Drawing From Experience
List ten events from childhood. Don't pass up any just because they seem "ordinary." Next, write a page or so in which you capture one of these experiences as vividly as you can.
- I got boobs! This wasn't really a childhood thing. I was flat as a board my entire life. Then I started rowing and I got boobies! I was 27. Probably still a child.
- I recall almost drowning twice when I was young. I was about 5 in a neighbor's pool and I got into the deeper end somehow. I don't remember how. The same thing happened at a Rotary Club picnic. I got into the deep end and couldn't feel the bottom without being underwater. I remember struggling and seeing my mother on her chair trying to get help - my mother can not swim. By the time someone paid attention to her, I had managed to walk myself to the shallow end. Scared me.
- My mom was never a mom the way I see other moms. She was kinda nuts, and still is. Of course, now it's been formally diagnosed. I don't recall that I ever looked to her for guidance in any form. I do remember that I did a report on Newfoundland for school and asked her all kinds of questions. I think she was pleased that I was looking to her for information rather than my father, my usual information source. Looking back, I don't know how much of the information was accurate, but it tickled her to offer help.
- I recall being in public speaking class and was ill-prepared for a speech. It was the first time I was ill-prepared for anything. I thought I could get someone else to go first since I always went first. No one would take my place. I was never ill-prepared again. Hey, at least I learn from mistakes.
- I played the clarinet as a youth and loved it. In fact, I miss it. May take it up again. I remember that my conductor suggested that I call for a clarinet competition to determine who should sit in the first chair. She told me she thought I would get the chair without a problem. In my cockiness, I didn't practice any harder at all. I just assumed she told me I would get it and I would. To my surprise, I was moved down to third from second. I was pissed at her initially until I realized I had no one to blame but myself. I take ownership of my actions and go after what I want now. I take nothing for granted.
- I damn near cut the top of my thumb off when I was 5. I was playing on the swing set and was standing on the slide swinging a neighbor on the seesaw attachment. My thumb was dangerously close to the top and I somehow got it jammed so badly that I almost tore the top off. I was bleeding profusely and I ran into the house - trailing blood behind me and all over me - with my thumb in my mouth to catch the blood (not sure why I did that). I asked my mom for a band aid. She told me later that I didn't cry or fuss, I just wanted a band aid. She had to get me to the hospital so that I could get stitches. Horrible. I still have the scar.
- I asked a boy out when I was in high school. I liked him and thought he liked me. He turned me down because he said he didn't have time to date. He did like me, but not that way. I was quite embarrassed. Later I found out that his mother had cancer and was dying. I guess that would explain why he didn't want to date. Or at least it helps to explain it to me.
- I did the most horrible thing in 9th grade. I dropped a friend without much explanation and in the worst way. I was tired of being her friend because she was really rather needy and annoying. I never expected she would accept any kind of explanation so I made up some story about an alleged lie she told (not true). She tried to make it up to me and I refused to take her calls or talk to her. I regret that. I cannot even imagine what I put her through all because I didn't have the balls to tell the truth. I won't do that again.
- I had my appendix out when I was 3. I remember laying in the hospital bed after the surgery with my hands and feet tied to the bed. The hospital staff was afraid I was going to want to tear at my bandage or my stitches. I remember that it itched and I wanted to. I remember waking up from the anesthesia and noting that my hands and feet were tied. Thank God my mom was there. I also remember that I didn't scream or cry or anything. I think that's a family trait when we are in pain.
- My father and I discussed Chappaquiddick. Don't ask me why I still remember this. Perhaps it's because Teddy Kennedy was so often in the news and it was always brought up. I remember when I first heard about it - it must have been an anniversary of some sort and it was in the news - and I asked my dad about it. He explained it. Then I wondered why Ted Kennedy wasn't in jail. That took some explaining also. My dad was quite straightforward but also challenged me to think. I think that's why I remember it - it was a wonderful discussion and I was able to offer my opinions and get his unbiased opinions. Cool.
So many of my pieces so far have been rather serious. Of the ten things here, which do I choose? I choose boobs!
I had never had boobs. I always thought I wanted them. I was perhaps a B cup, perhaps. I never worried about sports bras not working or shirts not fitting or boys staring at my chest. They paid attention to what I said. And it sucked.
I started rowing on a whim. A friend asked if I wanted to do it with her and I said yes. I always do that - try things without thinking - and I don't often regret it. I find that if you over think or even think, you will think yourself right out of something and not know what fun or experience you might have missed.
I was flat when I started rowing. But then I woke up one day - it was almost literally like that - and I looked down and thought, what the hell are these? I didn't see my stomach right away, I saw boobs. Actually boobs sticking out on my chest. I actually touched them. I wanted to make sure they were boobs and not just muscles I had developed. I wasn't completely sure until about a decade later when my muscled boobs started to sag. Yup, boobs.
Having them made me walk taller. I couldn't believe I had them! I was the only person in the family with them. And, it turns out, the person with the least use for them or the least need or want. And I admit, I touched them for days. Not in an erotic way, in an I-can't-believe-I-have-boobs, way. I even pointed it out to my friend. She laughed at me. My boyfriend at the time didn't think anything of it. We aren't together anymore. Not because of my boobs, but because he's an ass.
I now have to pay attention to sports bras and shirts. Although, I will admit I do like having cleavage. Boys still listen to what I say, but they probably look at my boobs. I think I would rather they listen to what I have to say.