Yesterday I was held captive while traveling to and from the movies. My granddaughter, Anna, was with me and we were on our way to see "The Peanuts Movie". You might argue, since I was the driver, that I held her captive, but no, it was the other way round. Here’s how it all went down.
Me: Okay, Anna, it’s time. You get to ask me three questions.
Anna: (groans) Oh, this is hard.
Me: Oh, c’mon. I always ask you questions (it’s the only way to get something out of them). Isn’t there anything you want to know about me? Think how long I’ve lived – all that history.
Anna: (groans) Okay, I’m thinking. But then will you tell me a story?
Me: (groaning – I know what this means) Okay, okay, what’s your first question?
She asked me four and right now they escape me, but I dutifully answered and then she said . . .
“Now tell me a story.”
“A true one, or one I make up?” (I know what this means)
“A true one.”
So I dig out the big blue box marked “Memory Bank” and this is what I told her.
One summer, when I was a young teen I ordered a makeup sampler that I found in the back of a magazine. I was sure those dabs of blusher and lipstick (Candy Pink) would make all the difference in the world when it was time to return to school and WOW all my friends with how I’d changed over the summer. Then, after a whole week of waiting with no delivery, I began to stalk the mailman. The poor guy.
We lived where the he walked his route and I knew just about the time he came every day. Our black metal box was right outside the front door – the one with the glass curtained window – and I’d peek through that curtain as he walked up and deposited our stash for the day.
Day after day I was disappointed. No makeup sampler. Still, my eagerness grew. I just knew it would be in that mail delivery tomorrow and I took up my station daily.
My dogged espionage-like activity did not go unnoticed by my sisters. They knew what I was waiting for and why I hogged the spot by the door at mail time every day. So, one afternoon as I took up my post, one of them (I think it was Shari) tiptoed up behind me just as the mailman approached the box.
I stood still as an oak. I barely breathed. I pulled the curtain aside ever so slightly so as to see whether my long awaited makeup sampler was finally being delivered, when . . .
That rotten sister of mine grabbed the curtain and flipped it up. Way up – so that the mailman and I made astonished eye contact with each other for about six seconds.
I was momentarily stupefied but then I made the same sound as Charlie Brown did in the movie yesterday in his iconic football scene. Arrrrggggg!
It got real ugly after that. Sister on sister violence was rarely reported in those days and I didn’t enlighten Anna about what happened next. Suffice it to say both Shari and I lived to tell the tale and lo, these many years later, we laugh about It. Actually, she was laughing her head off at the time, too, greatly increasing my wrath.
So you see? I was a captive in the car yesterday – to memory. And now my granddaughter has something to put in her “Memory Bank” although hers is probably orange like the bag she had her movie money in. And it’s not very full – yet.
What’s in your Memory Bank?