Thursday, October 29, 2009

dedicated to Susie Q

I am eight years old and it is Christmas Eve. Having endured the long day of anticipation, as well as the torture that is my mother's traditional oyster stew, I was ready and waiting by the lit tree. Like most children of the 80's, I have hope that my coveted talking cabbage patch is one of the neatly wrapped packages under the tree. Being the youngest and most eager, I wait for the rest of my family to join me while sensing that I should try to hide my greed. My parents and siblings take their time at supper, seemingly on purpose just to irk me. Finally, they file in and the opening of gifts can commence. Not wanting to blow my wad on gift one, I begin with the gifts that I know are kinda the filler gifts...barbie, clothes, a board game, etc. Then I get to the one from my parents that I'm certain is my cabbage patch. I open it and become the proud adoptive parent of Susie Q. or whatever I ended up naming her. Dad has batteries on hand so that I could interact with my child post haste. Now, my parents, while well meaning folk, are terrible at expressing love and affection in either a verbal or physical sense. In essence...I was not hugged much as a child, in fact I only remember one instance where I hugged my dad and that was because I was told to by some Tae kwon do master and I felt obligated to, and it was awkward. Actually, I think my dad's love language may be gift giving, 'cause he was sure jovial when he stuck those batteries in my new doll. Everyone was watching as my baby's on switch was flipped and she uttered her first words..."hug me". Huh?, what was this form of affection known as a hug? There my family sat, grinning and staring, as though we sat around giving each other back rubs while watching Family Ties and that hugs were apart of our normal routine. The doll was relentless in its request, so sheepishly, I was forced to give it an awkward and half hearted hug so that it would shut up. Eventually, I would lose its sippy cup as well, so not only was my doll deprived of physical affection, but it would constantly complain of being thirsty. To this day I believe my experience with my talking cabbage patch has directly influenced my lack of desire to have children.

This post is written for the Great Experiment, if you feel so inclined, vote for me, thanks!


Karen said...

Coming from another family that was deficient in the hug-giving-area- I can totally relate to your story.

Very well written! I did actually cringe when Baby Suzie Q started babbling...

Monica said...

Isn't that funny? Hugging is awkward in my family too. Even now, when my mom and I hug it feels weird. Well done, I really liked this.

Anonymous said...

You poor thing. If you ever need a hug I've got six kids and a dog that will love all over you.

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