So, I’ve been wracking my brain for a light-hearted post. A funny story, perhaps. A satiric take on Obamacare. Nothing. It’s only rain clouds and fiery darts in this brain for now. To spare you those options, I’m taking this back in time for a series I am creatively calling “About Me.”
I was born during the Reagan administration in a small farm town in Illinois. It was a cold day (they tell me). I was an unintended consequence of a teenage romance. (Spoiler alert – my parents are still together. Keeping it real and loving each other in that gross parent way.) I don’t have any memory of it, but apparently I entered the world in a rather uneventful, typical way that humans do. My parents say it was the happiest day of their lives, way better than when my sisters were born, I’m sure.
I spent my first months of life under the doting love of my mom, aunt and grandma. My parents were married a few months after I was born in a rather depressing and stressful wedding attended by a lot of angry-looking Catholics (so, your typical wedding). My maternal grandmother was upset because my dad and his groomsmen wore white tennis shoes with their tuxes, ruining the obvious high-class event of a marriage between teenagers with a baby in tow. My paternal grandmother has never missed an opportunity to create some drama, and this event was no different. The good news is that life could only go up from there, and it did!
We lived in a small little trailer parked in the backyard of my paternal grandparents’ home. My parents lament that they could never get away from my crying because they could see me from every point of the house. Later, we moved into a much classier trailer on a piece of land down the street from my maternal grandparents where I had my earliest memories. I have a faint memory of when my sister was born when I was a little over 3 years old. A short time after that, I remember splitting my lip open while balancing between the counter and a chair. My mom was on her way out the door to spend an evening with her girlfriends, but a trip to urgent chair ruined that plan. (Mwahaha!) My dad kept me calm and made me laugh while I received my stitches.
My kindergarten teacher was pure evil. I’m still convinced she’s a witch. Yes, Mrs. Schmidt. I’m talking to you. That’s all I’ll say about that.
My parents then built the house where I spent most of my youth. I attended the local Catholic grade school, and my youngest sister was born when I was about 8 years old. I spent most of grade school worrying about boys and friends. A boy in my class (who remains a friend today) nicknamed me “Barfbag [last name]” because he said he needed a barfbag whenever he saw me. This was one of the only nicknames I ever had, until his mom made him stop calling me that (thanks Debbie!). It’s a rather funny story around our house now, but luckily, my husband hasn’t started calling me that yet.
Where I grew up, you were either from the country or the town. It was obvious that all the beautiful, popular, cool kids lived in town. I always imagined them having elaborate parties and shopping and riding bikes. I always wanted to live in town. Instead, we lived in the country, where we built forts and played outside and didn’t have to wear shoes.
Stay tuned for next time, when you can journey with me to my awkward teenage years. Maybe I can even get some good photos loaded up!