Monday, August 4, 2008


1954, about.

We were a family of tattlers. A veritable bevy of tattlers. A way to get attention? To get even? To gain superiority? "She hit, bit, slapped... me." "She won't get out of the bathroom... let me in... open the door..." "She went to a movie; a dance..." "I saw her talking to that older boy--the hoodlum."

We taunted each other--"Go get the bottle and diaper." "Fatty, fatty 2x4 can't get through the bathroom door, so she did it on the floor. Licked it up and did some more."

My mom said that she and her two sisters never argued. Revisionist history.

We would threaten each other to not borrow clothes without asking. I would wait until my older sisters left for high school and then wear the prized mohair sweater or new pleated skirt. One time NC made me take off the knee sox I was wearing with wool long shorts. I was ready to leave for a skating party and she was merciless. There are many, many, many of these stories.

I was the biggest tease. I would grab the phone when JA or GJ's boyfriends called and tell them preposterous things--usually true. Once JA grabbed repeatedly for the phone and I was wily. In frustration she bit the soft underside of my upper arm. Her bite left a black and blue imprint that lasted for weeks. She denied that it ever happened. Another time I kept GJ's boyfriend company while he waited her to get off work at the Kroger store. Efficient as always, I shaved my legs with GJ's electric razor while talking to him in the living room.

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