My Life in 2 Butter Cookie Tins

Anxiety has reared its ugly head full force into my life again these days and a bit more than usual. To work through this monster, I need to keep busy. Otherwise, I just find myself waitin’ around for the perfect moment to JUMP OUT OF MY SKIN! So, with the help of a glass of water and a little pink pill to trigger my relaxation, I dove right into what I do best. ORGANIZATION. Today’s victim: The basement. I AM NOT A HOARDER. But I do sometimes tend to keep stuff because “I might need it” or “just in case” or “this might be worth money someday” – All good lazy excuses to keep crap. Anyway, today I came across old newspaper clippings, funky looking keys to whatever, subway tokens, DVD’s (yikes what could be on these?) It was like Christmas morning reeking the essence of Eau de-mold & wet toilette. Didn’t stop me. I dug right in. And then I found the box. And inside there they were. Two butter cookie tins. Rusted shut, I pried each one open and pop like the snake-in-a-can hundreds of photos sprang out.  My family. My history. In two butter cookie tins. The time capsules of my life.  I sat on that floor, and I worked my way through the years.  I wondered, who the hell are some of these people? Are they friends? Could they really be my family? My bloodline? What the hell are some of these people doing in these photos? Why did my Mother put me in that dress?  Why didn’t someone brush my hair? And there were some fugly looking peeps in these photos, and I cannot attribute it to the 60’s and 70’s high fashions we all wore.

I came across some vacation photos from the 70’s. Oh, I remember this disappointing escape.  Why did my parents take me to Amish Country? I’m fairly sure when I was given the choice, as a tween, of either a vacation to Disney World to see Mickey or Lancaster, PA, I did not shout and plead it was a must I see the Amish in all their glory living like it’s 1899! Oh right, yeah no choice.  As “Jan” my mother would always find a way to tell me, “I never went on a vacation. My vacation was sitting on our stoop outside of our building in the City.  Be grateful.”  I’m an only child on vacation with my parents, my Aunt Suzie and Uncle Emilio from Queens and 4 cartons of cigarettes. Sound like fun to you?  From this photo, I’m just guessing my Father, “Larry” really needed to see Mickey Rooney present Chubby Checker.  His smile is devilishly happy, isn’t it? And of course, my family thought it a good idea to go all the way to the Downingtown Inn in PA – for the show – because driving 40 minutes from where we lived in CT to see “Mickey” and “Chubby” in Manhattan would be ridiculously too simple & easy! And why not just end the vacation with a round of shitty miniature golf with the photo op of my Father pretending to hit Aunt Suzie in the ass. And off to the right of the photo almost trying to escape the lens of the camera is Uncle Emilio.  Either he’s thinking he can’t wait to get back to his 500 sq ft apartment on Francis Lewis Blvd. in Queens or he just ran out of cigarettes and was pissed.

Here are my top memories from this vacation:  Getting slapped in the face by my Mother in front of the waiter at the fancy-ish dinner we were having because I didn’t order properly.  Swimming in the hotel/motel pool by myself because the adults didn’t want to get wet. I got my period and had to manage happiness.  And the bar of soap in our hotel/motel bathroom was so small I think I lost it up the crack of my ass.

My roots, my blood, my life. Oh my!

And that’s my time!

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