Evolution

Mom still likes to tell stories about me as a child.  In fact, this became good sport for my children at family gatherings:  “Hey, Granny!  Tell us more stupid things that Mom did when she was little!”  Being dragged around the neighborhood by my long pigtails.  My early toilet-training mishaps.  Slipping into a frigid mountain stream while on vacation in New Hampshire. 

Or the perennial favorite about my susceptibility to the power of a dare.  Family camping trip.  i was about four years old, my next older sister, T, was six.  We were bored out of our fucking skulls, and had hooked up with some other dirt-encrusted children at the campground.  The game of the evening was running in a circle around the fire pit, still smouldering from the cooking fires of the day.  We were chanting like Indians, wrapped up in some make-believe experience that only we understood at the time.

My sister stopped.  She looked at me and said “I dare you to run through the coals”.  Although the memory is quite vague, apparently i didn’t hesitate to run through the fire pit barefoot.  It’s a little blurry.

The next memory i have of the incident is my Mom putting salves and gauze bandages on my blistered, crispy feet – wondering out loud if it required a trip to an emergency room.  Dad was across the camp site, screaming at T for instigating my injury.  What i’ll never forget?  T, defending her honor, screaming back at my father “But I didn’t think she was that stupid!”

You can certainly understand why my children never tire of this tale.  Nor does my sister, T.

Somewhere around the same era, i remember another conversation.  Oft repeated by my mother through the years.  Mom was talking about all of us, growing up, getting married someday, and having families of our own.  i told her in no uncertain terms “i’m not going to get married.  i’m going to stay with you and Dad and take care of you.  Someone will need to do that, won’t they?”

As we grew older, she’d often bring this up whenever talk turned toward her twilight years.  She’d also complain about having to eat cold dog food from a can when she became an old lady.  After awhile, i finally started joking with her, saying “No way, Momma!  i’ll come back and heat up that dog food for you!”

Fast forward a few decades….  DQ, the niece next door, got most of the combat duty – as well as some financial benefits in the process.  Me?  i’m mostly phoning it in…. but unfortunately i’m still just as susceptible to a juicy dare.

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15 thoughts on “Evolution

  1. I dare you to…..

    Wait, I better not do that here. Oh shit! You just might do it. Then your family would be yelling at me.

    Hummmm. Gotta get out my trusty calculator. Is the value of getting you to…… greater than the negative of having your family yelling at me?

    Ok, after extensive analysis I dare you to……

    TAG

  2. I left Ohio and phoned it in as well. My siblings took care of mom. All I ever did was send a check for $100/month to help with mom’s living expenses and visit a couple of times a year. I tried to assuage my guilt with checks but I still feel pretty bad about abandoning ship.

  3. ‘What i’ll never forget? T, defending her honor, screaming back at my father “But I didn’t think she was that stupid!”’

    But we know better don’t we… wait what?

  4. I second Nursemyra’s dare and extend it to your friend “Wilds” He maybe able to get a date with “Backdoor Reciever” if he does.

    I think I’ve heard that same excuse for something stupid my younger one did on a dare from the older one….I informed older boy he was still in trouble because he should know that younger saw (yes past tense)him as a hero. Younger wised up very quickly…you did too right??

  5. Ha, I too am a sucker for a dare – like when I was 10 and me & my pals were walking home from school when some grizzly-looking fellow in a windowless van pulls up along side us shaking a box of juicy fruits asking if one of us would help him find his dog …. friends dared me to go and well, I realize now that some dares are not quite as fun but hey, let it NOT be said that I am without a sporty spirit. Cheers !

  6. TAG – good logic has no place in a trailer park, and neither does math. they throw things. they don’t yell. sharp things. hammers. dogs… not safe…

    unbearable banishment – i’m the one that manages and orchestrates the big picture ‘strategery’. was much more involved with the care for my father. part of the guilt is that i did things for him that i am completely ambivalent about doing for my mother… bad daughter? yes…

    rassles – i’m with the good nurse on this one. you’ve got balls. technicolor, and with a great soundtrack!

    alex – exactly. attention is attention when you’re the dumpy after-thought kid in the gaggle…

    nursemyra – aw, crap… i’m pretty fucking cranky this week, and it’s only tuesday. leather and riding crop may be all i could manage. perhaps the sword and a few other implements…

    hisqueen – i should have wised up. but i still admire my sister for getting out, while managing to do so with a serious, potentially debilitating brain chemistry disorder. she’s still a hero in many ways… even though cleaning up after the messes and consequences is sometimes less painful than running through hot coals…

    cew – welcome to the park! c’mon… piling on? this is unfair! MOOOOOOM!!! They’re ganging up on me!

    stephanie – good point! we did a “360 degree” performance review last year, and one commenter said “daisyfae does not tolerate idiots”. i took it as a compliment…

    steve – sporty spirit, indeed! my feet healed, and i can honestly say i never took that dare again (although she tried a couple years later). so maybe i can be trained! did you find the dog (not a euphemism)?

  7. Oh, the tyranny of the dare. Even though I grew up in an area where 80% of fatal accidents are preceded by, “hey, hold my beer and watch this!” I somehow managed to avoid that particular affliction. It has been no end of entertainment to me that my brothers are as susceptible as you seem to be.

  8. chris – fortunately, my siblings are so disconnected with the ‘grown up’ daisyfae (they really don’t “get me” at all), they don’t realize this trait has remained… shhh….

    uncle keith – bring it… game on, muthafuckah…

    anniegirl – i still enjoy hearing stories about my mom – especially as a young girl. the weekend with the cousins in late july uncovered a few treasures!

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