Still Recovering From My Childhood Part One
By Betty Fokker on January 26, 2013
Being raised by my parents was mostly a good thing, but it has also left me mentally scarred for life. Here is one of the reasons why:
We moved to middle of Kentucky the summer before I went into the 8th grade. Our home was about thirty minutes from a medium/small town, which I’ll call Hellburg. It was ‘affluent’ compared to the 5 counties around it, which isn’t saying much but did make a marked difference which caused the residents of Hellburg to be strangely and unrealistically snooty about their self-perceived social worth. Think “Harper Valley”, but less classy. Sadly, Hellburg is where Dad set up his medical practice and where I went to middle and high school.
Right before school started, Mom drove me and my brothers (the boys were 5 & 7 at the time) to the park, where Dad was meeting us after his shift at the hospital. The plan was simple, my dad would stay at the park and teach the boys some rudimentary baseball skills, and mom would take me shopping for new school clothes. She wanted to be sure that I would be dressed in only the finest garments K-mart had to offer when I greeted my peers for the first time! Nowadays, I’ve moved up in the world to the point that I dress in the finest garments Target has to offer, but I digress.
After the boys are delivered to Dad in the parking lot nearest the playgrounds, my parents began goofing off a little, which usually takes the form Dad hassling Mom because he loves it, flat out loves it, when she ‘playfully’ scolds him. It’s the equivalent to enjoying getting your ass chewed off by a grizzly. The man is insane. Meanwhile, I am checking out a group of kids, who look about my age, that are hanging around not too far away. I am trying to seem cool’, with my elbow casually propped in the open window of my Mom’s maroon and paneled station wagon, unaware that Madonna herself would have looked like a dork in that car. Some of the kids are glancing my way on occasion. Operation “mysterious and aloof, yet lovely and clearly sweet, new student” is underway! I must maintain my good first impression!
It is about now that my Mom begins to pull out of her parking space and begins to drive away. I’ve made it! Alas, no. Dad thinks, for whatever unholy reason, that it would be funny to run after Mom’s car. So there is my Dad, who runs in an awkward manner to begin with (seriously, it’s as though he were clenching a small object between his butt-cheeks and must not let it fall), happily chasing Mom’s car in full view of God and everybody. To add to the picturesque scene, Dad was wearing some of his oldest and worn out scrubs. These scrubs had the consistency of cheesecloth and were the color of vomit. They were scrubs that clung like spandex in some places while simultaneously hanging like baggy pantaloons in other places. It was everything you ever wanted you Dad wearing in a humiliating teenage moment, yet somehow more.
Dad chasing the car wearing those unholy scrubs would have been enough to cause me chagrin. This was, indeed, plentiful discomfiture for me. But my Mom, apparently jealous that Dad was getting to cause me all the disconcertion by himself, joined in. She not only reached her goal of Dad-level mortification … she actually ratcheted it up a couple of levels! My Mother, the women who bore me and was supposed to love me, hung her head out of the window and hollered at Dad,
“Don’t run in those scrubs! I can see your balls flopping! It’s embarrassing me!”
Not only did the kids-near-my-age hear her yell at my Dad about his testicles, which in fairness were clearly visible and bouncing around in his uber-thin scrubs, the whole park heard her. Shit, the whole county heard her. So there I am, trying to look suave while a madman in scrubs chases our car and my Mom loudly critiques his genital mobility. Ever try to look nonchalant while a madman in scrubs chases the vehicle you are riding in as your Mom loudly critiques his genital mobility? It ain’t easy. Needless to say, I simply could not wait until school started and I could meet in person the kids that were now openly gawking at the spectacle which my parents were providing for the amusement and astonishment of the masses.
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