Wednesday, January 24, 2007

32 Flavors

Squint your eyes and look closer. I'm not between you and your ambition. I am a poster girl with no poster. I am thirty-two flavors and then some.

Vive suggested I share some of the more humorous stories from my youth. These are the ones my parents manage to tell every one of my potential suitors.

Where did I come from?

My parents didn't believe in lying to me, apparently. So, when I was 6-years-old and asked my mother where babies came from... she told me. All. In graphic details. Then she rented me the Where Did I Come From video. With Howie Mandel as the narrator (and now he looks like the Devil). I told the whole neighborhood. Kids asked their parents. Parents called my mother. I told my 3-year-old brother. I made him watch the video. We liked the part where the many sperm were racing in a swimming pool to get to the egg. The egg was portrayed as a fat, round blob with lipstick and high heels.

Meet Max and Courtney.

My father bought me a doll every time I got an A. He was a Surgeon, so he had limited time with me. I loved dolls. Thus, when I did well, he rewarded me with a present. Who knows the long term effects (Ferragamo shoes much?) My favorite two dolls, the ones I had antique beds for and a variety of cool clothes for, were Max and Courtney. Max was named after my friend Sarah's younger brother. Incidentally, Sarah moved when I was 9 and is now back in Mobile in medical school so I get to see her every time I come home. Courtney was named after my best friend at the time.

Max was "anatomically correct." I didn't know what that meant, but my parents laughed about it enough that I learned the term and that it meant he had private parts. My best neighborhood friend was a hard core Southern Baptist with bright blond hair, church every Sunday, and strict grandparents who dressed her up in lace and plaid much. Everything she had was monogrammed... including her bible. At her house one day with her grandparents, they saw me holding Max. "What a beautiful doll!" they exclaimed. "Thank you. His name is Max. He's anatomically correct. Want to see?" I recited back. I was 5-years-old. My mom got a phone call.

Courtney came with me to my father's annual surgery party that same year. Courtney was $50. I had cried and begged my father to buy her for me in the store. My allowance at the time was $1 a week. I had American Girls dolls... two of them... and Madame Alexander, porcelain, and antique dolls too... but I wasn't supposed to take them out with me. Courtney was the most expensive "play" doll I had. I dressed her up in all sorts of beautiful clothing. People always commented on her beauty. I was proud. My dad would say under his breath, "well, she better be for $50." So, at my dad's party, Courtney and I were dressed in matching outfits. Someone said to me, "what an adorable doll you have there. What sort of doll is she?" "She's a $50 doll." I responded. My dad was embarrassed. He loves that story.

Is this Mississippi?

I haven't always been as worldly as I am now. In fact, after being born and living in NYC for the first two years of my life, I cried hysterically the first time my mother put me on grass in our new suburban home in Mobile. I had only played on concrete playgrounds before. Of course, by the time I was 3, I was happy to stay in my fabulous backyard, in my playhouse, or swimming in our pool. So, when my parents (Montreal born-and-raised urbanites) told me we were driving to Mississippi one day, I had no idea what life was like outside of our Sugar Creek neighborhood.

"Are we there yet?" I asked over and over again. How parents don't intentionally lose their hearing, I have no idea.

Finally, we stopped to use the bathroom in a gas station. "Are we here now?" I asked again. "Yes, we're now in Mississippi." I looked around the gas station.

"Is Mississippi bigger than Winn Dixie?" I asked.

My parents said this is when they realized I was obviously gifted, tehe.

Snowball and Nibbles.

My dad wanted to teach me about genetics. He bought me two gerbils. I named them Snowball and Nibbles. (They also let me name a dog at 3-years-old. With limited vocabulary. The dog was a Yorkie. I named him Moppy.) Snowball and Nibbles had sex non-stop. Within a couple of months, I owned 22 gerbils.

I gave away all the males. My dad promised they'd have good homes. He tells me now they were eaten by snakes. I have nightmares often.

Snowball was my favorite. She was all white and very passive. She actually let me pick her up and stroke her hair. One morning, I noticed Snowball had gotten her tail stuck in one of the running wheels. I went to help her out and she was bleeding. I begged my mother to take her to the vet. So we did. She needed some antibiotics rubbed on it and to be kept separate in a cage for a couple of days.

Vet bill: $50. Travel cage: $25. Antibiotics: $10. My dad had to pick them up. The prescription name said "[Our last name], Snowball" on it. My dad blew up at my mom. "You took the $2 gerbil to the vet!"

The end. Hope you enjoyed.


  • At January 24, 2007, Blogger LJ said…

    I love your MS quotation... "Is Mississippi bigger than Winn Dixie?"

    That's awesome. Wow, that's pretty cool actually that your parents were so upfront about sex. (and so funny how it freaked out the parents of your friends!)

  • At January 26, 2007, Blogger LMNt said…

    This whole post is awesome. Awesome, I tell you.

    You must have been an absolutely adorable kid.

  • At January 26, 2007, Blogger GreenEggsSamDC said…

    Thanks LMNT. I like to think I was cute... a little annoying, but cute!


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