Malerie V

Professional bystander of others' awkward moments. Boxed wine connoisseur. Class clown of 2002 & 2006. Reigning champion of my family's Trivial Pursuit war. Here are my smörgåsbord of thoughts:

Month: October, 2014

George of the Jungle

When I was child I had the worst luck ever. I broke bones ways no one ever has & have stories no one ever believes (which is the reason most people told me start writing). They make for good laughs at bars & 90% of the time I have to call my Mom just to prove they even happened. I reckon I should probably just start carrying my childhood X-rays around, or have at least one member of my family or childhood friend with me at all times to confirm that I’m not making these things up.

So here is one of my best friend Bridget’s all time favorites:

In first grade we got a lot of snow that year. It wasn’t anything too crazy, but we did get a decent couple of snow days. Now I was too young to go with my brother and their friends sledding (they didn’t want me tagging along anyway), and my Mom was cool enough to drive my brothers to a hill so they could spend the day on the ‘slopes.’

We had one of those old sleds that went crazy fast:

sled

I spent the day at home with Mom. Snow angels. Making a snowman. Hot coco. I could care less what my brothers were doing because, to me. I had the best of both worlds. I could play outside till my fingers were numb, then when my fingers were actually numb, I could just go inside and eat and drink and be merry.

The afternoon was getting late and it was around the time my Mom had said she was going to pick up my brothers (remember the pre-cell phone era when we actually scheduled these things?) so we jumped into the car and headed over to the hills. I was itching to get on the sled. I begged the entire way there.

Mommmmmmmy, just onceeeeeeeee pah pah pah pleaseeeeeeee. The boys were sledding aallllllll dayyyyyyyyyyy.

When we got to the hill the boys had had enough of the cold & my Mom had had enough of my whining. You can go down the hill ONE TIME and THAT’S IT. 

That was all I needed….

I braced myself because I knew this was going to be everything my first grade heart desired. I saw my brothers flying down as we were approaching in the car and I wanted to show off in front of their friends that I wasn’t just “some baby little sister” that was scared to do things. I picked up that flyer sled and hopped belly first down. Faster. Faster. Faster. By this time the snow was freezing over and was turning into ice. The tracks they’d been riding all day were established, but I was young and small so the sled was going anywhere it pleased.

Being 6 years old there’s some things you need to learn by trial and error. This was one thing I learned by trial and unfortunately error. On these sleds, I came to realize, you steer by moving the front two pieces of wood. Yes, you can steer them. No it is not safe to just jump on and go for the ride. As my sled went faster and faster I screamed for my dear life. until…..until…

until it happened. I can’t tell you what hit first:my head or my arm, but the tree was the roadblock that I did not want to use to stop the sled. I remember my Mom and my brothers running down to me. I think there were laughs…there were definitely laughs involved. And I laid there thinking about that moment of glory I so foolishly ruined. Damnit. Maybe next time.

My Mom took me home and prepped me for a wonderful night in the ER on her night off from work (one of many, bless her soul). I remember she used an American Flag bandanna as a sling. The hospital stay wasn’t long, but I didn’t have to go to school the next day.

My Mom was always strict about us going to school, so I was excited that I didn’t have to go the following day. Snow day, then sick day!? Booyah. I sat at the table and ate my breakfast with my good hand. That’s when she served it to me: Just because you aren’t going to school doesn’t mean you aren’t doing work today. 

My Mom put the timer on and made me play with the god damn speak & spell for AN HOUR STRAIGHT. As if that machine wasn’t horrifying enough, as if SLEDDING INTO A GOD DAMN TREE isn’t bad enough, now I have to talk to this devil robot. Fooey!

So, in conclusion, this is Bridget’s favorite story because when I told her family what happened, her Dad never let it go. To this day he relentlessly  will still sing the George of the Jungle song at me. I never did look out for that tree, and I’m still a bit weary when it comes to sledding, and now sometimes I have to spell words out like a fucking robot.

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I just wanted to be like the big kids..

I was the youngest. I was the only girl. When we played kick the can or jailbreak I was always picked last. And it wasn’t because I was slow. I wasn’t. I was always athletic. I was quick. I was sly. Hell, if anything being the youngest I knew how to sneak around more than my brothers. “No more cookies before dinner.” Well who do you think left the gate open so the dog accidentally got out leaving the rest of the family scouring the entire neighborhood while the last Chips Ahoy magically fell into my mouth? It was because I was the youngest. And when you’re the youngest you automatically suck. It’s just the way of the world.

I wasn’t an idiot. I played my cards when I needed to. But I was the black sheep & I often had a hard time dealing with that role. My brothers were best friends growing up (& still are). On family trips my best friend was a stuffed dog named Fluffy. Man, we ruled the world together. Unfortunately for me, only I could hear what Fluffy said so he wasn’t really a big help when I needed him to have my back. Damn dog. He had one job to do.

In first grade my parents decided our family summer vacation was going to be to Busch Gardens. Wowweee. Were my parents crazy? Yes. Yes they were. Put 3 kids in the backseat of a car for a 7 hour drive: Let’s see who kills who first. FAMILY. ROAD TRIP. Now this is before any of this stupid ipad, ipod, iphone, portable DVD player. Good ‘ol license plate game, punchbuggy, stop hitting yourself, and my favorite I swear to god if you touch me one more time I will kill you (even though this is a three person backseat and there is literally nowhere for any of us to go).

Oh, hey. Did I mention yet about how I was the youngest? Cause, yeah, I’m the youngest. Do you know what that means on a family road trip? It means YOU HAVE TO SIT BITCH THE ENTIRE TRIP. Now if you are wondering, I haven’t been anointed to sainthood….yet. I feel it coming though. Because sitting in a car for 7 hours straight while your brothers pass your head back and forth like a ping-pong ball is actually in the Bible as an automatic entry to sainthood. Believe me, it is.

My Dad had just bought a new car. I remember how proud he was of it (for good reason). Every time a door was open a voice in the most annoying way possible would repeat “The door…is ajar.” I didn’t know what ajar meant, but I remember being in first grade thinking “This bitch doesn’t know the difference between a door and a jar. Get it together, Chevy.”

I digress. We were well on our way to Virginia when my Dad decided that he was making a pit stop at 7/11. Now here I am, about 6 years old, this teeny little thing making my way into the convenient store, probably wearing some sort of Disney princess attire, all smiles on our Griswald vacation. Then my Dad hits me with some major news, “Family vacation: Get whatever you want.” awwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah. Free for all. When you’re a a kid and you hear that? It’s Christmas!!! You’ve just hit the jackpot. I’m going to get everything Mom always says I can’t get. I knew immediately when my Dad said that I was teetering the line between “Baby Val” & “Big Kid Val” & today was the day that “Damnit, I’m going to take a stand!” My brothers were obsessed with drinking Big Gulps. It was just this thing they did with their friends. Something about having your own 2 liter of diet soda waiting for you, I don’t know what it was, but I wanted that power. I walked my way over to the Big Gulp cups and I filled that sucker to the brim with Slurpee. Because, shit, what else could possibly make a 7 hour car drive better than a 6 year old bouncing off the walls on a sugar high. Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Coca-Cola, I was a 6 year old mixologist.

As soon as my father saw me grasping that colossal cup with my tiny paws he shrieked with anger. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FINISH THAT! WHY DID YOU GET THAT? ummmm, Dad, seriously? You have been a father for long enough know to know the rules of having children. If you’re going to play the “get whatever you want card.” I’m going to take that to the max. I will, and I did. “But daddddddyyy, you said we can get whatever we wantttt.” Pouty-eyes, crazy curly hair that flew in every direction, Little Mermaid dress, my fanny pack that carried my life necessities at the time which included my pogs and chapstick, my jelly sandals, I knew the game and the man wasn’t going to turn me down looking the way I did. Fine just don’t spill it in my car. *mumble under his breath*

To this day I’m still a child when it comes to car rides. The light jostling of the road sends me into slumber so peaceful I wish I owned a racecar bed. It’s a blessing and a curse. Well I settled myself into the bitch seat and planted that big gulp in between my legs and we started our journey…and we journeyed…. and we journeyed….and then. it. happened. I can’t tell you what state we were in. I can’t tell you what highway were on. I can only tell you that for 10 minutes in my life I swear to god my Mother had to hold my Father back and cute curls, dewey eyes, and all-around adorable demeanor were no match for the fact that I swear to you my Father almost took my life in the name of his Chevy Lumina that day.

The Big Gulp was Everywhere. I just closed my eyes for a minute I swear. But in that second that Big Gulp, well. All over my brothers. All over my dress. All over my Dad’s new backseat of his car. Remember that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie loses the nuts & bolts and accidentally curses throwing the father into a fit of rage? multiply that by 1,0000x. I spilled that baby all over the entire car. I cried. I sobbed. I cried some more. I prayed the few prayers I think I knew at the time which was probably “Good Night Moon.” Not only did I NOT finish my Big Gulp, I did EXACTLY what my father told me not to do. We pulled ourselves together on the side of the highway. I think by the end of the drive my Dad was able to look at me again. The vacation itself was awesome, but guys, I have never had and never will have a Big Gulp again.