Accidents Happen (a lot…to me)

First of all, I have to say that I was completely bummed to hear that everyone’s favorite Monkee had passed. I came to the Davy Jones party late via MTV reruns and Marcia Brady, but like her, I developed a major crush. And also like her, if he had ever kissed my cheek I, too, would never have washed again. Which would make for one filthy, broken-out cheek by now that probably Proactiv couldn’t even cure. But it would’ve been totally worth it. So RIP, Davy. You made me a Believer.

And onto happier topics.

So a writer friend of mine asked this question on her blog last week: “If you could relive one time in your life, what would it be?” I thought for awhile before deciding that I would revisit the first few months after I became a mother. Mostly so I could laugh at that bumbling idiot (me) who walked through life like a zombie…who ducked every time she removed her son’s diaper to avoid getting sprayed in the face…who stood next to the carrier that she stupidly placed on top of a running clothes dryer IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT because she read somewhere that it worked to put babies to sleep… who required an entourage of her mom and two sisters just to buy milk at the grocery store. Because what if I forgot his bottle? What if he needed a change of clothes?? What if I had to change his diaper in public??? What if—what if he cried????

Omigosh. What. If. He. Cried.

Anyway, the question got me thinking, as questions often do. And I began wondering this: What moment in time would I NOT want to revisit? What moment would cause me to break out in hives and/or a cold, shivering sweat if Clarence the Angel showed up and said, “Hey, just for fun, we’re gonna go back here so you can remember how less-than-wonderful you’ve often been.”

And for the sake of a memory lane that I hope to never physically travel down again, here is my list. In no particular order, except that the first ones happened first, the middle ones happened in the middle, and so on… You get the idea.

1. I would not go back to the night my parents threw a church dinner party when I was six years old, when—during the single silent moment of the entire evening—I knocked my Pepsi off the table. And then proceeded to say “Sh…@&%##!!” so loud I’m pretty sure the neighbors heard me. I know my pastor heard me. And also my dad, who marched my cussing-like-a-sailor self to the bedroom and gave me a good talking to about manners and bad words and not watching All My Children anymore. But not to worry—I saw the smile he was trying to hide. I saw it.

2. I would not go back to the morning when—at eight years old—I went to the bathroom during church and walked back into the service with my dress caught inside my tights. The choir was performing, y’all. So at that point, everyone was still awake. And five-hundred sets of eyes swung my way. And like an ocean wave that builds up velocity and sound as it approaches the shore, the whole church began to snicker. And that dang laughter grew until I backed slowly out of the church, pulling and tugging and twisting like Elaine Benes doing a super-bad rendition of her own dance. The church-goers that day were evil. Pure evil.

3. I would not go back to the time I dove off the high dive in sixth grade, swam to the bottom, and came back out of the water with…well, you know…parts missing. But the seventh-grade boy pointing at me didn’t miss anything. And the entire high-dive section of the pool saw it. And that red-headed, freckle-faced kid with the obnoxious index finger? Also evil.

4. I would not go back to age fourteen, when my mother removed my first perm rollers from my wildly curly head. Big mistake. Big. Huge. Literally.

5. I would not go back to the night of my nineteenth birthday when I was driving to my party…and ran out of gas. Near the top of the biggest hill in town. And rolled all the way down backwards. And landed in someone’s yard. Whose son went to high school with me. Who, at one time, I might have had a crush on. Lost tons of cool points that day. Haven’t gotten them back since.

6. I would not go back to the day I called my dad to tell him I forgot to change the oil in that same car…and burned up the engine. Especially because the twenty-dollar-bill he’d given me for an oil change a couple weeks earlier still burned in my memory…as well as the popcorn and movie ticket I used the money for instead. And did you know a new motor for an old car cost $1500 in 1992? I didn’t either.

7. I would not go back to the day I accidently grabbed a box of “Frost and Tip” at Wal-Mart instead of “Highlights” and turned my hair white. Cotton white. Cloud white. Snow White. But that mirror didn’t think I was all that fair. That mirror cracked in half and ran screaming for the queen. Because, oddly enough, white just isn’t my color.

8. I would not go back to the day the Sears salesman tapped my shoulder and said (in the kindest possible voice), “Ma’am, you have toilet paper hanging out of your pants.” I would, however, go back to seeing my sisters rolling with laughter in the exercise equipment section. That way, I could hop on a stationary bike and try as hard as possible to run over them.

9. I would not go back to seven years ago, when I almost ruined Christmas for a friend-who-shall-remain-nameless. But let’s just say it involved an open box, traffic, and a rather painful rose bush. Maybe a boxwood. But whatever. It hurt and I have the (mental) scars to prove it.

10. Finally, I would not go back to last fall, when I let my youngest daughter give me a makeover. And then I cleaned the kitchen. And then I folded some clothes. And then I started to cook dinner. And then I ran to the store.

Totally forgetting about the makeover.

And let’s just say even Clarence the Angel wouldn’t have found that so wonderful.

Got any stories of your own? I have plenty more, but that’s all I’m sharing.

For now.


Leave a Reply