Friday, October 26, 2007

In Honor of My Sibling’s birthday.

Date: October 25, 1977.

The baby was coming two months ahead of schedule. Ignorant of how scary this might be, (after all, I was two months early too and here I was, a sixth grader and just fine), I felt happy to know I would find out soon; brother or sister.

My brothers and I got farmed out to our best friends’ homes respectively for the duration. Huzzah! Unrestricted time with peers is every adolescent’s dream; except this one came with a parent that was on a health kick.

Being a good friend, she tried to warn me, but it wasn’t like I had any choice. My parents were hi-tailing it two hours to the big hospital. I came psyched with my pj’s, tooth brush and clothes for the next three days.

Then we were served snack.


Raisins were something you stuck in oatmeal. Raisins were in cookies you ate only after all other options had been exhausted. Raisins were grapes gone bad.

“Can I have a drink?”

Her mom poured us each some water... without ice... from the tap.

As green and as healthy and as ecologically and economically friendly as this may have been, I was an unenlightened seventies sixth grader. This was Not a snack.

My friend meekly drank her luke warm tap water and gave me a “You know how They are” look. We ran to her room to listen to the Doobie Brothers, read Dynamite! and talk about Star Wars. For the next two hours, if one didn’t count the hunger pains, it was pure bliss. My best friend explained that her mother was trying to purge their family of impurities and warned that dinner might not be fun. I promised to be a gracious guest, being her best friend and all, we could tough it out.

Dinner was served.

I don’t think anyone has ever licked their lips in joy and anticipation at a meal like this, or if they have, common sense has prevailed enough that they haven’t gone public. I stared at the plate. The following is 100% unembellished unvarnished, ungarnished truth. Warning! Not for the squeamish or slightly queasy.

Liver: enemy of every respectable child without a gallon of ketchup at their side.
Pickled beets: I have family that eat these so I won’t insult their taste buds. That being said, I wasn’t happy.
Lima beans: My husband loves them. He serves them. I still won’t eat them.
Water. *Still from tap. Single feeble melting cube.

We sat down for grace before meals.

I admit, my prayer was silent and heart felt. “Please please God. Deliver me from this food.”

The phone rang as soon as we said “Amen.”

It was my Dad. I had a sister. Mary Jennifer. I was pumped to even up the score with my brothers. Then inspiration struck. I whooped to her family and gushed, “I have a sister! Oh, I’m too excited I can’t eat!” and ran up the stairs. My best friend saw opportunity and took it. “ME TOO!” she shouted and bolted after me.

I heard her brother and sister try the same stunt to no effect. We played cards until we were sure dinner had been put away. We laughed and snuck down around ten o’clock to feast on vanilla ice cream and Coca-cola.

“To Mary Jennifer!”
“To your sister!”

And the bubbly soda shot through our noses. Truly, it was a great celebration to be alive.

Happy Birthday Sis and many more! Pass the ice cream and soda please.

1 comment:

AmyDoodle said...

Great stuff! (As usual.)

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!