Guest blogger Marilyn Kentz: My mother's generation did not experience the same fervor to make things fair like we do. Take the time my brother and I were drawing nicely at the card table. I was seven years old and Mark was five. My parents were entertaining another couple that autumn evening and counted on the paper and crayons to keep us out of their hair.
Before long, I had created a magnificent sketch of Popeye the Sailor. It was the first time I had mastered the unruly chin. I was all puffed up about my accomplishment. Before I could color him in I needed to excuse myself to the bathroom. Eager to complete my masterpiece, I folded one skinny leg under the other on the metal folding chair. To my horror in my brief absence someone had put a pipe in Popeye's mouth. My own mouth dropped open, so much so someone could have quickly slipped a can of spinach in it. I was stunned! I glared at him with contempt.
With an accusatory tone I asked, "Who put the pipe in Popeye's mouth?"
The wrath-laden the question must have terrified my little brother because he lamely replied, "I don't know."
Furious, I was sure my parents would vindicate me. This was blatant injustice.
"Mom, Mark put a pipe in Popeye's mouth!" I accused with mighty righteousness. Sure she would take care of the offense, I stood there with my arms crossed over my tiny chest. I looked back at my cowering brother and then to the disciplinarian.
"Go to bed."
She meant it. It wasn't even dark yet.
I looked at her with astonishment. She looked right back at me.
I seethed my way to my bedroom, put on my pajamas, got under the covers and plotted my revenge until sleep finally took over.
No one in my family remembers this story but me. I've had years of therapy. But to this day if you even try to add so much as one carrot to my vegetable soup you will receive what I was unable to give Mark. Bless his little five-year-old heart.
|Marilyn Kentz is the brunette half of the '90s comedy duo "The Mommies" and author of A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging.|