Monday, December 26, 2005

Me-Me #14 -- I Broke My Sister's Shawn Cassidy Album Because She Stole My Grape Bubblicious

Welcome to another installment of, "Come ON -- tell me the WHOLE story!" otherwise known as "I love to talk about myself", and in a pinch can be called Me-Me Monday. The object of the game is to refer to your 101 Things About Me list, pick one of your "things" and tell the whole sordid tale. If you're new and you want to grab this image for your post, see the instructions at the end of my post.

14. I broke [my sister's] Shawn Cassidy album against the wall because she stole my Grape Bubblicious.

If you've been following the saga of my normally disfunctional childhood, you'll recall that (a) my sister was the apple of my stepfather's eye, and (b) I was deathly afraid of my stepfather's wrath. Knowing this, you're probably wondering why on earth a stupid pack of gum would cause me to lose control of my senses and risk death or dismemberment?

It's kinda simple; it was MY damned gum.

The incident occurred two days after my sister's birthday. My stepfather had showered her with gifts as one does when the sun rises and sets on the birthday girl. Being unable to compete with his lavishness (as I was eleven and had no means of earning an honest living), I gave to her from the heart; I bestowed upon her my most cherished possession -- my Shawn Cassidy album.

Two days later, my gum disappeared. My mom was completely unconcerned with the hijacked item, forcing me to crawl through the house in a state of furious urgency, leaving no stone unturned. Meanwhile, my sister vaccumed. After several minutes of earnest detective work, it occurred to me that not only was my sister vaccuming the same spot in the hallway, but she had not VERBALLY answered my inquiry as to the whereabouts of my sugary goodness. I stood up and approached her and asked, "Have you seen my gum?" She shook her head from side to side, averted her eyes, and continued to wear a hole in the carpet. Yanking the electrical cord from the socket to silence the vrooming sound, I said, "I didn't HEAR you. Have you seen my gum?"

No response.

I took her seven-year-old porcelain cheeks in my hand and squeezed her mouth open. Then I put my nose into her mouth and inhaled. There was no mistaking that sickening grape aroma that accosted my nostrils when she screamed, "Mom!!!"

I stared at her. It was a showdown, and for whatever reason, Mom was not coming to save the day.

There was only one thing left to do. With my baby sister hot on my heels, I stormed into her room and grabbed the album. I help it up, eyes narrowed to a slit, and slipped the the disk from the cover. Then I frisbeed it across the room and into the wall. After slicing a three-inch slit in the drywall, the tip broke off and landed somewhere behind her bed.

I braced myself for what would surely come next. She would scream, "Daddy!!!!" and he would come running with Mom close on HIS heels to minimize the damage. I would most likely spend the evening in my room nursing various welts from belts, switches, or wooden spoons. I knew this, and I calmly decided that some things are worth their consequences.

I waited.

But she didn't call him. She looked up at me with those green eyes as pools of tears spilled over reddened cheeks. She never looked at the album. She never looked at the wall. She never even told on me. She just hung a picture over the dent and crawled into her bed.

That mark remained on that wall for another 25 years. When Mom put her house on the market, my sister and I took on the task of repainting the interior. When we got to her room we took the picture down and filled in the dent with spackle and Grape Bubbilicious. I hope the new owners don't mind, but this is how we repair things in my family. Love, spackle, and a sense of humor.

Sandy, I love you, and if you even need a piece of gum, I've got plenty. Just this time, maybe ask first, okay?

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