Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Least of These (and it's an Autobiography)

Some people are normal from birth. In the womb, they do all things expected of them, and when the time comes, they turn over and ready themselves for the (surely) frightening experience of being born.

I, however, am not normal people.

When anyone else would have been prepped in the standard (upside-down) position for birth, I refused to move. I couldn't be bothered by all that stuff, and so my mother was forced to have me C-section.

Yep, I'm stubborn. And uncomfortably out of place everywhere I go. But hey, it grows on a person.


Before my beautiful sister was born, my parents used to sell marijuana. It pretty much paid for their wedding, and a lot of nice things for me when I was little*.

That all ended, though, on one fateful day.

Mom was breaking up her hash on the floor, getting ready to weigh it. She turned around for just one moment, and when she turned back to me, my cheeks were puffed like a chipmunk's.

You can imagine what went through mom's mind as she popped the hash from my cheeks.

I seemed fine... until dad came home. If you have ever had a child, you will know this makes perfect sense. Kids seem to wait until the absolute worst moment to get crazy.

Anyhow, I started to become VERY drowsy, eventually getting to the point where my eyes remained closed no matter what. My dad held me up to the bright bathroom light. My eyes were still shut, but I smiled a wide, doped-up smile.

Finally, mom and dad decided to take me to Emergency to get my stomach pumped or something. They concocted a nice lie about how I must have ingested it while they were at a party. Of course, CPS would still need to come and check things, but whatever they did in ER fixed me up (ish, since I contend that my brain is still not quite to standard...).

Mom and dad (ever conspiratorial) came up with a plan to deal with CPS as well. "If things started to go bad, I was gonna sneak out the back door with you and Dad would meet up with us later," Mom said. The visit went fine, "And from that day on, we decided NEVER to sell anymore."

Gee, thanks, mom and dad. Couldn't have thought of that before your kid lost brain cells???

*(Not that I condone it in any way... I'm just sayin' what mom would tell you if she were writing this post)


When my sister did come into the world, I was thrilled. Though not even two full years older than she, I determined to be the BEST big sister ever.

Turned out I wasn't the only stubborn one, though.

One day, my mom was on the phone, and I started screaming at the top of my lungs. Mom ran outside, to find me barely holding my sister back from running into the street.

"You saved her life!" Mom says of that day.

All that heroism, and how'd she pay me back in our teen years? Hatred. Sheer hatred.

Come on people, I'm kidding! But her grump-hormones weren't a joy to be on the receiving end of... I can promise you.


Five was a huge turning point in my life. Not really, but I do remember it better than some other years.

My baby brother was born. (Good thing, too, since he took the edge off my sister's attitude.)

I started Kindergarten. Mrs. Matsumoto.

I met my first best friend, Elaine Eliff.

I learned how to spell my name (and I was proud! Jennifer is a whole eight letters long!)

I became decidedly insecure. Whilst wearing a dress on the jungle gym one day, a boy looked up and said "I see London, I see France, I see Jennifer's underpants!" I ran away and cried. From that day on, I've always tried to wear shorts under skirts/dresses. Yes, even at twenty-something. There was another time, when I was getting a profile of myself drawn (you know, where they bust out the black construction paper and draw a chalk outline of your silhouette?) and my mom had put my hair half-up, half-down that day. My hair looked so poufy in the picture... I hated it. When my sister got her profile done, it was perfect (of course).

I started doing long-distance hugs. Run-of-the-mill hugs were fine, but what if you suddenly decided you wanted another hug, after mommy had already dropped you off to kindergarten? No worries... just go up to the gate nearest to her, and hold your arms in a perfect circle, while leaning your head on your shoulder (that gives it an added effect).

I got my first boyfriend... and I couldn't stand him. His name was Ronin McLawski, and he followed me around everywhere. I probably would have liked him too, except that I was already in love with the teaching assistant (his name was Ryan) and the fact that Ronin terribly mistreated my sister, who adoringly toddled after him whenever he came over. One day, we were over at his house, watching Beauty and the Beast. Afterward, Ronin tried to kiss me. I could tell he was going to, because he had this look in his eyes. I was terrified, and tried to reach for the doorknob like Belle does in the story... but unfortunately, I was much shorter than Belle... so I awkwardly reached up around where my armpit was and he figured out what I was doing. He shut the door and said, "Oh no you don't!" and leaned in to kiss me. I was utterly creeped out, so I turned around, flung open the door, and ran into the room where my mom was. Of course, I didn't want to have to tell her what he'd done (it was embarrassing!) so as soon as I reached the living room, I walked. That's how us smooth kindergarteners do.

I had my first brush with peer pressure. There was a kid in our class who ate paste (no joke). He tried to get me to eat it, too, but I told him no. I've since forgotten his name... bummer.

I couldn't bridle my emotions, even back then. We had a craft (something involving Red Hots and icing... I think we were making a turkey out of our food). Mrs. Matsumoto had given us instructions NOT to do something, and I either didn't hear her or didn't listen. She scolded me and I cried. She was such a good teacher though... she took time to comfort my silly self. :)

Let me be clear about my family, though... no matter what I say, and no matter how crazy things got for us, my mother was the best momma ever (she had some struggles, but don't we all?) and my sister is amazing, even if she was moodier than Little Lady Katie from Animaniacs (if you don't get the reference, look it up. Pure hilarity). :) My dad and brother are both epic too, although it seems in my story, there's less criticism toward the males in my family. haha.

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