I haven’t told any good stories in a while, so here are two that I don’t want to forget. One silly one and one serious one. Tell me what you think.
1. All Combs Go To Heaven
One morning when I was about 6 or 7, I was getting ready for school. Ever the multitasker, I was peeing while combing my hair. As I reached to flush the toilet, the comb flew out of my hand and went straight down the hole. I tried to reach for it, but I didn’t manage to get it in time. I do not know why, but this caused me great distress. I think I even cried.
My first thought: oh God, I’ve destroyed the plumbing in my house. It’s going to get stuck in the pipes and everything’s going to be backed up. We’re going to have to replace all the sinks and toilets and pipes and it’s all my fault.
My second thought: where did it go? Where do things that get flushed down the toilet go? Do they disappear, or do they ever come back.
I ran to my parents, telling them what happened, and they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. I even asked them how I could fit inside the toilet and get it. They tried to explain to me that it was gone, and it was an accident, but I wasn’t going to see it again. I asked them where it would end up, and they told me that it would probably end up in a sewage plant somewhere. I asked them where that was, and they shut me down pretty quickly. I guess that’s what you do when your six-year-old asks about visiting sewage plants.
It traumatized me for weeks, and every time I saw a hairbrush or comb, I got sad immediately and my parents had to console me. Looking back, it seems more funny than sad, but it’s interesting to see how small your world is as a child and how much insignificant things can affect you.
2. The Relative Truth
Growing up, I had a babysitter who was practically part of the family. She loved us, she took care of us when my parents were away, and she helped me learn so many things, from the basics of reading to how to fold towels so they looked neat on the shelf.
One time, also around that same age as the comb story, we were learning about families in school: parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. At a family event, I was sitting with my mom, when all of a sudden this conversation took place.
Me: “Mom, how is [babysitter] related to us?”
Mom: “She’s your babysitter.”
Me: “Yes, but is she my aunt, or my cousin?”
Mom: “She isn’t either.”
Me: “So is she related to us?”
Mom: “Well…yes. But not by blood.”
What a great response to young me.
And that was how I learned that friends can indeed be family, and that there’s a difference between being related and being blood-related.
Because my mommy said so and she’s never wrong.
Except for the time she yelled at me once for buying her a bag of lettuce at the store that listed ingredients on the front that included feta cheese, before realizing that it wasn’t a list of what was in the bag, but suggestions on what would taste good with said lettuce in a salad.