When I was a little girl, my absolute favorite thing in the world was to go for a drive to visit my cousins. Several of my cousins lived in town and they were literally my best friends. At one house there were 3 girl cousins named Ju, Trice, and Sis. At another house was Vettie. I called them my "cuzsters" because they are my cousins but they felt like sisters who for some strange reason lived at another house. Nobody could have ever had more fun than I did with these girls back in the day.
There were also many other local places that gave me sparks of joy when I visited them with my parents—especially with my dad. Running errands with dad was one of the highlights of my childhood. And so...as a 9 year-old, Saturdays were a big deal! Everyone in the house, my big sister and 2 older brothers, as well as mom and dad was out of school and off of work. I was happy to get up early to watch cartoons in my pajamas, eat cereal, and sprawl out on the couch in the TV room. There was never an exact time when the house was going to officially wake up; when my parents would start to move around and real-life voices could actually be heard. Some mornings the awakening happened by the smell of bacon and pancakes. Other times you knew things were coming to life by the smell of Pine Sol or Pledge. On one of those mornings I heard the jingle of keys and the apparent sound of a jacket zipping. I jumped to the scene to find my dad on his way out of the door! “Can I go?” I begged. “Nah, you’re not dressed, Crys...I gotta go. I think I'm just running to the store and I should be back soon", he assured me.
I was surely disappointed, but the real devastation would come later after he returned home.
“Hey dad....where’d you go?”
“Well I went to the store but then I stopped at the bank." This was a violation for me because everyone knows the bank tellers always give me lolipops at the bank.
"Then I ran to the liquor store." My head was spinning with hurt because the man behind the counter always offered me a free pretzel rod at the liquor store!
"Oh and then I ran by the barber shop." This was just not fair! My Uncle Bill owned the Shape & Shear Barber Shoppe and as soon as he saw me coming he ALWAYS gave me his spare change for the vending machine!
Then my father sprung the ultimate disappointment on me.
"At the last minute I realized that I had to stop by your Uncle Hershel’s for a minute."
HEY—THAT’S WHERE JU, TRICE, AND SIS LIVE! I was BETRAYED. PUNISHED FOR NOT BEING READY. HOODWINKED!
I missed out on my version of 6 Flags--all because I wasn’t dressed and ready to go when I heard my dad's jacket zipping that morning. Needless to say, from that point on I began waking up on Saturdays—immediately getting dressed and putting my shoes on; lying in wait and longing to hear those keys. Even today, my boyfriend asks me why I am walking around the house with shoes on—which subliminally I realized was because I taught myself decades ago to always be ready or I would miss out.
He thinks I’m a psychopath.