So read my fortune in my cookie the other day. Hmm, really? I’m beginning to think the people behind the mass production of Fortune Cookies don’t know me at all. Let me share a couple of examples to paint the picture.
Many years ago, back in another millennium, way back in an era referred to – with no small amount of eye rolling and smirkiness from today’s teens – as the 80’s, a movie called Gremlins came out. Sure, it’s a classic now alongside Casablanca, but at the time Gizmo and company were new and fresh. Some might say even scary. Probably not a lot of people, but there are some who might have been scared silly after watching it. Okay, I only know of one and she is typing this story as fast as she can remember the details.
Let me preface it by saying, I was young. I won’t say how young because that really isn’t an important plot point. I was young and babysitting my baby sister. The night before I had been elevated to cool status when my older sister let me (she probably was coerced by mom) join her and her friends at the movies. It was such a privilege – even if I couldn’t sit by them in the theater.
Perhaps you are laughing at me at this point. Sure, we all know Mogwais are cute and who wouldn’t want a little Gizmo as a pet? My brother even gave me a stuffed one after a road trip later that summer. Cute and cuddly. I have no problem with any of the Mogwai (although as I remember, Stripe was a bit of a stinker even then). However, the Gremlins were just mean little monsters that wreaked havoc on the town and my imagination.
Jump back to me babysitting – in the house alone and my only ally is a baby – the night after watching Gremlins. If I remember correctly, it all started with a noise downstairs. Because, as we all know, if there is ever a creepy noise that happens while one is alone in a house, it’s always on a different level of the house than where the occupant is at the moment. Let me sum up by saying, every light in the house was turned on because Gremlins don’t like light. I even bravely screwed up my courage and went downstairs to turn on every single light I could find.
When I was satisfied I had done everything in my power to keep us safe, I went back into my parents’ bedroom where I had left my baby sister sleeping. I stopped in my tracks and nearly fainted. She had some kind of milky white substance all over her and the bed. There was only one explanation – SHE WAS POSSESSED! I frantically called my older sister, MZ.
“There’s something wrong with NJ,” I cried.
“What? What’s wrong?” MZ asked quickly matching my hysteria.
“I was…” I couldn’t tell her about the light quest I was just on because then she’d never let me come with her to the movies again, “I was in the other room while NJ was sleeping. When I came back in mom and dad’s room she was covered with this white, gooey substance.”
“What is it?” her voice became much calmer.
“I don’t know,” I didn’t want to jump to my theory about NJ being possessed quite yet. “Is she going to die?”
“I don’t think so,” MZ tried to reason with me.
Oh, kids, there is an important thing to realize here. This was before cell phones. The phones at this time actually had cords connecting them to the walls. I know, I know, I don’t know how we ever survived with such primitive tools to work with. Our phone was located in the kitchen. I had to keep putting MZ on hold to check on NJ in the bedroom. And no, I did not pick her up and carry her. What if the white substance was contagious and I caught the demon that possessed her? Better not take any chances.
“Did you smell it?” MZ asked.
Why on earth would I want to do that? “Um, no,” I put her on hold again and reluctantly went to the bedroom. Poor little NJ started to cry – or the evil spirit inside her just woke up and was mad. This did not bode well for me. I took a deep breath and put my finger in the substance and brought it to my nose. No surprise, it stunk. But it smelled familiar. It smelled like her nasty formula mom put in her bottles….oh.
I picked NJ up and went back to the phone. I tried to be cool about it and laugh, “Oh, she just spit up.” Those crazy kids.
MZ probably already knew that.
That’s when I realized two things. One, I might have a tendency to overreact. And two, for babies being so little, they sure can produce a great amount of disgusting things – from both ends.
That was a long time ago. I’ve matured and become wiser over the years. I’m sure I’m much better now.
I text my oldest niece Lyn and asked if she had ever seen me lose my cool.
“Yes lol,” she responded.
“Specifics please,” I requested.
“Umm, there was a Thanksgiving when you were doing the turkey and it wasn’t going well…”
“Hmm, I don’t remember that…you sure it was me?” Although I do vaguely remember a tantrum on a Thanksgiving. I’m not proud of it. Or the fact it was just a couple years ago.
“Pretty sure lol.”
When delving into one’s past, sometimes it’s best not to get specific details. Unfortunately, whenever I try to post videos to my blog it shuts my computer down. I’m lucky enough to be able to post. But if you follow this link, you can see the exploits of the Thanksgiving Temper Tantrum.
Okay, I lied. That wasn’t me. But it’s much funnier to watch someone else have a meltdown than to experience it yourself. Just sayin.
So no, Fortune Cookie Company, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this. I have not learned to meet adversity well, yet, so it falls more into the weakness category. But thanks for trying to look on the bright side!