Su-sieee! Mac and I didn't know each other until early in the Wordcount blogathon, but we managed to find and enjoy each other's blogs (unless she's lying, which is totally possible). I'm so glad to do my first guest post for her.
Because neither one of us was flush with ideas for this assignment, we used a random writing prompt generator. Here is what I got:
"Think of a real experience you have had that would be hard to forget. Think about what makes it so hard to forget. Tell what happened."
OK, I started to write the story of how one night in the '90s I was in my underwear when a song from The Full Monty came on the radio, so naturally I had to ham up a little Fully Monty sarcastic striptease, and my HILARIOUS husband decided to videotape me, and he never erased it even though I told him he had to.
And then we both forgot about it until his mother and her foreign exchange student were sitting in our living room watching some home video. And the world seemed to move in slow motion when I realized what was coming. And when my mother-in-law saw my half naked self come onto the TV screen and start gyrating, she looked at the screen so blankly -- without knowing the context of The Full Monty, without seeing the sarcasm, and probably focused on trying to maintain her dignity while she was forced to watch some homegrown porn featuring the future mother of her grandchildren.
But no one wants to hear that story. It's pathetic.
So then I thought about the summer I was living at Ohio University, when I sublet some stranger's apartment, not knowing she'd agreed to let her friend live there too, rent free, and take the larger bedroom. All this was fine . . . well no, it sucked. But I could have forgiven that if it weren't for the fact that late one Sunday night I was awakened by a naked man -- who had gotten lost between the pisser and her bedroom -- crawled into my bed by accident.
No, that's kind of gross. Instead, I'm going to tell a family memory of fatherhood and even-handed discipline in middle America in the 1980s, when Reagan was president and the world was fine. Are you ready? Do you have a cup of warm milk to drink as you read? OK then.
I remember being young, like around 7 or 8 years old, when my cousin Mike came to visit. It was at the house where I grew up, and the adults were in the house, probably just grateful that we were outside in the front yard and not bothering them.
I don't know what we were playing, or how it all went wrong, but Mike and I started fighting. First it was just with words, but before I knew it, I was slapping at him with both hands and he was doing that kind of boyish posturing that meant he wanted to knock my block off. It was go time.
Then my dad showed up on the scene. Oh crap, busted."That's about enough of that," he said in a terrible voice, and he separated us. The look on his face was fierce, and I was scared that I was in big trouble. My aunt came out of the house, and she and Mike drove away.
I stood facing my dad, worried about what he might say. I knew it was coming.
"Tara," he said gravely, "if you ever, EVER get into something like that again -- for God's sake, make a fist."
Yep. Make a fist. That's my father.
Oh, did I say warm milk? I meant a cold can of Schlitz. My bad.
If anyone is interested, I'm probably going to tell those first two stories in more detail on my blog, Two Hands and a Roadmap, after this blasted blogathon is over and I can give them the time they deserve. Thanks for reading!