Monday, July 27, 2009

oh, we used to dream of livin' in a corridor! would ha' been a palace to us.

John likes to tell stories of how destitute his family was while he was growing up. Mom and Dad working their fingers to the bone just to put food on the table, Cream O'Wheat for breakfast every day, hamburger the only source of protein, one glass of root beer for a treat on Sunday night, one bowl of boxed cereal for a treat on your birthday, rags for clothing, huddled together for warmth under a tarp, the kids making Nikes for fifteen hours before going to their other job thinning onions . . . that sort of thing.

But I looked around his parents' house. Oreos in the cupboard, pizza and multiple flavors of Blue Bunny ice cream in the freezer, steak in the fridge*. What was he talking about? John assured me that it hadn't been like that when HE was living there, and it was Daniel and Matthew who were reaping the benefits of all the years of scrimping and saving. I told him confidently that MY parents would never sell out like that--they're far too mean, I said. He said just wait.

So here we are, all these years later. My youngest sister Troy is the only one living at home full-time still, and do you know that she got a Columbia coat last winter? And it wasn't even for a Christmas present! There are popsicles and ice cream in the freezer, many of them not even from Grocery Outlet (my dad has a grocery problem--once he bought me a gallon jar of Spanish olives, and although I didn't like them a gallon's worth, I thought it was very sweet). Troy has a cell phone and isn't even sixteen, and Aleece tells me that the other night when my mom made Pasta Primavera for dinner, she made a special separate bowl for Troy with no vegetables in it! Sheer madness, I say! When the rest of us were young, it was all, "Eat your vegetables or you'll have to go to the bathroom in a bag! Eat that hamburger gravy even if it does make you barf!" So now I have to eat crow, and John smugly says he told me so.

The thing is, if I had been given the privileges that Troy has, I would have been an insufferable snot. I would have been bratty and rebellious and sass-mouthed. But Troy is about the nicest girl you could ever hope to meet. She's funny and sweet and obedient and cheerful and thrifty and clean and brave and reverent and here we are into the Scout Law, so you know it's serious. So I guess it's all for the best, but I sure wish I hadn't had to wear that shiny brown hand-me-down boy's snowsuit.

*Full disclosure: the steaks were and still are petite sirloins. So they haven't completely sold out. Maybe I should stop buying ribeyes . . .


Sarah said...

1. Thanks for the yummy Zucchini Parmigiana recipe - I'ma make it muchas prontas.
2. You have seriously got to stop being sick.
3. Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Honey, and what now? Girl, you've been drinkin' too much Komboocha...or somethin'.
4. No one in our family has developed strep throat, yet. So, no guilt needed on our behalf.
5. Thanks for being so delightfully funny...even when you're sick. Sometimes I just need a Baba Capra fix to make me chuckle on an otherwise less-than-chucklefull day. Get better soon, eh?

All8 said...

I was the oldest of 8 and I Know All About It....

Ditto what Sarah said, get better soon.