Wednesday, May 11

day 10387: and some words still sting

When I was six, the sun and moon rose with Michelle. She was a kind-of older sister. I wore her hand-me-downs, had sleepovers at her place and watched Captain Kangaroo while eating Cornpops with chocolate milk. She gave me a Snoopy doll holding a Walkman. We talked about the Jackson Five and how much she liked Jermaine. I’d nod and pretend that I understood. Obviously, I had no clue what she was talking about... I barely do now.

Things got busy. My parents packed me off to piano lessons, art lessons, and Chinese school. We lost touch and grew apart. No more sleepovers. No more hand-me-downs. The hero-worship thing subsided.

Then, when I was eight (maybe nine), she came to one of my uncle’s Christmas parties – a big family affair. The kind where family from all different sides get together and bring other friends, food, etc. etc… other kids etc. etc…

Needless to say, hero-worship resurfaced. The sun and moon still rose with the now teenage and therefore, grown up, Michelle, so I dogged her not knowing that “grown up” Michelle would want to hang out with the other “grown up” kids. I guess I just figured that we could hang out, watch cartoons on tape, and eat sugar sweet cereal together.

It was not to be. Instead, our former association embarrassed her, and she tried to hide from me. But hero-worship that I did, I kept looking for her. The more I wanted to hang out with her, the less she wanted to do with me. I got the hint… eventually

As my family left for the night, she and friend-du-jour perched oh-so-innocently on the second floor landing and together they yelled out, “Good R-I-D-D-A-N-C-E.” I, of course, had no idea what they were spelling.

I went home, looked it up in a dictionary, and have hated the phrase ever since. Every time I hear it, I cringe a little inside thinking that somehow, someone's inner child is feeling what I felt way back when.

1 comment:

teahouse said...

Aw, what a megabitch!!

Strangely, when I was a kid, my parents used to make me play with a girl named Michelle, who was the daughter of their friend.

She was, seriously, like, THE BAD SEED. She did all kinds of evil and manipulative things to make me look awful. Luckily my dad believed me and got me the hell away from her.

I met her a couple of years ago. She's a pathetic adult, I'm ashamed to say I reflect with satisfaction. Anyway, I hope it's not the same girl for both of us.