Monday, November 19, 2007
(Puzzle piece number 1 of 38.)
It all began with a disciplinarian German father and a flamboyant French mother. Born on opposite sides of the track in the post-Depression years, these two had nothing in common. Yet looks and chemistry trumped sensibility, and Mom and Dad got married.
Nine months after “I do,” out I came, into the hands of a couple who stood a better chance of growing mangoes in a desert than raising a child. Fortunately, Nana, my mom’s mom, an oasis of love, lived downstairs.
Hoping I’d be a down-to-earth kind of gal, they named me Eartha. Plus a name like Terra Firma wouldn’t become popular until Frank Zappa came around.
Mom was a neat freak and things just had to be just perfect—pictures perfectly hung, dinner table perfectly set, day-of-the-week undies worn on the right day. And being a fashion filly and model, she and I often wore matching outfits—we’d be sailors one day, pirates the next.
My first recollection goes back to when I was 18 months old. Mom was ironing ten feet away in the dining room of our upstairs apartment, while I rocked in our big, scratchy brown chair that felt like a bear with a crew cut. Mom must have given me a Q-tip to, perhaps, clean my ears? or maybe to start me cleaning the house in a small way at an early age, because I held a cotton swab in my little hand. Well, I pushed that Q-tip too far into my ear and screamed! Mom ran over and pulled out the stick before it became embedded in my brain.
But perhaps it was too late. I was affected to such an extent that I still clean the cerumen out of my kid's ears.
I don’t remember much for another year after the tip touched my brain, just that my parents should have taken up fencing, not parenthood. And that life is not perfect, nor neat. Freaky.
copyright © 2007 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.
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