***Updated to say that my old BFF from the wonder days backed me up on all of my antics in a comment on this post (12:47 p.m. today). She probably has some great pictures of us to share from the good old days-love you, Tef 🙂 Also wanted to tell you that after so many of you commented about Kate looking like me, I have decided to pull out the big guns. I am going to try and post a little something later tonight after the ladies are in bed, and trust me, there will be NO QUESTION whose genes she got!!!!***
(Original post follows…)
I am referring to Laura Ingalls, in the event that you are wondering.
And as a warning, there will be no deep, heady thoughts here for several weeks, because I am pouring all of my smart thinking and cohesive writing structure into my book.
So, for all of you sweet Sundays, you are stuck with babbling, random, “not so well-written” Angie until September.
That last sentence alone should prove my point.
And now back to our unscheduled program…
When I was living in Japan as a child, my sister and I would get deliriously happy every time the little green light would blink on the TV. When it did, it meant that the show was being presented “bilingually,” which usually meant ENGLISH! Typically, it also meant that we were about to watch Magnum P.I. or Little House on the Prairie. Not a lot of variety, but we would take what we could get.
So, Jenn and I were hooked on the Ingalls. Which, for many reasons, would eventually lead to my social downfall and also explains my obsession with bonnets and braids, but we’ll get there.
Aside from Little House, my grandma would send us Betamax tapes of the popular American shows, and honestly, we were more than a little creeped out by some of them. What was with Alf? Small Wonder?
If you have no clue what I am talking about, please don’t say a word. You will make me feel old and embarrassed because I was amazed by the stellar graphics and acting that led me to believe we could have a robotic sister and a pet alien when we got back to the States.
Seriously. Look into it.
We got plenty of episodes of Family Ties and the Cosby show, but when the big cardboard box showed up every few months, we tore through it like wild animals to hunt down any episodes of Punky Brewster and Rainbow Brite. Does anyone remember the episode of Punky Brewster where Candace Cameron was a runaway and her face showed up on a milk container? Well I had the great pleasure of going on a cruise with her a few years ago (we weren’t together, but I still feel cool writing that…she was speaking and Selah was singing. As a sidebar, she is incredible, and is really making an impact for the Lord…absolutely beautiful on the inside and out). I told her that I remembered that episode and she laughed her head off. I hesitated to mention the Teen Bop photos of her brother that graced my walls during the era of rainbow pillows and waterbeds.
I will never forget the day that we ripped into the box and on the top was a tape marked “Anne of Green Gables.” I didn’t have a clue what it was, and told my mom I wasn’t really interested, but about an hour later I was hooked and ran to my parent’s bedroom, flung myself on their bed, and in my most dramatic, Anne-worthy tone, informed them that if the rest of series was not in that box, I might die.
Luckily, it was.
Words cannot express my love for Anne, Diana, and the rest of the crew who taught me how to effectively have kids hate me for my clothing choices a few years later. What? You don’t believe that I bought a dress that could have been worn by Anne and thought it a brilliant move to wear it to my sixth grade picture day in Cincinnati?
I have photos, people.
And many scars.
Where was I?
Little House, oh yes.
There was drama, and plenty of it. Mary accidentally sets the barn on fire, Nellie Oleson mistreats Laura’s horse Bunny and gets thrown off and then pretends to be paralyzed, a tornado wipes out the crops, Mary wakes up screaming because she’s blind…any of these ring a bell? I’ll stop now.
What could be better than living in a simple, cozy house with your family and sleeping in a loft with your sister while Pa plays the fiddle and Ma sews a new dress for you?
Nothing, I tell you.
And in my ten year old mind, that was the life I wanted. I wanted my kids to walk to school everyday and enter in the one-room schoolhouse when Miss Beadle rang the big bell and the town bustled around them. Meanwhile, Ma was at home cooking on her precious new stove and the worst thing that could happen while you were coming home was that a boy would pull your pigtails.
The first red flag about my future lifestyle came in the form of sharp pencils being thrown at the back of my head on the school bus in sixth grade. This was quickly followed up by a girl pretending she wanted to do her science fair project with me and then explaining in front of our class that she was completely kidding. In fact, that same day I was completely banned from practicing “The Lift” with the cool kids who had seen Dirty Dancing. As a sidebar, the nasty Katie N. begged me to be her science fair partner later because she had blown it off and I did the whole thing with my dad. We studied how Venus Flytraps suck all the nutrients out of flies. I can see you now, writhing with envy. Venus Flytraps are the underdogs of the plant world, and had it not been for Little Shop of Horrors, they may never have earned the respect they deserve. I remember that Katie wore a Camp Beverly Hills shirt to the science fair, and I wore, umm, glasses.
The good news is that I eventually went on to be a college cheerleader despite the lack of “lift” practice in recess. And Katie?
She decided to chase after a life of harassment and cruelty which landed her exactly where her victims had been for years. Don’t worry, nothing tragic. Just a taste of her own medicine.
So, after coming home to a less than rousing welcome in the States, I decided that my “Little House” life was not going to cut it. I did my best to just blend in enough to not stick out, and as I grew into my nose and out of my braces, I started to gain some credibility with the in-crowd. I loved theatre and reading, so I think the best I could say is that I straddled the line between cool and not-so-much. I never got into trouble, although I did sneak out a few times to be rebellious.
Ever the guilt-ridden “good girl,” I left a note for my parents in the event that they pulled back the covers and saw the pillows in my place.
I decided I had been born in the wrong century. I wanted to sit by my window and read for hours, and my prized possession was an old-fashioned rag doll I named Abigail, who still lays on the guest room bed in my parent’s house.
I made a point of never using the phrase “bosom friend” when I met girls at school. Let’s just say it doesn’t fly like it did back in the day. But, I am happy to say that Audra is my Diana (I think there is a resemblance, actually!) and I am, well, Anne.
And all of you who are tempted to say I resemble Anne, BITE YOUR TONGUES. Trust me, in a few seconds, you will have much more fodder to use against me.
I bring it on myself.
The bottom line is that the world feels so complicated, and all I want is a porch swing and a horse named Bunny. You know what I mean.
So, consider this the rambling, incoherent introduction to the post I will write shortly about why I chose to homeschool. And by “shortly,” I mean “possibly before Christ returns.”
And it doesn’t really have to do with shielding my kids from life, but rather the fact that I kind of want to be Miss Beadle.
And in the event that you do not believe that I was the girl I have described here, I give you Exhibit A, which I simply call, “What happens when a ten year old cuts her own bangs, dresses like Laura Ingalls, puts stickers on her un-pierced ears and goes Trick-or-Treating with her matching Cabbage Patch Kid in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween.”
So let’s make a deal.
Whenever you see a picture of me where you think I look cute, first, remember that I chose that picture, because it is my blog and I don’t necessarily want to put the bad ones on it (with the exception of Exhibit A).
And second, picture me as an awkward kid with a weird doll, crooked hair, and an unhealthy love for the smell of books.
I assure you, the latter is more accurate.
I cannot end this post before ratting on my husband.
I’ll just come out and say it, because there is really no way to dress it up.
Todd used to be afraid of Laura Ingalls because he said that when the credits are rolling and the music ends, she is freeze-framed, frolicking down the hill in a way that makes her look, in his words, “demonic.” I asked him to be specific, and he explained (I’m assuming to make himself look better…oops) that it was “the way her braid slashed across her face when the music does that high octave finale note.”
Thank you, Sweetie.
I am trying to process this, as it was never on my list of credentials for a future husband. Please make sure and mention this phobia to my manly-man, should you meet him at a concert or something. Good times.
To his credit, he grew up in the bush of Africa, where there was no bilingual button.
Laura is no match for Alf.