Saturday, April 21, 2012

How I became what I am (not) by Rande Thompson,

The only daughter of Linda and Al, granddaughter of Sylvia and Joe, I had my own stormy childhood that would later set the stage for my current struggle with inner peace and happiness. I don't remember too much of my parents being together yet let alone loving. I always surmise that due to never having that foundation of a stable family unit was major reason for me to struggle in my own marriage. How could you know loving if you never saw loving? 

I do clearly remember sitting on the stoop, don't you love that word? I think only people from Brooklyn use it. Anyway, sitting waiting for my dad on a Sunday. I think I was about 6 or 7 when they decided to separate and 8 or 9 when they divorced. A lot of times my mom would open front door of the apartment building while I sat on that stoop waiting and say your father called he's not coming. I picture the whole scene but yet can't remember at all how I felt. When he did come I remember sitting in the front seat of his taxi, his life's work even present day. I remember him taking me to Red's Toy store in Brooklyn to buy me a new toy and even if he had to leave during our few outings together his girlfriend would take me to Red's instead. At this time my mother and I lived alone. My mom worked for my Aunt Lily.

Then in the 70's at Kings Highway you could find a mommy at home who could watch your child as a favor. That would be Sandy Margolin. Sandy and Herb lived on the first floor. They had Howard and Scott. Howard and I were babies together. We have that typical camp picture dressed alike in Danskin blue and white striped outfits. I also had babysitters. One liked to spank me and drink Vodka. And then then my most vivid memories are of my grandparents. I spent alot of time with them. I honestly do not remember my mom and I being together a lot. I know she worked so after school I was at Sandy's or with my babysitter's. On weekends my mom dated. I remember going to McDonalds every Sunday with my grandparents. I even remember what I had. A cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake. I had a complete set of glasses that they gave out right down to their Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese. I remember staying over my grandparents and watching All My Children in my pajamas and my grandmother would bring me a snack table for breakfast with eggs and lox, a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and milk. I think at this age I took for granted just how great being catered to feels.

I remember being in a toy store with my grandfather and I wanted a big stuffed St. Bernard. I kept looking at it and staring at it and my grandfather probably said it was too much. After leaving the store and I am sure pouting my grandfather haggled and got me that St. Bernard for $11.00.
 Somewhere around 9 or 10 my mom started dating Larry. He had two boys, Michael and Ricky. I remember all of us going to the movies and seeing "Hustle" with James Caan and Catherine Deneuve.. I remember Ricky liked the Beach Boys, so I always remember an 8 track playing in Larry's light blue Cadillac. I also remember the Carpenters playing alot. No strange coincedence that certain Carpenter's songs still make me cry. Had I to do it over again my wedding song would have been "We've Only Just Begun". 

By the way in my twenty's visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn I discovered a duck music box that played "We've Only Just Begun". I believed Karen Carpenter would die way before her time. She and I must have shared that loneliness and pain especially when she wrote the best lines I ever heard from "Rainy Days and Mondays"

"Talking to myself and Feeling old
sometimes i'd like to quit
nothing ever seems to fit.
Hanging around some kind of lonely clown, 
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
What I got they used to call the blues,
nothing is really wrong, feeling like I don't belong.
walking around some kind of lonely clown. 
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

Need I say more. Karen and I would have been best friends. And on that note I end this chapter. A song from the 70's sums up my every feeling and thought in 2007.

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