Thor and I were on the way to meet Granddaddy for lunch today, and a song came on NPR that I remembered from my childhood Friday afternoons spent in the breakroom of Mom’s bank branch. See, she worked until 7pm on Fridays, and I was far too young (and stupid–major candidate for the Darwin Awards, this one) to be at home alone from 3 until 7, so the bus driver would drop me off at her bank on Fridays. I would check in with her, walk down the strip mall to the Pancake House, have a bowl of chicken noodle soup and more crackers than are healthy for a person, and stare at a print of God making shame fingers out of a cloud at a small boy whose kite had become tangled in a tree. From there, it was back to the bank and straight into the breakroom, where I would entertain myself with homework, the funny papers, comics, and cleaning up the supply room until it was time to go home.
As you can imagine, I heard a lot of Muzak. Hours and hours of Muzak styled in the 70s, based on the Top 40 of the 50s and 60s, with some Disco thrown in for good measure. Mom would tell me the names of songs, when she’d come back to check on me, and tell me how popular they were.
I want you to know, I felt SO SORRY for her! None of her songs had any words, and they all sounded almost exactly alike. It was years before I discovered that Georgie Girl had lyrics other than the ones made up for the Kissing Barbie, Barbie Doll (whose lips you would color with a stamper, and whose in-back button you would push to make her head tilt into a kiss, leaving a perfectly shaped Barbie lip stain on whatever her rosy mouth met. “Hey there, Barbie Girl, wearing cherry lipstick…”)
That made me remember sitting in our house in Colorado (so, somewhere between ages 2 and 4) and wondering when my mother had turned into color, since she was black and white in her own childhood.
I wonder what Thor will misconstrue?
What he has not misunderstood is which is the better: In or Out of school.
Yesterday, Aunt Jamie asked him if he was excited to go back into school tomorrow. He said yes, then followed up with the caveat, “But I’m more excited to get out.”