Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a little doll

Once upon a time there was a little girl.

She was a nice little girl, with brown eyes, blonde hair, and chubby thighs. Her mother also tells her she had an unusually large head, and that it was difficult to find t-shirts to fit over it.

Of course this lovely little gem was me. Why the sudden self-disclosure? Cassie at A Blessed Life sent out an offer to be interviewed a few weeks back, and since I love talking about myself, I took her up on it. She kindly sent me a list of questions (she's just DYING to know more about me. Who wouldn't be?) so I've finally gotten around to it.

There are five questions vying for my attention, but since I'm nothing if not verbose I decided to simply tackle them one at a time. (Plus, it will give me writing material for such a long time that way!)

So back to Little Cathy: the answer to question number one - What was your childhood like? What were you like as a little girl?

I was actually a holy terror who chased boys around the playground and stuck wads of gum beneath my desk.

Just kidding. I was a nice little girl, like I said above. (The part about my chubby thighs and big head are true, as well.) I grew up in a suburb of Detroit with my only brother, mom, dad, and a parade of small animals like hamsters and chameleons. I was on the smarty-pants side, in more ways than one. I taught myself to read before I entered kindergarten. When I got there, the teacher encouraged me to help the other children who didn't know how to read, tie their shoes, or properly identify Dick and Jane in our readers. I contend to this day that therein lies the root of my servant complex.

I spent the first two years of elementary school teaching the other kids stuff and putting my head on my desk because I talked too much. Somewhere around this time my father began telling me I would argue with the Good Lord rather than accept something I didn't agree with (Smarty-pants, for sure.)

One day in the spring of my first grade year, the principal came into my class and announced I was going to join the second graders. I walked across the hall and bam, I was "double promoted." The older kids accepted me, but my best friend from first grade never talked to me again. (I recently hooked up with her on facebook, so I'm finally hoping to set things right.)

The rest of grade school is kind of a blur. I can't name my teachers or tell you who I sat behind in Social Studies. I can say that I loved school, and that I always got A's. And I can honestly say I didn't feel that was any big achievement. I didn't feel proud or anything - my parents had told me I was an A student, that was how God made me. No special credit on my part.

I never got in much trouble, except for that time in 7th grade when I stole the teacher's gradebook and hid it in Ray Hudson's desk. I was so scared I was going to get paddled, but instead I had to write an essay on the Importance of The Gradebook in The Classroom. Go figure.

My home life focused on trying to get my brother, Chris, to stop pestering me. He was two years older and ten years less mature than I was (in fact, that's still true.) We used to sit in the back seat of my dad's olive green Oldsmobile, which was like a mile wide, and do the "he's touching me" thing. Chris and I had the misfortune of having to share a bedroom, which is probably the most traumatic thing I have ever endured. My mom hated it too, and spent years trying to get my dad to move us to a larger home. Mrs. Morrison, the real estate lady, spent so many years trying to track down a house to please my parents that I thought she was part of the family, and that every kid had a resident Real Estate Lady.

I had a huge collection of Madame Alexander dolls, thanks mostly to my Aunt Anne, who worked in the toy department at Muirhead's, in the basement. (How cool is that?) I had every country in the world (just about), and all of the Little Women, the ballerina and the bride. My brother and I used to have beauty pageants with them. Miss Argentina always won.

For a time my dream was to become a cosmetologist. My mom went to Bingo on Tuesday nights, and I used to do her makeup before she went. I loved to cake on the light green and blue cream eyeshadow. Mom swears she didn't wipe it off. She really loved me.

My favorite childhood activity was sitting in the apple tree in our backyard reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Isn't that the quaintest thing you've heard all day? I loved books and would read five or six of them a week. I wrote my first story when I was seven, my first play the same year.

I was always attracted to spiritual things. I really, really wanted to be good, and to get to Heaven some day. Still do.

I could tell you more about Little Cathy, lots more. Some of it would make you laugh, and a lot of it would make you cry. Fortunately, like it or not, she's always nearby. Hang around here long enough and you'll get another peek soon enough.


Debbie said...

What a great post and a wonderful way for me to get to know you! How cool was it that you had all those dolls? You must have been the envy of all of your friends.

Aaron said...

Well, I can certainly attest to the arguing with the Good Lord!!

But even I learned something new.

A cosmotologist? I never knew that - you woman of mystery and wonder!!

Now I know why you take so long to put on your make up! It's an art form!

Soul Pockets said...

You sound like such a sweet little girl! I would have loved to have all those dolls. I was Very into dolls as a child. Great post!

Christine said...

Loved it.

I enjoyed learning more about you.

Write more about your relationship with your brother. I was an only child and this "thing" between my little girl and her older brother has me going bonkers!

Kim H. said...

Wow, what an awesome peek in to your childhood. I am totally soaking in all the cool things I've learned about you just in this little post. I'm pretty much thinking you were quite the amazing little girl.

And I had two Madame Alexanders -- Sleeping Beauty and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms. I trashed them as a child, so about two years ago I re-purchased them off e-bay and they make me smile every time I look at them.

momto5minnies said...

That was very sweet.

I can relate to that smart thing. Once it was made known, it was expected and I never let others down ;)

Cassie said...

I used to have to put my head on my desk for talking too much also! And I read Nancy Drew mysteries all the time - devoured them really. It was so fun getting a peek at young Cathy! I'm sure we would have been good friends! :-)