Hello, friends. Yesterday, I read Amusingly Horrible Things Moms Have Said at The Hairpin. It’s fairly amusing; certainly not the best thing I’ve read on the internet, but it must have stirred something in my Brain Soup, because early this morning, I remembered two things I’ve not thought of in many, many years:
1. From age 14 to 18, every time I went to the corner store (only a couple of times a year, since I was raised to believe that Buying Things at Convenience Stories is Wrong Because Said Things are Overpriced and Probably Stale. Occasionally, I went to get cigarettes for my uncle – but let’s not mention that to my parents, okay?), the owner stared at me for several seconds too long, then asked if I wanted to meet his son.
Questions to self: Does he ask that of every teenaged girl who comes into the store? Does he realize he’s asked me this before? Many times? And if so, does he think his 5 years of persistence will eventually pay off?
Closure: Never. I went away to university, and then my parents moved house. I really should have just asked him all those questions, shouldn’t I?
2. One summer, I worked at a coffee shop. One day, my boss said to a regular, “Has anyone ever told you that you look just like Karla Homolka [a convicted serial killer]? I mean, you guys could be twins!” When I registered horror, my boss said, “What? What? It’s a compliment! She’s really hot!”
Questions to self: Why didn’t I quit my job? This was a sign of things to come, with that boss. Also, why didn’t I say to the customer, “I don’t think you look like a serial killer”?
Closure: The customer came back a couple of weeks later (I guess she was less appalled than I was? Or was really desperate for this indie coffee shop to thrive?), and I got a chance to tell her that she didn’t look like a serial killer, to me. Then I gave her a free drink. Also, the coffee shop folded a couple of months later. Literal closure!
Why am I bringing up all this now? As Victorian novelist Frances Trollope once said, “Of course I draw from life – but I always pulp my acquaintances before serving them up. You would never recognize a pig in a sausage.” One day, both these incidents will probably make it into my fiction. If you spot them then, you’ll know just where they came from.
What bizarre or uncomfortable teenaged memories are rattling around in your brains? Have you fictionalized them, yet?