My bff Elysa Mac tagged me for a meme she made up, and since I'm waiting on the Nyquil to kick in, and am miserable and need to have my thoughts directed away from wondering whether my throat is closing and I'll need to be intubated, I thought I'd play along.
1. My first words were "Batman." Really!
2. I had a doll who was bigger than me named Tammy. I drug her around by her hair, like I was a little Neaderthal, until poor Tammy had female doll pattern baldness. I loved her, even though she had gold eyes that spooked everybody, until one day she appeared to walk on her own. After that I became convinced she was possessed. It's true. Apparently, not only did I watch Batman as a toddler, but Night Gallery and The Twilight Zone, too! I took her apart and got rid of her. Now that I am remembering these things, I'm wondering if I wasn't a little bit psycho as a young child.
3. I met one of my best friends, Reggie, when he found me crying on the front porch because I didn't have anyone to play with. He was a sweet kid. I still miss him.
4. My Godmother lived next door. Her name was Mrs. Johnson. I spent many hours with her, and when I was four, she bought me a doll in a yellow raincoat for my birthday. I got stung by a bee when I playing with the doll that day. I remember it so vividly, probably because it was the first time I got stung by a bee, and it was my birthday for heaven's sake! I blamed the raincoat. It was yellow. I mean, how could that bee resist?
5. Mrs. Johnson was the first person to let me taste anchovies. I thought it was a sardine, and for years I tasted sardines, remembering and longing for the salty taste of that first anchovy. I still love them today.
6. I also tasted sauteed mushrooms in butter for the first time at her house. Isn't it amazing how taste memories evokes such detail memories?
7. I lived in a housing project when I was a wee one that was supposed to be a model for low income housing around the country. It became a hellish crack haven by the time I was in high school, but what can you do, right? For some reason, they had underground trash cans, and once I fell inside one. I mean, I've dropped a few things in the trash by mistake, but dropping "me" into the trash was a little extreme, even by my standards.
8. In preschool I fell deeply in love with a little boy named Leroy. I couldn't tell you his last name now to save my life, which is fine, because he paid absolutely no attention to me.
9. I was so shy as a young child I wouldn't look up at people. My shoulders were rounded by the time I was three.
10. We moved from the projects when I was six, and the first day I had to come home from school by myself I got lost for what felt like forever. I finally recognized our curtains, with the help of a kind safety patrol person. I've been getting lost, even in my own neighborhood, ever since.
11. I loved the holidays. I got to watch all the Rankin Bass specials, Charlie Brown, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. I never got bored with them.
12. I may have said "Batman" first, but when I was older Robin was my true love. Burt Ward! Remember him? Or was that his name? Ha! That Nyquil's a kickin' in now!
13. Because I was the baby where I was raised, my daddy often took me to Buy-Lo, a grocery store, and Atlantic Mills, the department store next to it, with him (nobody else could go). He would buy me a toy and let me go to the bubble gum machine. I never felt so loved, protected, and pampered.
14. I grew up with three brothers. Despite being tiny and asthmatic, they knew how to make a sistah tough. I still need those skills today!
15. One of my favorite toys was a doll named "Saucy". It actually talked smack to you. Cracks me up to think of that now. And she was not possessed!
16. Despite it all, I was loved. I was the baby. Sometimes, even most of the time, I knew life was good, and God was with us.