I don’t wait well. If you do, speak up! I need instructions!
Waiting tests all my patience. Oh, no kidding. That’s why I can’t wait! Helllooooo???
Test results? Gives me acid stomach.
Packages I know are late? Triggers my swear lexicon.
A Party looming on the calendar? Can cause hives. It’s because I no longer have a very exciting life.
Dinner that took all afternoon and all my culinary skills? Needs an afternoon Manhattan just to calm me down.
It’s always been a problem. Waiting to get out of the orphanage. Waiting for school to start because I loved every single minute of school. Waiting to marry the funny cool guy who thought I was the cat’s meow, top of the heap, hot girl with the snarky mouth. Waiting for my only child, who was late. And huge. Waiting for my first job. Waiting to travel. Waiting for first…and last….house. That’s a lot of waiting, for someone who does it poorly.
Still waiting. For literary agents to “get it”, that the real story of WWII is the untold tale of post war. That orphanage has faded into our memories, if we ever had such a memory. That a story of childhood summers is full of more than nostalgia. That we all hold that formula in common even if there are shifts in the details.
Did you roller skate? Still have your skate key? Ever lose a tooth and was it your first one and do you keep it in a box? Ever have a scooter? A box kite? A brother who could be counted on to leave the sandbox to push you on a swing? Did a new baby’s fussing disturb your sleep? Did you catch fireflies? Did you call them lightning bugs? Keep them in a jar? Bury them in a little jar in the back yard?
Did you smoke candy cigarettes? Chew bubble gum? Wear glasses? Saddle shoes? Wear your hair in braids? Did you call them pigtails? Remember your first trip to the barber? Did your Dad’s war uniforms hang in your attic? Did you read the love letters in your Mom’s cedar chest?
Did you ever get lost in a corn field? Get stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel? Ride an elephant? A merry-go-round? A donkey? How about a roller derby? a tricycle? Your first bike? A funicular?
Did you ever put all those memories together on paper and call them a memoir? Try it. Let it be the vehicle through which you find yourself. See who shows up in your story-all those people you thought you forgot.
They are not all in my memoir, so some of them will show up here. Like, the red haired Bobby Dowlin who used to come next door to my house to watch me eat. Yeah. Watch me eat. Good grief. Well. We lived in a tiny out of the way farm town where dragging a board was an exciting time waster. Just a bit more challenging that watching paint dry.
Next time we’re all out to dinner somewhere don’t watch me eat. I’ll know that you read this.