Growing up, my friend and I had a lot of little things that we would do when we would hang out. For example, when we were about to start playing a game we would have to say “A One, A Two, A One, Two, Three, Time IN” and then we could start playing. If one of us had to leave or stop playing for a second we would have to say “A One, A Two, A One, Two, Three, Time OUT.” We also had a rule that if we couldn’t agree about something in a game, we just wouldn’t play the game at all (these rules were taken very seriously).
We had also decided that instead of using towels when we washed our hands, we would shake our hands dry. Now, I don’t want to claim that we started the whole “going green” thing, but I’m not going to deny it either.
To make drying our hands as fun as possible, we would shake them and jump up and down and yell “shake shake shake” as loud as we possibly could until they were completely dry. As I said, we took these rules very seriously and abode by them everywhere we went. The most memorable time was when we were in a public library bathroom and when we walked out I realized that everyone in the library now knew how my friend and I dried our hands.
If I could recreate my sister’s face when my friend and I walked out of that bathroom, it would look something like this:
When I was 7 my mom took my sister and I to London to visit our family over there. I remember having the best time ever. We stayed at The Royal Horseguards Hotel and this guy that worked there would bring us the most delicious hot chocolate every morning served on a silver platter. I remember visiting with my Uncle Johnny who was just the coolest. I remember going over to his apartment and he surprised everyone with a bunch of lottery tickets. We also went with my cousins to Pooh country (I looved Winnie The Pooh) and saw A. A. Milne’s old house that was now owned by The Rolling Stones. Then we went back to the city and I went to a 7 story toy store called Harrods that was stocked to the ceiling of every toy that I had ever wanted in my whole life. It also had every type of chocolate and ice cream and candy imaginable. I was in heaven. I loved London.
My mom also took us to Paris and we went to the Louvre and to Monet’s house and to the Eiffel Tower and all that good stuff, but I was like “Eiffel who? Bring on the Disney store.” The Disney store was two stories (Europe’s largest Disney store in fact) and also stocked full of everything I’d ever wanted.
All in all, I had a great trip.
It wasn’t until about 12 years later that I was able to return to London & Paris, so I had a huge list of things I wanted to do while I was there. One of the first stops was London so I immediately took my friend to Harrods. I walked in wide-eyed and partially drooling because I could already taste the ice cream and cookies. When I stepped in I was immediately taken back by the huge Versace, Louis Vuitton and Prada signs. There were purses and sunglasses and scarves and no stuffed animals whatsoever. I walked up to the salesman in a fit of rage and said “um, where are the toys?” He told me it was on the 4th floor. I went up there thinking they had done some major renovation since I was there last but then realized that I must have just imagined it being bigger than it actually was. I was pretty sad but being that I was 19, I didn’t really need 7 floors of toys to look at.. one would do just fine.
The next day I visited with my Uncle Johnny and we were reminiscing about my last trip. I told him I remembered the lottery tickets he got us. He didn’t quite remember that part but he was getting pretty old so I just figured he’d forgotten. I hung out with my cousins and they also said they didn’t remember him giving us lottery tickets but that they did actually remember him sorting out a handful of parking tickets that he got while we were there.
I had also realized a few years before this trip that The Rolling Stones didn’t own A.A. Milne’s old house, Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones did, but it was back in the 60’s and it was famous because he was found dead in the swimming pool. I figured I must have tuned that part out when my mom was telling me about it.
I guess as kids we only see things how we want to see them. However even as an adult, I still truly think The Avett Brothers notice me in the crowd and are singing to me every time I go to their shows.. so maybe some things never change.
I loved 4th grade. I was in a new building, we got to have lockers for the first time (I had a picture of Charles Barkley up in my locker – no joke) and I had the best, coolest, most fun teacher ever. It seems ironic then that I would have two of the worst experiences in that class than any other year. The first was when we were in the science lab. My teacher played guitar and everything we learned was in the form of a song. We started singing and he told the guys to sing as high like a girl as they could and the girls to sing as low like a boy as they could. When it was my turn to sing he told me my low voice “sounded a little too real.” Of course it was a joke (right?!?!?!?!) but it scarred me for life.
The second was when he had us do research on Saint Nicholas. I looked it up in the encyclopedia and cried.
There are three parts to this story. The first goes like this: When I was 13 I went to a concert. I had never heard the opening band before. They were rock, they were loud, they were great. The lead singer had this beautiful head of hair. I have always loved Jim Morrison and his hair reminded me of Jim’s. When the headliner came on, someone tall was blocking my view of the stage. All I could see was Jim Morrison hair. It was the singer. For all intents and purposes, let’s call him Jim 2.0. Without any hesitation I ran up to him, reached up and pet his hair. Jim 2.0 turned around and looked down at me confused. I smiled and ran away like the child I was.
The second part to this story happened about 7 years later. My friend took me to a show in Chicago. She knew the drummer so we hung out with the band all night. I fell in like with the singer. For all intents and purposes, let’s call him Jack (I’ll be Rose). Unfortunately, Jack didn’t have anything close to Jim Morrison hair but he was tall and cute. Jack and Rose really hit it off and I’m not gonna cookie cut around it – they made out a lot.
The third part of the story is when I realized that Jack and Jim 2.0 were the same person and my 14 year old self patted Rose on the back.