Another trip to the grandmother's
, another few minutes spent rooting through giant tupperware boxes filled with my awkward youth.
Again, a shout-out to the man who did it first, and did it best
After three months of missed periods and six months of hurried nursery painting and shotgun wedding planning, my parents finally got their wish--to have a miniature old lady of their very own.
Already tired of this world and this life at the tender age of 3, I wanted nothing more to do with society's insistence on an annual celebration of birth. Just leave me alone with my dogeared copy of Walden, and find another reason to give into the capitalist's ridiculous penchant for buying cake.
The photographer of this picture was a charismatic man, a little prone to grandeur, but magnetic nonetheless. I can only hope this explains why these stills, which he promised would be "tasteful" and "artistic" and would do wonders for my career, are instead--and I'm finally ready to admit this--a little bit trashy.
This picture makes me want to go back to school, study special relativistic physics, invent a time machine, get inside of it, go back to this very moment on this very shag rug, and ask this young version of myself how the hell she bends that way.
Here's a representation of my middle years, the last one being taken next to the ubiquitous fridge
in order to include the cat, who spent a solid 17 years not giving a shit about who the rest of us were or how food and water magically appeared every day. I remember one day when I was 13 the cat acknowledged my existence by making eye contact for a second or two, and the self-worth I gained from that carried me through my teenage years.
Rocketing back to the real theme here: My mother loved the dog more than me.
It's not a secret, she's really quite open about it, and I only thank God that the dog and I didn't share a common enough genetic ancestry that the possibility of asking me to donate organs to the ailing pup was on the table. Still, it meant that the dog had to be included in every single picture, no matter how out-of-context it might seem, and no matter how little upper body strength I had. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise, as at least it covered up some of the outfits that led to my continued virginity.
Lest that last outfit not go uncalled out, it was for a dance recital, which I only performed in after no part of the house's architecture or contents
proved high enough to hang myself from.
For such a small, unintelligent animal, Tiger possessed an uncanny sense of how to invade my personal space without letting others know how creepily obsessed she was. Not wanting to see her go off the hinges if I confronted her about her SWF tendencies, I could put on a smile for others, but when caught in a moment unawares, you can see how much it bothered me.
Here we have the dog, stealing my 12th birthday from me. Ho hum.
Here we have 1) the only known photograph of my father ever to exist, since I'm pretty sure he's the Jackal
and 2) physical evidence of the complete and utter befuddlement my father felt every time I asked him to play something girlishly imaginary with me. A man of science, and a man of a family composed entirely of manly men of science (see below) , I can now identify the word that always rested on the tip of his tongue every time I told him to drink his tea or purchase groceries from my "store"-- "Why?"
This was the closest the Buns and Liquor family got to expressing joy or amusement. Needless to say, my Garfield drawing career was short-lived.
While others cite graduation or marriage or childbirth as the seminal moments in their lives, this is mine, right here. This is just before the exact minute in which I made the decision as to whether I would be the kind of person that enjoys a pogo ball, or the kind of person that does not. I think I chose wisely.
*Due in no small part to the fact that it appears my legs, which appear to be non-load bearing, would have snapped off after just one bad fall. I can only assume I was propped up against the counter in order for this picture to be taken.
One of the problems of growing up in the 80s was the preponderance of girls that shared my name, the most popular of the decade. In my kindergarten class alone, 30% of the children were named Rubber, the girl next to me being the most attention-getting and jealousy-inducing. Here I am, plotting to kill her at the altar of our First Communion, where the Canadian Tuxedo lived and breathed. Later, I'd learn to be more subtle in my plotting.