Laughter is the best medicine so here is a dose:
When I was 15, I had a friend and neighbor whose father was a merchant marine and a mother who wasn’t much of one. He came over to my house one day with gauze taped to his forehead. Now many of you won’t know this but sanitary pads used to have a blue string line on one side to tell you which side should go down. He told me that he had a pimple or some such thing that bled so he bandaged it up. As he talked, I focused on the “gauze” and there was a blue line on it. Yep, he had cut the end off a sanitary napkin to use for a bandage never realizing that it would be recognizable.
At the same period in time (no pun intended), we had a little fox terrier dog. He had this annoying habit of digging used sanitary napkins out of the bathroom trash and tearing them up. He would also drag underwear from the dirty clothes. Once when I had a boyfriend over and we were visiting in the living room, I could see that the dog had shredded a sanitary napkin under the love seat to the side of where we were sitting. I was appalled and didn’t know what to do so I just sat there mortified, hoping that he would not see the mess. If he did, he was too polite to say anything. I was so glad when he left so I could clean it up. That same dog drug my mom’s underwear out into the front yard. Heaven only knows how many people saw them before they were discovered.
When I was a baby, my dad was an industrial painter and worked out of town most of the time. My mom would sometimes travel with him and my brother and I would usually stay with family or friends. My parents devised a method of checking to make sure things were o.k. so they wouldn’t have to pay long distance charges (way before cell phones). My parents would call person to person which meant that if the person you were calling for was not available, you weren’t charged for the call. They would ask for me and if everything was o.k., the person answering would say I wasn’t there and if there was a problem, would take the call. This method was also used to let family or friends know that my parents had arrived safely. One time when my parents called person to person and asked for me, my aunt who was either in la la land or forgot how the plan worked, responded “Why honey, she can’t talk, she’s just a baby!” Busted.
When I was 6 and my brother was 7ish, we were walking home from school together and he said to me, “Don’t worry ugly little girls grow up to be pretty big girls.” Was I supposed to find that comforting when I didn’t even know I was ugly until he told me so? Awkward.
Another time, my brother and I were walking home from elementary school and a car stopped and asked if we wanted a ride. My brother said we did but I reminded him that we were not supposed to get into a car with strangers. I wouldn’t even look at the car and kept walking. My brother said, “Patty, its Aunt Lorene and Uncle Pete.” I don’t think I got into the car even then. You just think your kids don’t listen to you.
My father’s mother belonged to the Church of Christ and his side of the family did not drink. As kids, we always dreaded my grandmother’s phone calls because we knew she was going to ask if we were going to church on Sunday, putting us on the spot. We also worried that she would find out that our parents drank, embarrassing us. One time our parents came home from the grocery store and told us that they saw our grandmother there. My dad said, “We had a grocery cart full of beer and bread.” We nervously asked, “What did she say?” ” and dad replied, “She asked what we were going to do with all that bread.” Oh Lord.
My grandparents came over to our house one time so my grandfather could help my dad work on our car. My mother was at work so my grandmother made a stew. When mom got home, she asked my grandmother what meat she used in the stew and my grandmother said she used the meat that was in the refrigerator. My mom said, “That was horse meat for the dog.” and my father said, “I thought it was awfully grainy” It didn’t bother my grandfather much because he had horse meat during “the war”. Glad I didn’t eat the stew.
When my dad and his brothers were teenagers, they were standing outside a downtown church while their parents visited with other church members. Back then, a woman with loose morals was called a “two bit wh-re”, two bits being 25 cents. A woman they believed to be a prostitute came walking by. My uncle said low enough for her to hear but not the adults nearby, “I gotta quaaata.” The woman stopped, came back to where he was standing and said, “If you got a quatta, you betta buy yore poor ole ma some draws.” My uncle tried to crawl under the sidewalk but it just wouldn’t open up for him. Justice was served. Guess you don’t get away with anything in front of God’s house.
My dad’s hair started turning white/silver in early adulthood so my mother dyed it for him. Before we went to visit friends that my parents hadn’t seen for a while, mom dyed dad’s hair. I don’t remember how old I was but probably old enough to know better and too young to care. When we got to the people’s house, the lady told my dad his hair was still so black, not a gray hair. I said, “It oughta be, he just dyed it before we came.” Needless to say, my father could have “dyed”.
My mom went to work for an orthodontist as an assistant. She had a job before that as a dental assistant, no certification was necessary back then. She needed practice on making teeth impressions so she took me up to her office one night and practiced on me. The goo started sliding down my throat and I felt like I was going to choke so I began to panic. My mother said, “If you spit that out, I am going to slap you!” So much for the loving mother.😝 Actually, she had never slapped me and never would, she was just very determined.
My mom is 82 and still very sharp but her eyesight is failing. She bought a can of deodorant in the deodorant section without reading the print on the can. The next day, she decided to try her new “deodorant” but when she pressed the button, she was shocked to find shaving cream in her “pits”. It would have come in handy if she had wanted to shave her pits.
Until next time, keep a smile on your face and laughter in your voice.