I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane…

imagesSo, it’s that time again; I am flying tomorrow, so with my normal paranoia of dying in a fiery plane crash, I want to share a few little-known secrets about me.

***

My whole life, my family has always thought of me as a narcissist who has wanted to get away from the family as soon as I could; they view me as a stuck-up snob who is ashamed of my roots.  I disagree, but I tire of constantly defending myself in a losing battle.

When I was in the 5th grade, I had listened for months about the family money problems; as a kid I knew far too much about the financial woes of my parents.  There was constant talk of not wasting milk, bread, or eggs; but, as kids, we always noticed there was never a shortage of beer.

As Christmas approached, I started to shoplift small items from the local stores; every time we went shopping I began to pilfer anything I could that would go unnoticed by my mom and store staff.  As soon as we got home I would shove the items under my bed in a little pile; soon, I had the cache I was hoping for.

A few days before Christmas Eve, I crept out of my bedroom late one night and filled all of the stockings with the small items I had collected; I didn’t have as much as I thought, with four kids I had barely filled them half-way.  I had to include items for myself so nobody would suspect me, even though I didn’t want anything; I had wanted my brother and sisters to have something.

I left a few things for my parents; I don’t remember what I stole for anybody, except my mom, I left mascara for her on the ledge by the stockings as well as some other junk and stuff for my dad.

The next morning, everybody was surprised that Santa had come early; my mom was convinced that our landlord had come into the house and left the gifts.  She told my dad he must not have been such a bad guy; knowing how they were struggling with the rent, he must have known Christmas was going to be difficult.

I threw my “gifts” away; I felt too guilty to do anything else with them.

***

I cried yesterday when I was out shopping because I saw that dog in Hallmark, the talking one.  We bought it last year for my grandson right after Christmas to save and give to him this year when he was old enough; but since my daughter is not speaking to me, it is just packed away in storage.

I had to bite my lip, take a deep breath and try my best to forget about his little face and the few months I spent every day waking up with him.

***

When I was 6, I wanted a snake more than anything; I loved the song Sneaky Snake, by Tom T Hall.  I thought a snake was going to be like that; drinking root beer, wiggling and dancing, everything he did.  My dad picked up a snake from the middle of the road one day and brought him home for me.

The snake lived in an ice chest in my bedroom; it was nothing at all like Sneaky Snake.  He was not a good pet for a 6 year-old; I was terrified of it.  Finally, my dad let him go.

A snake is not a good pet.

***

I used to have a nightgown when I was 11 that was blue terry-cloth with white trim; down the front were the words Definitely, Delightful, Delicious, Delovely.  For some reason, that hideous thing was my favorite; perhaps because it was not a hand-me-down.

One day, I was wearing it in the early evening; my dad called my brother and me outside to the backyard because he had a surprise for us.  I went out back to find him with a stack of bottle rockets.  He was challenging us to light them and hold them in our hands but there was a certain timing to letting them go; if you let them go too soon, they would just fizzle out on the ground, too late and they could explode in your hand.

I could not get the timing down correctly; mine exploded flames out the back and shot fire all over the front of my gown resulting in black holes all down the front.

I still wore the gown with the holes in it for years.

***

I’m terribly afraid of the dark.

***

I want to volunteer at a senior home and chronicle the stories of the elderly; I want to help them preserve their memories, I think so many of them would like to have their stories saved, but they did not grow up journaling or writing.  I feel small and selfish for never going through with it, for never finding the time.

***

There are a million more things I could say, but that is enough for now.  I am not leaving anything behind this time, some fingerprints, I suppose; the Eeyore blanket is coming with me.  I will not be returning.

(I am hoping to have a connection to continue… the last I recollect there was only a dial-up connection.  Challenging when you rely on the Internet.)

 

12 thoughts on “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane…

  1. I have a friend who helps the elderly Chronicle their memories. Funny but he also had a horrific childhood. I wonder, if perhaps that helps. I love story or let’s just say I love the way you share it. At first it made me sad when you said you were leaving, but then I realized we are the lucky ones you’re going to take us with you! Ahh such the wonders of the internet!

  2. I think I got two blog articles from yesterday. I copied and saved my comments for another day. I told a Christmas story instead.

    – – –

    When I fly, and I hate to fly, I take dramamine for queasiness and I freely drink wine. That takes care of most of my fear. I still don’t like when they lower the landing gear before landing because to me it feels like the plane has stopped in midair and will now fall. I guess I shouldn’t put that in your head.

    I used to steal things around the 5th grade but it was not for such a noble purpose as you. I really don’t want to blog about that because I am very ashamed of it. I stole many many comic books and, of all things, office supplies. I don’t know where I got it but I have a fetish for office supplies. If I get the right pads of paper and pens and ways to organize them then I will be enabled to do great things!

    I’m really touched by your Christmas story about putting things in the stockings that you had stolen. It touches my heart.

    When you talk about the Hallmark dog and how it hurts you to not be able to gift it you make me realize how “flat” I am in some ways. You regularly talk about a depth of feeling that I do not normally experience. I don’t know whether to envy that or not. What we feel is in many ways the sum total of our experience so having many and varied and deep feelings is the very essence of living life to the fullest. You are not flat, you are full.

    The experience with the bottle rockets is nothing short of irresponsible parenting. One does not hold a bottle rocket until it takes off. It can be fun to light it and then time when to toss it up into the air right before it takes off. But the “bottle” part of the name has meaning. You are supposed to put it in a bottle and then light it and step away. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!!!

    I do not fear the dark at all. Perhaps one day I can understand this fear and attempt to build a bridge to my perspective.

    Volunteering at a senior home. I have had such thoughts. That particular thing is not really in me, having been to such places. It is not where my instinct leads me. I should be teaching very young children, like kindergarten or a little older. The problem with my teaching young kids is that I find them infectious and I would more become one of them and play rather than be a leader toward education.

    With the connection issues you will be facing, the library in my small town has open WiFi. My wild guess is that you are using a laptop and if so you can likely access excellent internet at various places although it is best where you live. One does what one can.

    OK, my period as a hard-core thief is a blog article. And my obsession with office supplies could make one of my creepy little stories. So there’s two for my blog idea file.

    My idea file. I used to keep a list of what people like. When someone would mention liking, for example, cherry pull-and-peel twirler licorice I would write that down in a little notebook. When a gift giving event happened I used to always have something perfect and affordable to give, because of my list. I have a poor memory and that list was invaluable. It is a shame but I don’t do that anymore. I should. We all should. We have discussed truly listening and from that comes knowing and from that comes affordable gifts that are wanted.

    My tombstone will one day read: “He was always good for 500 words”.

    • Sir,
      I had to smile when I read about your affinity for office supplies; I, too, adore office supplies. I can spend hours perusing the aisles of Office Depot and the like… I love sticky notes, pens, pads of paper; anything to do with office “stuff”.

      That aside, I do hope I have a good connection; the home I will be at is not close to much for me to be able to walk to, or public transportation… and, I haven’t driven for quite some time. I suppose we will see what happens. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

      I feel I would be lost now without “this”… odd how quickly I have become addicted.

      And your 500 words are always right on point.

      Talk to you soon.

      Always, Me

    • Thank you so much…
      It’s funny, I love to travel; the idea of going someplace “not home” is always fun for me, but… I am not a scientist… air travel is so, strange. I don’t really get how it works.

      If I have a good internet connection, I will be “back” tomorrow 🙂

      Always, Me

  3. I was reading this as a bit of a goodbye letter but am glad to see that it is a “see you soon” letter. Travel safe. I hope your uncle greets you with open arms and you find solace and welcome there.

    Peace.

    night owl

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