Monday, June 26, 2017

MftNE: Picnic at Age Twelve

Memories from the NorthEast (MftNE):  Many things in my life I have chosen not to talk about. My counselor Susan says it is time to share.  Hence this series of blog-posts. Apologizes to all.

Well I never talk about this, but everyone else in my family does!  It was a church picnic.  I was twelve.  Elderly Mrs.  Lee sat to my right.  Her daughter across from her at the picnic table.  An older gentleman across from me.  My mom on my left and my aunt and grandmother beyond her at the end of the table.  Mom had been bragging me up and I got to admit I loved being the center of attention.  Everyone was asking me about all this stuff that I was really interested in.  So, after a moment the older guy across from me asks what I am going to study in college.  I hesitate.  Mom says, blurt it out.  I admitted I don’t plan on attending college.   

After a chorus of loud disapproving gasps, everyone has something to say.  Mrs. Lee sitting right next to me shares an alternative idea.  I am horrified.  My aunt and grandmother didn’t hear and want to know what she said.  The “gentleman” says “Mrs. Lee says if she doesn’t go to college she can become a stripper.”  Everyone laughed, even my mother.  I was mortified.  Miss Lee (five times my age) hiding her face from her mother with a cupped hand says to me in a stage whisper; “I am so embarrassed for you.”  I assured her that I could relate.  Rather than shaming the gathered elders it just made them laugh louder.

Right then and there I decided that if anyone asked if I was going to college I would say “Yes!”   I ended up saying it so long and so loud that it came true.     

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