|my nephew, in the tv zone...|
This is how i spent my childhood. I wasn't watching racy shows (unless you consider Barney racy...), just ones that i knew would lead to endless shaming by my older siblings.
|The Wonder Years|
Season 2, Episode 8--Hiroshima, Mon Frere
Recently i was talking to my dear sister jenny, and she brought up the fact that us Davises have one major flaw: We love to ruthlessly make fun of each other. This might not seem that unusual or detrimental, and you might be thinking, 'Every family makes fun of each other. That is what makes the love-hate relationship between siblings fun!' You might think that is why siblings are fun, but it turns out they are fun because you do bad things together that you never told your parents. Indeed, they are your partners in crime. They are not fun when they are in “Hamster Patrol” mode (if you don't get that reference you NEED more of “The Wonder Years“ in your life). My siblings never sucked up my hamster with a vacuum — most likely only due to the fact that when you don't have a hamster it’s pretty hard to suck one up, and my other furry pet, a cat, was too big for the vacuum — but they did like to taunt me and each other about everything from pets to music to clothing to television viewing habits. And if taunting didn't stop you from engaging in the subpar activity they would take it upon themselves to physically stop you, like when my siblings hid my Joy School (pre-preschool) tapes in my underwear drawer so they could have days of peace from the rhyming rhythms (i didn't like to change my clothes or shower apparently as a toddler).
|who could hide such a cute girl's tapes?!|
Joy School graduation
The funny thing is that i feel like i spent most of my childhood foolishly hiding things i shouldn't have and flamboyantly showing things that truly were in bad taste or odd and were very much worthy of all the flack i got from all of my siblings.
For example, i didn't feel the need to hide:
• Knitting in movie theaters: Not only do my siblings know that dirty little secret but so do a whole lot of other innocent moviegoers.
• Singing show tunes at the top of my lungs in the shower: I'm sure half of the neighborhood could sing all the words to “Honey Bun” because of my frequent exploits.
• My love of infomercials: no explanation needed.
• Thinking a bowl cut was a good idea.
• Having my favorite television event be Nick at Nite instead of TGIF: By the time i was 10 i'm pretty sure i not only had seen every “I Love Lucy” and “Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” but i even had a giant coffee table book that i would frequent to brush up on the back stories of the episodes.
• Using all my babysitting money to rent classics from Hastings: What other kid was arguing with the
rental store that a not-rated film produced before 1960 wasn't going to have things inappropriate for a 9-year-old to watch?
• The fact that i not only was a mascot but campaigned for our school to get one.
• My extensive homemade doll collection: It was creepy and mostly held together with Pintrest-worthy amounts of hot glue and the occasional staple.
• That i liked gold, so naturally i thought gold braces were a brilliant idea. Why was i so surprised when my siblings started singing “Ghetto Superstar” to me all the time?
• Lifetime movies: They are all about cheating husbands that get murdered by their wives and yet whenever the entire house sneaks off for the usual sunday nap i gravitate toward the terrible acting of Lifetime. Angels in heaven probably weep for my soul every sunday this happens. (did i say sunday, because they definitely have an iPad app so now it can happen anytime, anywhere!)
Yet i did hide such normal things as:
|i hid who i liked cleverly under things like taped|
down valentine's in my journal
• The fact that i was a girl and heaven forbid actually liked girly things.
• That boys are cute and sometimes i had/have crushes on them.
• Dancing. I might be a horrible dancer but being inept seems pretty universal.
• Writing. Did you know that it took me until college to willingly let people peer review my school papers and i was terrified to start a blog?
• Singing (not show tunes, just the regular type). At my dad's funeral in 2009 i had the first solo in a song that all the girls in the family sang. One of my sisters mentioned afterward that she didn't know that i could sing like that. Even weirder was the fact that most of my sisters are musical but i still never sang solos, especially around my family.
|hard to believe she was the ultimate tomboy|
• My love for crappy teenage music: Everyone goes through a phase liking something that is popular, but i felt like i had to keep it all secret. And with that i will admit that most of the time i spent on a bus on my way to ski team i was listening to Savage Garden on my Discman.
When i was talking to my sisters about what they hid as children, they mentioned things like riding their bike around the neighborhood with a Walkman so they could listen to Men Without Hats in peace and being total tomboys because 'girl things were stupid.' (For the record, the most tomboy girl out of our family — the one that made me feel ashamed to like girly things — didn't have anyone above her that said girly things were stupid but singlehandedly created this intense anxiety in both of us for no apparent reason. Oh and now both of us work in the cosmetics industry.) Especially when it came to music they got it — some music would be considered subpar and therefore warrant days of torture.
They understood what to hide and why. Apparently i did get that i shouldn't let my siblings know all of my silly habits, but i didn't get the memo of which ones.