as we heard that garage door open we would bolt around the house looking very busy and very determined to accomplish our tasks. I was a whiz at setting the timer with only 7 or 8 minutes left to practice my piano when she arrived. “Look at me, I’ve been practicing SO hard for 38 minutes.”

With three kids needing to practice multiple instruments throughout the day, we had to resort to practicing at odd times. There was a large chunk of my life where I practiced the piano at 6:15am on the weekdays. I can’t even speak to people before 8:00am, so you can imagine how much I loved that. I figured out a way to practice AND sleep during that time. We had a full keyboard next to one of our pianos (some dads buy cars, my dad likes pianos), and I would record myself running scales, practicing one song, or working on chords, and then I would simply play my work on loop for about half an hour while I laid on the bench. My mom once caught me laying on the bench and playing scales with just my right hand. That went over really well.

All three of us kids have thrown up at the kitchen table. All three of us have thrown up green beans at the kitchen table. Eventually they stopped putting them on our plates. Good move.

I want to try to do some version of all of these things tomorrow, just for fun. Maybe not the green beans, but we’ll see. So, rebellious child you, what did you try to pull on your folks? Do tell.

2 comments:

Sarah D said...

Yeah, I definitely also did some lying and sneaking - often with more dire consequences than my sweet friend Ginger. :) One of my favorites from back in the day thought was when I broke a snow globe in my room while playing with a friend and decided that we should just clean it up ... with paper (yeah, that soaks up water and glass really well), and not tell my mom. Needless to say, she found out. Not one of my most brilliant (or honorable) moments.

Anonymous said...

There's a stunning picture of your sister dressed as Sandy as well.... I think it's facebook-worthy.