Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Quick Way to Lose a Finger

I remember being seven years old. My parents had friends over, and most likely they were drinking beer and eating pizza. Probably watching a non-age appropriate movie. They may have even been looking at nudie magazines. But in the 1970's, it was par for the course in my family.

My stepdad was not the authority on strong moral character, and mom, was just easily influenced, finding love in all the wrong places I guess.

At any rate, having guests over was both a good and bad thing. Good because it meant that my parents were happy and not directing their attention to me. I've always preferred to stay below the sight line because it meant survival.

Bad because being the only child in the house made it impossible to stay completely below the sight line of numerous inebriated adults.

And now I will unfold for you one of my most vivid and horrible memories...which will explain the title of this post.

It was funny at first. I know that he was just playing around in the beginning. He was a nice guy...he had to be, he was my parents friend. That and he had given me a bunch of Barbie stuff, including the Barbie Ski Lodge, so he couldn't be all that bad.

But here I was...laughing my head off, and unable to do anything else. He had me pinned down, literally sitting on top of me with his fingers digging into my arm pits like a crazed monkey digging into an anthill. The smell of warm Miller on his breath, in my face.

It was maddening. Maddening because my reaction, my only reaction was to laugh, which belied my real feelings, egging him to dig further. It is horrible how your body will play traitor to what your mind really wants to convey.

Eventually, my laughing turned to laughing tears. But again, misrepresented. The "play" continued. The more I struggled the more he dug in. I was in the corner of a room full of adults, and a mad man was tickling the crap out of me. Helplessly laughing.

I think that my mom came to rescue me...perhaps she finally perceived that my laughing was really crying, or maybe she saw that I had lost all strength, and couldn't fight back any longer. Or maybe the other adults in the room were just tired of my shrieking as they watched/ ignored the display. She told him to stop.

I got that a lot as a kid...no one could tell if I was laughing or crying. They sounded the same. It is an unfortunate thing for a child who is crying to be thought laughing.

He got off of me. I distinctly remember that he was wearing courderoys. I hate the sound that courderoys make when the the legs rub together.

A full grown man, sweaty from his efforts to tickle torture a seven-year old girl. He was laughing as he walked away, probably to grab another beer. I don't remember. zip zip zip.

For what it was worth, he won. I wonder if he felt victorious...as I curled up in the corner, my weakend hands protectively cupping my violated, bruised arm pits, tears stains coursing down my reddened face, and a large wet spot on my pants adding to the shame of my apparent defeat.

I purposely smashed the Barbie Ski Lodge the next day, which resulted in me being berated for my carelessness. "Irresponsible and unable to take care of your property...don't care about anyone but yourself..."

Go ahead TRY to tickle me or my kids.


At 10:58, Blogger speckledpup said...

I too was the victim of the tickler.

As an adult with children, my kids have always been told say no, say stop, then say, I asked nicely.

When I hear one of my children saying "I asked nicely...." OMG...Katie bar the door. My husband or I will literally throw this person away from our children. No matter what is going on, tickling, play fighting, whatever.... In our family they know this now. I've heard more than one adult say to my children, "are you just teasing me or are you asking nicely...."
maybe it's cause I've matured them up...naw...
My husband's huge and likes to hit people...works for me.

At 15:26, Blogger Sara You-don't-need-to-know-my-last-name said...

My mother and older sister used to do this to me. A lot. I remember the crack of my head as it hit would hit the cold tile floor in the kitchen. It was like a temporary relief from the unbearable tickling. Eventually, I just started letting my body go limp and they would get bored from my lack of struggle.

My husband tried to tickle me once, early in our relationship, and, well, I think he still has the scar.



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