Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I was going to write a piece of sarcasm about wanting to eat your baby's placenta but I decided not too. Making fun of Tom Cruise is like being in grade school and making fun of the fat kid from the poor family. Too easy.

Speaking of being poor. I remember being in first grade and living in a trailer south of Traverse City, MI with my mom and my younger sister. It was the couple of year period between my alcoholic adopted father and my alcoholic step father in my mother's life.

In this particular incident my mother had bought me a pair of sneakers at some point during the school year. We were in the gym participating in some kind of activity that involved individual tugs of war. Two students would grab a rag and pull on it until one of them crossed a line on the floor. When that happened the other kid won and got a point for his team. The class was divided into two teams. Those are all the rules I remember.

When it was my turn I was paired up with this girl in the class who wore the same dress to school every day and always had her hair in two pony tails. I remember the dress being a blue and white checkered pattern. Something like Laura Ingalls would wear. She is the only classmate from that year I can picture in my head. I don't have many memories of kids from the first five years of school because I went to five schools in those first five years. She must have been striking if I can picture her. She was taller than almost everyone in class except me. She was also the fastest girl and faster than most of the boys. I bet she grew up to be about six feet tall and an avid hiker and probably has driven a jeep for much of her life.

We both grabbed the rag and pulled and I was ready for a dog fight. I was a little anxious to be paired up with her because I knew she would put up a fight. It turned out to be a rout. I planted my feet, leaned back and the soles of the shoes were unable to find any purchase on the gym floor. She pulled me over the line like I was on skates. Everybody laughed and when I got home I remember being very insistant with my mother in telling her that I needed new and better shoes. I was just horrified by the idea of going to school with those subpar shoes again. Kids laughing at me? This will not stand. You know how insistant kids can be. I may have even cried. In fact, I think I was almost hysterical. I remember she got me new and better shoes. At what cost to a single mother getting by in a trailer in northern Michigan I'll never know. All I know is that those little bastards didn't laugh at me again. I didn't get laughed at again until I transferred from the Catholic school to the public school in the middle of my 7th grade year. That was a pretty good run.

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