My writing teacher gave us an assignment this semester to write about events in our lives starting with childhood up until now. We are to include what we wanted each phase of our lives and how we felt. The autobiography part is ok but the rest, not so much. I was too busy living my life and didn’t have the time or inclination to reflect on my choices. Looking back I can say “It is what it is.” No regrets.
My dad was in the Air Force stationed outside Munich, Germany where he met a young German woman who would soon become his wife. After a whirlwind romance and “shotgun” wedding, nine months later a bouncing baby girl was born. That would be me. I don’t remember anything before the age of five but I was told that I had seemed to enjoy creating chaos, like getting lost in airports and pushing empty baby buggies into busy traffic. I still enjoy a good prank.
My grade school days consisted of learning the three R’s and spending “quality” time in the principal’s office. Throwing rocks at boys and spitballs on the girl’s bathroom ceiling are some of my fondest memories. The school janitor told me on one occasion, as he was heading to the girl’s bathroom carrying a ladder so he could scrape off the dry toilet paper from the ceiling, he knew I was the one who did it.
My brother was born when I was eight. My world quickly changed because now he was my parent’s center of attention. When “Ricko” (that’s what he called himself and even rolled his r’s) got old enough to catch a ball, my dad stopped playing with me. He did let me keep my baseball glove though. Around the same time the principal at my school allowed me to play softball with the boys at lunch time recess. I was never a good runner but I could throw a softball (and rocks… did I mention I enjoyed throwing rocks?)
My high school experience was typical. Like most girls my age I was not a cheerleader. I did not sit with the popular girls at lunch. I was pretty much a geek and a very skinny geek at that. Kids made fun of me, so in order to cope, I started making fun of myself. By my senior year I was one of the class clowns. At home my family life took a turn for the worst. My mother’s drinking was constant. She was angry all the time and at everyone. My sense of humor helped keep me sane; that and my constant daydreaming of running away. I would have too, except I had stuffed animals, lot’s of them and I had no idea how to bring them along.
My chance to leave home came when I was seventeen. A few days after I graduated high school, two boys and I drove cross country in a compact car. I was finally free to do anything I pleased. I could stay up all night and sleep in ’til noon, that is until I got a job. Now there were a whole new set of rules.
I worked so many different jobs over my adult life I lost count years ago. The ones I liked the best were in restaurants, serving food. Some customers were a pain in the ass when it came to “how” they wanted their food prepared, but most were ok. I served Johnny Carson at a Shoney’s Big Boy Restaurant in South Carolina and gave George Lucas his daily lunch in Mel’s Drive- In, San Francisco. His favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich with gravy and canned cranberry sauce. I bet he misses me telling him “May the force be with you” as he left the diner.
Sometime during my adult years, I stopped disliking boys and managed to convince four of them to marry me. Not at the same time. I guess I am what you would call a serial monogamist. Husband number four seems like he’s around for the long haul. I will admit, I am not easy to live with. I am outspoken and can be bossy, but I make up for that with my optimistic outlook on life. I’m also a pretty good dancer.
My greatest achievements are raising a compassionate human being, beating cancer and not strangling anyone even though they probably deserved it at the time. If my life ended tomorrow, I am grateful for all my experiences; the good, the bad and even the ugly.
Well, that’s what I turned in. I can’t wait to see all the red pen marks she will write all over my paper. I enjoy my class and I appreciate having the chance to have my work graded by her. I am one of the younger students in the class and listening to stories from my older classmates is a treat.
Be Well and Happy!