Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Truth or Dare(Or Don't Try This at Home)
I grew up in a family of girls. My Grandparents had three girls and all three girls had girls up to a certain point. There were no girls in our immediate family until I had already left home and married. Growing up with all girls was rather boring. I wanted to follow behind my older sister, and all she could see was a pest. We were polite, well educated, went to Mass every Sunday and learned to cook at our mother's tutelage. Just a normal family that did not include boys. So I grew up not knowing what boys get up to, the only fishing we ever did was with our Grandfather. Our week consisted of going to school, chores after school and homework. We never talked on the phone, our father, who is a Doctor, always insisted that the phone be left free in case a patient called. This was years before Call Waiting or any of the other "Call" benefits. It was the Marcus Welby generation when Doctor's made house calls. Weekends were spent cleaning house, going to the library or a movie then home to play with neighbor kids. Sunday was Mass, family dinner, more outdoor play ,bed. But it wasn't that bad, just a bit dull. If it sounds we lived a very sheltered life, well I nailed it on the head. Then, when I was twenty I met and married Mac. Mac who grew up with a brother, three sisters and tons of boy cousins. My home suddenly had noise in it. Mac would bring his shipmates home all the time and now there was always much roughhousing. When our own two boys came along, I figured out that boys were just ruffians. It was a constant struggle to keep the house under control. So one night, I think it may have been a New Years Eve party we were giving, there's a crowd in the front room, the boys are tucked up in bed and as I'm coming down the stairs I see a couple of the guys acting a little rough and tumble. I yelled at them to knock it off, and I get "we're just playing". "Listen," I tell them, "I've taken kids to the ER who were just playing! Now knock it off!" So Mac gets in on it (now I'm not saying anyone was drunk, but a few beers had been consumed, so lets just say none of the guys were feeling much pain. Mac used to have this little game he liked to call "shadow boxing with my baby". Uh huh. He'd dance around me and just barely touch my shoulder or my arm, but enough to irritate, then draw back in the dancing boxer position and he'd do it till I became so furious that I would begin to sputter and turn red. That was what was going on that night and he made a mistake. He did it long enough till I was near tears. "Whattsa matter Baby, can't take it? Can't take it Baby? Why don't you punch back?" And he continued to dance around. And chant. My arm went way down and I came up from the floor (and at 5'10 that was a long trip for my little fist. WHAM . One big man picking himself up from the floor. Baby got game. And Daddy's got a glass jaw. Needless to say there was never a game of shadow boxing in our house from that day forward. And he found out I would take a dare. And then some.