Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ever have one of those lives?

Sorry I haven't written in here for so long (only a couple days, but still...). I've just been down in the dumps and not feeling like I have much to say these days. I am working hard to get over my slump, but even the goofy-ass news items aren't bringing a smirk to my freckled puss. I don't know why, they're just not. I spent most of today either sleeping or watching TV (both productive activities...yeah right), but I know I can't do that forever. But thoughts still float around my head. Memories do too. Here are some...

1. My grandparents (on my dad's side) really enjoyed having "Dear Abby" read to them as much as possible. One day when I was over there visiting, I read them Dear Abby, and the letter was from someone who didn't know how to break the news of their homosexuality to their parents. (Nothing like a loaded topic, is there?)
Anyway, my grandpa proclaimed, "Well, they never had homosexuals when I was a kid." I told him, "Yes, they probably did, but they were tarred and feathered, then run out of town on a rail." Then they both asked me, "Well, how does homosexuality WORK?" Now, I took sex ed., and I probably could have explained it to them so they had a rudimentary understanding of the whole process but I simply said, "Why don't you ask Ruth the next time she's here? She's a nurse...she can explain it a lot better than I ever could." I don't know if they ever did, but I do know that I got out of that one faster than I thought I would. Those magic words - "She's a nurse" always worked on Grandma and Grandpa.

2. I think I inherited my love of electronic gizmos from my dad, but unlike my dad, I could accurately pronounce most of the name brands out there. I remember, when I was a senior in high school, we were drug kicking and screaming into the 20th century by the purchase of a microwave oven and a VCR, both within the same six month period. I'm not sure what got into Mom and Dad, but there you go. Anyway, Dad was so proud of himself because he picked out a VCR all by himself, and he picked me up from my boyfriend's house to tell me so. I remember that night well.

"Well, you thought I couldn't do it, but I did it...I bought a VCR." Dad said, his chest swelling with consumer's pride.

Me, being the smart-ass teenager I am, said, "No, I never said you COULDN'T DO IT, it was that you WOULDN'T DO IT."

"Well," he said, "it doesn't matter because I did it."

"OK...what kind is it?" I asked.

"Well, it's top of the line. It's Japanese," he said, as if that should just close the book. (Nope...)

"What BRAND is it, Daddy?" I asked. I wasn't giving up on this one easily. "Is it a Sony? Panasonic? What?"

He had an imperious look on his face and said, "It's an EKU."

I must have looked puzzled. "A what?" I asked. He had me...but then it dawned on me.

"Daddy, how's the brand name spelled?" I asked.

"A-K-A-I," he chuckled, with a superior tone.

My face must have contorted or I rolled my eyes as a typical teenager does. "DAD," I retorted, drawing out the second syllable as only a teenager can, "It's pronounced A-KAI."

"Oh," he said. "Well, it's still top of the line."

And it was. However, it doesn't matter if it's made out of platinum with a diamond remote if the whole concept of preserving programs on videotape is lost on someone.

Dad (as an example) used to tape a movie in the middle of it. If he was flipping channels and came to a movie that had already started, he'd just start taping from that point. It was an unusual practice, and I questioned him about it one day.

"Daddy, " I asked sweetly, "why are you taping a movie starting from the middle?"

"Well, you never know when it's going to be on again, and then I can tape it from the beginning." He obviously was confusing the videotaping process with the "going to a movie in a small town where the theatre manager knows you" process, where you can basically stay in the second show and watch what you missed. You can't do that when taping.

"Dad, where are you going to put it on the tape? You can't just shove it'll be out of sync," I advised. Perfectly reasonable advising, I thought...but he didn't.

"Well, if I know where it starts, what does it matter?" he replied.

I rolled my eyes again (I did that a lot as a teenager, didn't I?) and left him to his own devices.

3. Also, when I was growing up, I had a lot of cousins around. I was in-between...all my cousins and my sister were older than me, except for Jim. Jim was four years younger than me, and the other cousins that were younger than me were actually my cousins' children. So it was weird. I wasn't old enough to hang with my older cousins, but I didn't want to hang with the "babies" either. But as time went on, I was perfectly content to sit at the kids' table because that meant I didn't have to sit with the grownups and their same old boring stories. The younger cousins and I did our own thing as we got older. It was me, Jim, Mike, Tim, Andy, Kristie, Penni, Nick, Tom, and Travis. Interesting stuff. Usually, we'd sit and make fun of the "grownups" and they didn't know it, and then we'd go up to Jim's room afterward and lie around recovering from the turkey tryptophin buzz. This even went on after I got married to the first husband. That first "married Thanksgiving", my cousin Tom said to us, "You can come in here and sit if you want to, Sue." I said, "Nah, that's OK. We're fine." I don't know if he figured out that it was too late and I had found my niche or what. We weren't doing anything mysterious, but I don't think the "grownups" got it...we didn't HAVE to DO anything. We just WERE. Out of all the family fussing and me moving away, I miss my cousins the most. I keep in touch with Kristie and we talk at least once a week, but I miss all my younger cousins very much.

So there you have it...reminiscences from my youth. Chew on that, folks...