November 27th, 2012
It’s holiday ramp-up time! And what better way to usher in the season than to share our most dysfunctional family stories? I originally posted the story below on my “other” blog several years ago, but it still stands as my most shared seasonal delight.
Meanwhile, What’s your favorite family holiday story?
Include the link to your submission in the comments or feel free to leave your submission here, also in the comments section.
Meanwhile…to bone up on PROMPTuesdays, read a bit about it here.
Or, catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.
It Goes Back, Way Back
Have I ever spoke of the Thanksgiving of ’75? For that’s when it was that I remember it starting.
I am talking about, of course, the moment I went nuts. And I mean this kinda literally.
I developed an inability to swallow foodstuffs. In fact, I don’t think I could consume liquids at this time either, but that might be fabricated. At any rate, I had an unnatural fear of choking, which arose, as these San Diego Momma things do, quite out of the blue.
My dad couldn’t handle it. Normally, he would just shove some food down my throat, but then I might, for real, choke, so he refrained and just yelled a lot.
It lasted for days. At that time (and never again, my friends) I was on the skinny side, so a few 24-hour periods of refusing food thinned me out in a scary way.
It was right before Thanksgiving and we were on our way to Minneapolis to visit my Aunt Marion and Uncle Jim and their kids. Minnesota was a good eight hours from Chicago, and the whole way I rebuffed the road food I used to look so forward to sliding whole down my gullet.
When we arrived at my aunt’s house, my dad was just beside himself. I’d gone nearly four days without eating, and no one — including myself — knew why I’d grown to believe I’d choke and die a writing death if I ate food.
Finally, my father couldn’t take it anymore. It was Thanksgiving, for God’s sake! So, he broke his “no shoving food down the kid’s throat” rule and stuck a shelled peanut in my mouth. No matter that as a grown-up, he may have surmised that a peanut may not be the best “starter” food to stick into your crazy child’s mouth, when she feels she will choke on water.
So, I stood there in shock and just let the peanut dissolve slowly in my mouth over a period of hours. Some of it may have dribbled down the sides of my mouth, permanently cementing my loon status in the family, but that may be fabricated.
Anyhow, the peanut juice eventually made its way down my throat with the added bonus of not choking me. I was cured!
The Thanksgiving of ’75 was saved! My dad was a hero!
So that must’ve been when the nutting up all started.
Crazy waters run deep.