This is intended to be the first of many posts taken from my childhood memoirs, which comprise a 25-year-old WordPerfect file I still add to, a few diaries, and countless stories/dream accounts/etc. that fill fireproof vaults in my basement.
Before my baby came along 18 years ago, I was busily working to turn them into a chronological autobiography just as I did with my college memoirs. Working backwards as I did with college, I had already finished (high school) Junior Year and Senior Year and was ready to do Sophomore Year.
I was also almost finished writing about my adult life up till then; it was 2003, and I was working on 2002. That was a distressing year, when my secondary boss had gone crazy after an illness and turned into a rage machine. It led to 2003, when he yelled at an underwriter constantly, and after a morning of fuming all over the office, quit in a big scene, which kept the manager from having to fire him. I missed it all, but heard about it when I came in for work. In 2003, he hadn’t yet driven his red pickup into his own kitchen, or damaged a light at the detention center, after his wife said she’d had enough and was going to leave him. I was all ready to get the whole year typed up into my “2002” file and properly typed up and arranged with letters, e-mails, etc. in chronological order. I had a lot to say about that year.
But first I was too morning-sick, and then too busy, to do anything at all with either memoir. Pregnancy made the computer smell horrible, and then the baby was constantly crying or pooping. It was all I could do just to keep up with the laundry. When I had time to write–finally–in his young childhood, it was to work on my novels or to blog about my delving into theology.
When my son got older and needed less attention, now my time was taken up with learning everything I could about narcissism and blogging to heal from an extremely abusive “friendship” that had just blown up. There was nothing left over for any kind of writing in those days, other than my blog. Nowadays, I’m so bogged down in household concerns and keeping up with our exploding democracy that the time I have for writing is spent updating my blog or revising my latest novel.
In recent years I’ve started adding to the childhood file again. Since it’s far from being put in chronological order, I’ll have to grab snippets from it here and there and post them. I’ll start with snippets that I’ve recently read in Writer’s Club. This is the first, just in time for football season:
Why I Hate Football
When I was very young, my mom told me one Sunday evening that my Disney special would start after the football game, and I started to cry. Why? Every weekend, my dad and brother seemed to watch every football game there was. All weekend, all afternoon and evening, they’d watch football games. When you’re too young to understand that the uniforms and channels are different (and we had a black-and-white TV), it looks like One Big Football Game that lasts Forever. Seriously, it never ends. It has always existed and always will exist. There never will be an end to the game. So my Disney special will NEVER come on. I will go the rest of my life and that Disney special will never have a chance to begin. That is why I cried.
As I got older and learned they were different games, they still seemed to drag on forever, going on for hours and hours–and if I wanted to watch anything else, say a cartoon or a movie, I’d be told NO. Football took preeminence over anything I wanted, even though all the games were the same–no plot, no characters, no story, just people running around after a ball, constantly stopped and replayed, over and over again for HOURS. Nobody cared what I wanted.
And those constant sounds of the whistle and the grunts and the audience–it gave me a massive headache. I’d lie on the couch with my head aching.
I HATE FOOTBALL. This is why I avoid all football talk all season long. This is why I avoid even the Superbowl. This is why finding a man who hated football was high up in my list when I was a young adult.